The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro is a monastery, castled on a rocky wall, overlooking the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore. The construction of the Hermitage would see its origins in the twelfth century by Alberto Besozzi, a merchant and usurer who escaped a shipwreck and would have vowed to Santa Cateria d'Alessandria to retire for the rest of his life in prayer and solitude. In that place he would have built a chapel that still resides at the bottom of the church, where also Saint Caterina's blessed body rests. The monastic complex was built in the fourteenth century and was governed by various ecclesiastical orders.
To be highlighted, the miracle in the early eighteenth century where five huge rocks fell on the church, getting entangled in the vault of a chapel, without causing serious damage and remaining suspended there until 1910.
Since 1914 it has been considered a national monument and after passing the property to the provincial administration of Varese, substantial restorations and consolidation works began in 1970, which allowed its reopening in the 1980s.