Eremo di S. Colombano

Useful Information

Location: Trambileno, near Rovereto.
(45.878471, 11.061628)
Open: APR to JUN Sun, Hol 14:30-18:30.
JUL to AUG Sat, Sun, Hol 14:30-18:30.
SEP Sun, Hol 14:30-18:30.
24-DEC 8-24, Holy Mass 20.
2nd Sunday after Easter (St. Colombano day) 9-12, Holy Mass 10.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Comitato Amici di San Colombano, Tel: +39-0464-424615, Tel: +39-0464-433051.
ApT Rovereto e Vallagarina, Corso Rosmini, 6, 38068 Rovereto, Tel: +39-0464-430363, Fax: +39-0464-435528. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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753 cave used by a Monaco hermit.
11th cty cave church constructed.
1319 first written mention of the hermitage.
1782 hermitage abandoned.
1996 church renovated.


Eremo di S. Colombano, Italy. Public Domain.

The Eremo di S. Colombano (Hermitage of Saint Columban) is dedicated to the Irish saint Columban, who lived between 543 and 615. According to legend he came to this cave where a dragon lived. After killing the dragon he took over the cave. Frescoes in the church are depicting the fight between Saint Columban and the dragon.

The rock face shows an almost horizontal layering, with a slight dip to the right. Some softer layers in the middle, which are less resistant against weathering, form a series of natural caves. To reach this band a stone staircase with 102 steps was cut into the rock.

The place was inhabited by a hermit around 753, there is an inscription with this year on the wall. He probably came from the Monastery of Bobbio, but there is little known about him. At this time it was called Grotta degli Eremiti (Cave of the Hermits).

Around the late 10th and the early 11th century a small church was built into the cave. The completed hermitage was first mentioned in 1319. The hermitage was abandoned in 1782 because of the abolition of the eremitic practice. The buildings were then maintained by the locals. The church was renovated in 1996 by the Province of Trento. It is maintained by the non-profit Comitato Amici di San Colombano (Committee of Friends of Saint Columban).