A veteran of the Piemonte’s militia, named Tomaso Barberio da Guarene, being disappointed by the violence of the military life, came in hermitage on the top of this hill. He was religious and being inspired by the spirituality of the place, he built fairly quickly – on the ruins of an old votive rock – a Chappel consacrated to Saint Giuseppe.
The Roman Curia conceded the officially title of “hermit” to Tomaso. In April 1661, Ivrea’s Bishop authorized the constitution of a confraternity to give hospitality to 150 fathers and 115 friars.
On his death, Tomaso was considered Saint due to the various evidences of miracles performed and to the acquired importance of the place. His hermitage passed to the Theresians fathers and subsequently to the Carmelites, who obtained from Rome the authorisation to edify a Convent.
The place became rapidly one of the most famous Sanctuaries of the area. After the first occupation of Piemonte by the French, who were obliged to leave the region because of the arriving Austro-Russians, followed by a second conquest by Emperor Napoleon I, who confiscated the Convent of San Giuseppe for military purposes.