Even though it isn’t the old “Plebana matrix” which is in the Hamlet of San Giovanni (dedicated to John the Baptist) the Parish Church of Bellagio, which dates back to the end of the XI and the beginning of the XII century, is in the village’s main square and closely guarded by a thousand year old tower (nowadays seat of art exhibitions) is dedicated to Saint James. Its nomination to independent Parish Church goes back to 1657 when the Sfrondatis (owners of Villa Serbelloni) obtained the right of the patronage and transformed the church, inside and outside, according to the seventeenth century style, thus ruining its original artistic beauty.

Despite this botch with a Ministerial Decree 1904 the church was declared a “National Monument”. Inside the building there are a lot of works of art and of sacred ornaments of great interest (re-markable a huge baldachin interwoven with gold threads). People from Bellagio address their devotion first of all to a polychrome wooden statue of Christ deposed which still preserves a title of Hispanic origin “Christo Intero” (from “entierro”= burial).

A seventeenth century legend says that after a fierce storm this statue was found on the shore called Punta Spartivento by some fishermen.The statue was commissioned by the Count of Fuentes to an unknown Spanish sculptor and was intended to the chapel of the fortress but it never arrived at its destination. As no one claimed it, the work was kept in the church where it still is and every Good Friday is carried in procession through the streets of the village.


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