Monumental Parish Church of San Gaudenzio
How to get
By train: the nearest railway station is Preglia, 15 km from Baceno.
The monumental Parish Church of San Gaudenzio stands on a rocky outcrop above the Silogno gorge in the country town of Baceno.
San Gaudenzio has always been one of the most visited and best loved churches in the Antigorio Valley, and as such has been designated a national historic monument. Many events such as concerts and literary encounters are held here in the course of the year.
The beauty and prestige of the church derive from the rose window above the doorway (1505), the many 16th century frescoes in the interior, and the superb paintings in the presbytery, among them a Dragon of the Apocalypse on the vault. Other works of art in the church are the marvellous wooden sculpture of the high altar on the rear wall of the apse, and the huge St Christopher on the façade (1542), painted by Antonio Zanetti called il Bugnante. If you look closely at the high altar you can see two horsemen painted next to the Cross: according to tradition they represent Gaspare and Baldassarre Rodis-Baceno, who commissioned the work for the completion of the massive bell tower, one of the most imposing in the Ossola, and second only to the bell tower of Montecrestese.
The richness of the decoration in the interior is striking. The church is surrounded by a pretty little garden, reached by a small flight of steps. The exterior is floodlit after dark, which gives the building both a magical and a spiritual atmosphere.