San Gottardo Church, Carmine Superiore

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How to get

By car: from the A26 motorway, exit towards Verbania and continue along the lakeside SS34 towards Switzerland. The hamlet of Carmine Inferiore is shortly before Cannobio. Leave your car in the car park and take the path to the church (15 min.).
By train: the nearest railway station is Verbania-Pallanza, 29 km from Cannobio. You can reach Carmine Inferiore by the frequent bus service, from the station and then from Intra.


The thirteenth century church of San Gottardo is the jewel of the medieval village of Carmine Superiore near Cannobio. Behind it are the mountains of the Cannobina Valley, and in front the view over Lake Maggiore is spectacular.

Built between 1332 and 1401, San Gottardo is a treasure-house of valuable art works dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The frescoes in the interior as well as those on the outside walls are mostly the work of the Maestro di Carzoneso, and in common with all the churches adhering to the Ambrosian tradition, depict scenes from the Bible.

The village like so many others was severely hit by the plague of 1630, and many victims took refuge in the church, which later had to be sterilized by covering the walls, and the precious frescoes, with mortar. The frescoes were restored to their former splendour in 1932-33 and 1997-2002.

You can walk up to the church along a pleasant, easy path which starts from the hamlet of Carmine Inferiore on the lakeside road (SS 34).