The first mention of the existence of the Church of St James and St Philip of Laveno goes back to 1315. Its central location in the town meant that the church was used for baptisms and other sacraments, despite the fact that it was not the main parish church.
The original structure of the building was quite simple and comprised a single nave. A side nave was added in 1832, giving the church an asymmetrical plan. Today the appearance of the church is of two naves in neo-classical style.
Inside there is a 17th century wooden statue of the “Madonna del Transito” (The Passing of the Virgin) and a series of frescoes on the vault painted in 1907. The organ, constructed in 1825 by Eugenio Biroldi of Varese, is very valuable, and has been used for three years running for concerts in the “Musical weeks of Stresa and Lake Maggiore”.
The bell tower is in the Lombard style; it has a neo-Romanesque belfry and a conical spire. Recent restoration work revealed that the tower was built in several stages. It was raised in 1898 and is now about thirty metres high.
St Philip and St James are the patron saints of Laveno; their feast day is celebrated on 3 May.