Gravedona on Lake Como, Italy – Part Two


What to see and do in Gravedona on Lake Como, Italy – Part Two

Livo, town in the mountains above Lake Como, Italy

As you read in the previous post, Gravedona is a most interesting location on Lake Como. Part Two of Gravedona is actually going above the town and into the mountains, to hidden locations and out-of-the way spots which few tourists see.

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Sant’Eusebio e Vittore in Peglio

This church stands on its own overlooking the valley and the lake. You can walk around the entire church perimeter for wonderful panoramic views, these are the most dramatic on a rainy day when the clouds sit low and hug the mountains.

Inside the church you will find an interesting array of frescos, paintings, and statues. Notice how some of the Saints, especially around the altar, have a 3 dimensional look with an entire arm protruding from the painting. But most interesting are the large paintings within the altar depicting salvation and hell. The famous paintings are by Giovanni Mauro della Rovere in the 17th century. The devil swallowing people on the left wall is most notable. Personally I was not able to look at the painting of hell on the right for very long as the images are gruesome to say the least – certainly would scare anyone into confession as I am sure was the intention.

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Again, this is another hard church to visit as the days and times are odd.

When to visit the Sant’Eusebio e Vittore church in Peglio from July 3rd to August 31st on Wednesdays from 10AM-12:30PM and 3:30PM-6:30PM and Monday, Saturday, and Sunday from 3PM-6PM.  (Based on information from Summer 2010)

* The church attendants are happy to not only answer questions but give the history of the church and explain the paintings as well.

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San Giacomo Vecchia in Livo

Livo is a village of stone houses in a valley among the mountains! Livo is an interesting town to take a walk through. Most of the houses look abandoned but people still live in the town. I honestly wonder how they survive the winters…

But the jewel of the town is a bit outside the town and on the edge of the valley, the church of San Giacomo Vecchia. Vecchia means old, as the church was built in the 16th century and the “new” church was built directly in town in the 17th century. Gotta love the irony there!

San Giacomo Vecchia is a in a fairytale location. There is a small cemetery bellow the church, still visited and attended to by the locals as you will see from the fresh flowers on the graves. Walk through the path between the trees and you come out onto a little green slope with what appears to be a rather dull church, but just wait until you enter. The frescos in this church are magnificent. Take the time to look at each and every painting, done by different artists. I love the stripes on the vaulted ceiling as well.

After visiting the church you might be lucky to find a troop of goats in the fields across the way, as I found one day.

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When to visit the San Giacomo Vecchia church (based on information from Summer 2010):  From July 3rd to August 31st the church is open on Wednesdays from 10AM-12:30PM and 3:30PM-6:30PM and Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 3PM-6PM.

* The church attendants are happy to not only answer questions but give the history of the church and explain the paintings as well.

Side Note:  I tried to visit the church of San Giacomo in Livo, the “new” church and believe it is only open during services as it is still in use by the townspeople.

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I highly recommend taking the time to see these churches if you are an art history lover, religious, or even just curious. If you have extra days and are looking to see sights beyond the tourist route, make these stops!

To see more photographs of these hidden churches in the Lake Como area visit my photography site, Monica Goslin Photography.

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How to reach these sights:

– You can drive which again, involves a lot of guts and a good driver and at least two backseat drivers to act as extra eyeballs. The road up is very windy, so those who get car sick will get car sick (no way around it on this road).

– You can also take the bus, although you have to check the timetable for the schedule.

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themonicastoreblog

I love to travel and I love taking pictures.

One thought on “Gravedona on Lake Como, Italy – Part Two”

  1. As seems to be the case often now, I found your site from your photos on Pinterest. I’m not coming to the area until next year, but the accommodation I like best so far is in Gravedona, so I’m eager to learn more about the town. Thanks for these informative and well-written tips!

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