Wonder  }  Place of worship

Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian

The ancient heart of Rezzago

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Where is


Via Santa Valeria, 61, 22030 Rezzago CO, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

A small church, made of stone and surrounded by greenery, but made of massive walls, heavy vaults and a bell tower almost too tall for her: with five orders of windows, the first formed by small loopholes, one on each facade, the next by mullioned windows that gradually increase in height, from the bottom to the top, just like the Church of St. Alexander in Lasnigo. It is a bucolic and serene image that is offered by the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, built in Rezzago in the 12th century on the foundations of an existing early Christian church.

Why it is special

The interior is a small frescoed treasure chest. The small space of the nave is as if filled with the bright, vivid colors of the frescoes that envelop the visitor. We also know the author of the works: Andrea de Passeri, who affixed his signature: on the right side of the chancel we read, "Iohannes Andreas De Passeris de Turno pinxit." So much beauty actually remained hidden, and in a sense protected, for centuries: over the centuries, to disinfect the environment after plague or cholera epidemics, two layers of lime had been spread on the walls, which were removed only in 1985 during careful restoration work.

Not to be missed

The large central Crucifixion is rich in characters: on the far left one recognizes Saint Damian, while Saint Cosmas appears on the opposite side. The four sails of the vault above the high altar depict the Evangelists, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Gregory the Great, and St. Augustine. The left fresco presents us with Pentecost: in a typical Jewish house Mary is gathered with the eleven Apostles, on their heads is depicted the Holy Spirit given the likeness of a dove sending forth his luminous rays.

A bit of history

The people of Rezzago were excommunicated in 1431. In 1437 the town assembly of Rezzago entrusted the temple of the two martyrs to Luca dei Zerbi of Milan. Later the provost became Biagio degli Ortalli, who took up the highly unusual request of the population to improve the decorum of the church. The choice of artist fell on Andrea de Passeri di Torno, one of the most representative painters of the Larian Triangle in the 15th century. The themes of the works were agreed upon by the Ortalli priest, and the compensation was sanctioned at 28 ducats, an expense that the community was willing to assume.


The bell towers of the Larian Triangle would not have communicated only through bells. Legend has it that, during the barbarian invasions, the bell tower of the church of SS. Cosma and Damiano was the starting point of light signals, transmitted to the other towers of Asso, S. Alessandro di Lasnigo, Orsenigo, Barni and S. Calogero di Caslino.

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Lago di Como GAL

The church is first mentioned in some writings dating back to the second half of the 13th century "In plebe axio loco rezago ecclesia sancti damiani." Monument, therefore, an ancient symbol of the municipality of Rezzago along with the chestnut forest.


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