Wonder  }  Location

San Gaudenzio in Baceno

The queen of the village and the peaks

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Where is


Via Guglielmo Marconi, 51, 28861 Baceno VB, Italia (645m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

A gabled facade, in the Lombard Romanesque style, with a rose window in the center, without stained glass. To its right, a gigantic St. Christopher is the only note of color on the gray stones, along with the pediment with lunette of the front door. The image presented to our eyes is that of a solid, imposing church that stands out among the surrounding mountains, claiming its role as a landmark for the valley for more than a thousand years.

Why it is special

In a hamlet that was a meeting place for shepherds, salt smugglers and merchants, a church so large that it has been called monumental, it stands as a standard-bearer of the commitment to the cultural enrichment of the place. A testimony that continues even once you pass through the gateway, where the green of the woods and the white of the snow-capped mountains are replaced by the vivid and brilliant colors of a whirlwind of sacred representations.

Not to be missed

Inside, the feeling is of being enveloped in color. Valuable frescoes appear, such as Antonio Zanetti's 1542 Crucifixion on the right wall of the chancel, or the Rosary Chapel, a masterpiece whose paintings date from the late 15th century, and which is then enriched by a cycle of frescoes, painted in 1515 by the Cagnola brothers, dedicated to the life of the Virgin. Also appearing on one column is an "Ecce homo" dated 1509 and complemented along the length of the column by a prayer in Gothic characters.

A bit of history

The first certain document in the history of Baceno dates back to 1039, when the bishop of Novara granted the canons of the Novara church the then chapel of St. Gaudentius; at that time it was only a small church (it coincided with the present presbytery). The church then underwent an enlargement first in the 13th century and then in the 16th century.


When the Lutheran Reformation broke out in the countries beyond the Alps, Baceno also felt this influence and the fires of the Novara Inquisition tribunal soon flared. Between 1570 and 1610 a dozen women burned accused of witchcraft and others were taken to the Novara prisons.

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Recommended by
Maura Mattachini

Set on a promontory, it is a truly majestic church.


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