LOCATION: SAN GIACOMO
According to a local saying, the Church of Saint James in Calino is one of the Lake Garda’s oldest.
The small building, constructed in the twelfth century, is flanked by an external portico designed to give hospitality to wayfarers and pilgrims who, arriving there overland from the town of Gargnano, would have been set to either take the waterway from the nearby pier or would have been returning from their journey.
The external portico still displays important traces of images dating back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The one that stands out shows Saint Christopher and dates back to the mid-thirteenth century. According to medieval belief, travelers viewing the image of the saint would have been protected from violent death on the day in which they beheld its beauty.
In the fourteenth century the portico was enlarged northwards and was given an external altar, decorated with a fresco depicting the Crucifixion. Considerable changes were made to the oratory after 1580 when, in compliance with the decrees of the Counter-Reformation, the external altar was removed, the portico was half closed in order to create space for the current sacristy and the apsidal area was broadened and decorated with stucco.
In the past the ancient oratory was taken care of by a hermit; one’s eighteenth century tomb is visible in the center of the nave.