The bell tower of the church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Ossuccio
24 Oct

The bell tower of the church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Ossuccio

Ossuccio is located inside the municipality of Tremezzina, on Como Lake; it is a rich and varied territory, marked by multiple testimonies of history, art and religion. Among its many places of interest, in addition to the Sacro Monte, which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2003, there is the unique bell tower of the church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Ospedaletto; it is famous for its Gothic-Moorish spire, which was built on top of the existing Romanesque stone belfry. The old bell tower originally ended above the current mullioned window.

The bell tower of Ossuccio, considered as a symbol of the lake due to its peculiarities, is located on the north side of the church. It has a square plan and it is built in masonry, made ​​of Moltrasio stone blocks. The belfry protrudes from the structure and it is decorated with hanging arches and round bas-reliefs, probably made in terracotta and other materials. The construction of the tower dates back to the twelfth century, while the cell was added between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The bell tower had to undergo a thorough restoration in 2006, to repair the damage caused by a powerful summer tornado that struck a couple of years earlier.

Inside the church of Santa Maria Maddalena there are portions of paintings, some of which are unfortunately very damaged. Among the others, stands the fresco in the apse, depicting the constellations; another one portrays some members of the Giovio family offering themselves to the Virgin surrounded by Saints, and it dates back to the sixteenth century. The altar depicting St. Mary Magdalene penitent and the Giovio’s family crest are both in scagliola, a composite substance typically used by the local master artisans.

To get to Ossuccio by car, you shall take the A9 Milano-Laghi highway, exit at Como Nord and take the 340 state highway, towards Menaggio. The village is located about 20 km northeast of Como, more or less close to the famous Villa del Balbianello. Ossuccio is also accessible from Como by bus and boat.