A story by Ghita Beltrami
The Tremosine tour can be done by car until Pieve than go down the narrow ‘Forra’ road and back through the Gardesana main road to the Hotel. This short tour is a must if staying at the Hotel Riviera. Marco, at reception, explains me that on such a cloudy day but with a good visibility (the weather should improve in the afternoon) it is worth spending the morning doing this drive. Hence, you have to drive back to the crossroads and take the road left towards Tremosine. This is already the road that leads to Tremosine and is called via Einaudi in the beginning and becomes via Tamas afterwards. Tremosine itself as a town does not exist – it is more or less like an area made up of little villages. The first you meet is Bazzanega, than from Ustecchio move towards Voltino. It is worth a stop at the S. Lorenzo, an ancient little chapel that dates back to 1017. One can tell by standing on this hill that the place is special, in fact it was considered a site of cult in pre-Christian times and during the Romans. Here a tomb of stone was found written in two languages dated back to the I century AC. which can now be found in the Roman museum in Brescia. From Voltino, one reaches Vesio, and than moves down towards Pieve. It is worth a stop in Pieve. Park the car by the church and visit the San Giovanni church. Situated in a panoramic area within the historic centre of Pieve, in this church classical music concerts are organized as apparently there is a great acoustic. It is in fact in a classical music program organised by the Associazione Cultura in Musica Limes that I find out the history of this building. It is the first Christian chapel of Tremosine of the 8th-9th century, which in turn was erected on an ancient sacred site which had been dedicated to the god “Bergimo”, a Brescian divinity. Towards the year 1000 the church of Tremosine had become a parish church, in other words “an important centre with a rich revenue”. The old chapel became too small and a new religious building was erected, dedicated to St. Mary, in the romanesque style with an apse that faced the sun. The bell tower we see today is from that period. Around 1570 the old parish church was demolished and replaced by a new church and in 1633 it took St. John the Baptist as protector. It is a very rich building, with a main altar and six rich side altars with beautiful Murano chandeliers from 1956. For example : the altar-piece in the presbytery, which depicts St. John is from 1687 and was painted by Francesco Barbieri from Verona. The altar is inlaid with marble and was done by Domenico Corbarelli in 1702. The choire of the main altar, the balcony and the benches in the sacristy are the work of Giovanni Luchini, carried out between 1700 and 1729 in Tremosine where he had his workplace. Luchini is also responsible for the precious furniture in the sacristy of the Church of St. Benedict which was restored in 2013. The organ dates back to 1835 and was built by the Capuchin friar Damiano Damiani (1771-1842) who built a total of 127 organs, amongst which the ones in Limone, in Gargnano and in Sasso above Toscolano-Maderno. One can research further about all the many churches of Tremosine in a text by Don Gabriele Scalmana issued by the library in 2016.
Now the time has come to move to the terrace of the Hotel Paradiso and get a nice cappuccino with a pleasant view. I take the car, although it was suggested that one could walk there in just 15 minutes. But the sun was coming out and I feared the walk might be too hot. Also I was looking forward to drive back to the hotel and spend the rest of the day in the peaceful garden. Having arrived on the terrace, I was breathless, but instead of shivering my legs were trembling as the balcony of the terrace really stands out above the rocks and I could see underneath the marvellous road that I knew already from my previous tours. The view here is great. I made some notes in my diary. Fortunately there were no people around and I found the place really inspiring. After this ‘shivering’ experience I decided to drive from this point in Pieve down the Forra. I wanted to see the road by day and conclude the day’s tour.
A story by Ghita Beltrami