Parish church of St. Maria Nascente


Today's parish church in Torre di S. Maria, dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, rises on the ruins of a smaller, pre-existing, late mediaeval church, built in the early fifteenth century and consecrated in 1415. One wall remains of this ancient church and is now part of the current wall alongside the right-hand wall leading to the sacristy. Clearly visible are three very faded portraits of the faces of the Madonna and two Saints. A wall of the sacristy bears a fresco clearly depicting a bishop, a group of angels and a woman's face.

The church was almost completely rebuilt in 1620 and extended in 1919. It stands on a vast embankment with a beautiful square in front overlooking the valley. Opposite the façade is a little chapel with a fresco of the Deposition, painted in 1839 by Giacomo Brazzi, and a column topped by an iron cross, erected in 1765.

The church façade was rebuilt when the building was enlarged: the central niche holds a statue of the Madonna. Th cornice is divided by four pilasters. The upper part has a central window, surmounted by a cartouche and two side niches which hold the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The lower part has the portal in the centre with carved wood panels, dated 1683.

The spacious interior has two chapels on each side. The vaulted ceiling has three medallions by Giovanni Gavazzeni, depicting the Assumption, the Nativity and the Virgin Mary, whereas on the vault of the presbytery the same artist painted theAssumption of the Virgin, the Four Evangelists, theAnnunciation and the Holy Family.

On the left-hand wall hangs a canvas in an elegant Renaissance frame, depicting theAdoration of Baby Jesus by the Virgin Mary and the saints Gottardo, Giacomo, Filippo and Rocco, which can perhaps be ascribed to Andrea de Passeris (1530). The second chapel on the left has a richly decorated altarpiece in the shape of a portal with two columns: in the centre stands a statue of the Madonna. On each side of the entrance to the chapel there are two gilded and painted, wooden angels (18th century). We then find the carved wooden pulpit placed on top of a confessional (18th century).

Of note in the presbytery is the precious marble high altar, the marble ciborium with little columns and pillars and with a tiny statue of Christ. The carved wooden choir stalls stand against the side walls (17th century).

The second chapel on the right is decorated with stuccos and has a niche with a modern statue of Sant’Antonio. On the right-hand wall between oval cornices are three saints' heads, probably fragments of frescoes destroyed during the work to extend the church (16th century).

The sacristy houses carved wooden furniture (17th and 18th centuries) and numerous silver fittings. The paraments include a remarkable, embroidered, silk banner, purchased in Milan in 1796 by some of the village inhabitants.


  • Dario Benetti – Fabrizio Ceriani, Il Quattrocento dimenticato di Torre, in “Quaderni Valtellinesi”, No. 12 (1984)
  • Mario Gianasso (edited by), Guida turistica della provincia di Sondrio, 2nd edition, Sondrio 2000, pp. 200-201
  • Francesco Palazzi Trivelli, Un’ancona di Andrea de Passeris in Valmalenco, in “Bollettino della Società Storica Valtellinese”, No. 50 (1997), pp. 117-119