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HISTORICAL NOTES

The Municipality of Gazzada Schianno administratively unites the two nuclei of Gazzada and Schianno. The municipal territory is located in an area between the high Lombard plain, dominated by extensive fluvioglacial deposits, and the morainic hilly strip, which acts as a connection to the pre-Alps. Within Gazzada, in a panoramic position, lies the Villa Cagnola, built by the Perabò family in the first half of the 18th century, and later modified in the following century by Senator Carlo Cagnola, who collected and preserved remarkable works of art. In Schianno stands the Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian, mentioned in documents in 1288, but probably dating back to before the year 1000 with a massive tower at the base of which is the entrance, featuring frescoes from the 15th-16th centuries.

 

The history of the town of Gazzada Schianno is strongly influenced by its duality. It was precisely from a kind of dialectic and comparison that, for example, the Chapel of the Assumption was built in Gazzada, established from 1488 also to balance the religious and moral "weight" of the older church of SS. Cosmas and Damian in Schianno. Similarly, it was the observation by Carlo Borromeo of the inadequacy of the old common parish church of San Martino (located halfway between the two inhabited areas) that convinced the great cardinal to divide the parish of Gazzada Schianno in 1567 into two separate parishes, providing each community with a church suitable for their needs. There are now four churches on the municipal territory that deserve particular attention.

 

In Gazzada, the church of Santa Croce boasts two valuable sixteenth-century frescoes by Francesco De Tatti depicting the crucifixion and the adoration of the Magi, while the chapel of Santa Maria Assunta boasts a cycle of fifteenth-century frescoes attributable to Galdino da Varese and his school. In Schianno, the church of San Giorgio houses a series of interesting frescoes by Isidoro Bianchi from Campione and a well-crafted fifteenth-century Madonna and Child. The ancient church of SS. Cosmas and Damian, firmly rooted in the heart of the old nucleus, still displays its artistic nobility both in the massive medieval tower, a unique example in Lombardy of a bell-gable (a bell tower that serves as a church entrance porch), and in a highly valuable series of fifteenth-century frescoes that embellish and illustrate its austere interior. Another point of pride for the municipality is the “View of Gazzada” by Bellotto, a work preserved at the Brera Art Gallery (Milan) that provides a clear image of the town in the 18th century.

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