Basilica of San Giacomo, Bellagio
The Basilica of San Giacomo, built around the end of the 10th century to the beginning of the 12th century, is considered an excellent example of Roman - Lombard architecture.
The church has undergone many reconstructive periods, and while I found the main altar quite beautiful, it was still a very somber and dark interior which greeted my friends and I when we visited one cloudy afternoon in March, 2004. Hence, the poor quality of my photo.
It is known that in 1657 San Giacomo (St. James) became an autonomous parish, having become a separate parish which previously was part of St. John's, the mother church. It was the Sfondrati family, a name also found connected to the Villa Serbelloni, which gained the right of patronage over the new parish and who prompted the transformation of the building to coincide with the 16th century style. This was later decried as spoiling the church's former beauty and so it was returned to its original architecture. In 1904 it was declared a "national monument."
Inside you will find frescoes by Foppa, and sculptures, and several side chapels. Some claim the bell tower was actually built prior to the basilica and was once part of the village defense system; the church itself was built later and connected to the tower. I did notice that the church as set quite far back and near a wall surrounding the Villa Serbelloni, but I don't know if the wall was part of the village's defense system, or meant to be a defense of the Villa.
The Basilica of San Giacomo is said to be one of the best examples of the Lombard-Romanesque style of architecture in the region. It was built between 1075 and 1125. It was decreed a National monument in 1904.
The lower part of the bell tower is older than the rest of the church and is believed to have been part of the early medieval defence system of Bellagio, which was then incorporated into the church. The bell tower as it appears now dates from the 18th century.
Inside are an altarpiece dating from the late sixteenth century, a twelfth century cross and a triptych by Foppa (1432). If visiting the interior, ensure that you are modestly dressed, as is usual with Italian churches.
The building nearby currently occupied by the Bar Sport was once a monastery.
Next to the Piazza Bellagio sits a twelfth-century church of some interest - the Basilica of San Giacomo.
Built in the Lombardian Romanesque style, it does house some artworks of interest - particularly the early 10th century mosaics.
(It's especially difficult to good a good photo of this church, as its facade faces away from the piazza. The best pictures I have seen were taken from the nearby mountains.)
This grey stone church is situated in the historical centre of Bellagio, above the lake. It was constructed between 1075 and 1125 and it is a fine example of Roman-Lombard architecture. As many Italian churches it was open so I entered to see the interior. Inside there are several beautiful things to see.
There are services in the church on Sundays at 8am and 11.30am.