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Church of Santa Tecla

Church of Santa Tecla

The Church of Santa Tecla is a Romanesque building of the XIII century located right on the shore of the lake, where the tall stone bell tower mirrors itself, equipped with single-arched windows and the double-arched window of the belfry.

The clear façade toward the lake has been made later and is characterized by a transitional style between the large gothic rose window and the Renaissance portal.

Inside there is the famous fresco called by inhabitants of Torno “Man of Sorrows” by local painter Bartolomeo De Benzi of 1502, which represents the Passion of Christ with tools (nails, hammers, sickles, saws) used in the agricultural civilization of Torno end of the fifteenth century.


The church has a gabled façade adorned at the top with small hanging arches; the portal, two single lancet windows and the rose window surmounted by a niche housing the statue of the titular saint open onto it. The portal is dated 1480 (the year is engraved on the arch); it is decorated with a fresco on the lunette, depicting Saint Thecla, and bas-reliefs on the architrave, with the Annunciation (on the sides) and the Pieta (in the centre).

The bell tower, which rises along the left side, reveals its Romanesque origin. On the same side, a niche with a round arch houses a terracotta bas-relief with a Madonna and Child enthroned.

The rear part of the building is characterized by two rectangular structures: one is decorated with a mullioned window and a bronze panel of recent workmanship with the Annunciation.


The interior of the building has a single nave, divided into four bays, along the walls of which open four side chapels. The vault of the hall and the vault of the presbytery are decorated with frescoes painted by Beghi in 1908; they represent, from the portal towards the presbytery, Musician angels, the Holy Family, the Glory of Saint Thecla and the Glory of the Eucharist.

The first chapel on the left, which acts as a baptistery, has two frescoes: on the opposite wall you can see the seventeenth-century Baptism of Jesus, while on the side one the Man of Sorrows, accompanied by the symbols of the Passion and two Angels, painted by Bartolomeo De Benzi, a native painter of Torno, in 1502. Above it is a contemporary relief of the Madonna on the Throne with Child.

Continuing along the left side of the church, there is a side entrance and, a little further on, another chapel that houses a group of wooden sculptures, Pieta and Dolenti, probably dating back to the beginning of the sixteenth century, on which you can see the original polychromy.

In the presbytery, with altar and lecterns in scagliola, is preserved a late sixteenth-century painting depicting the Glory of St. Thecla.

Returning to the nave is a chapel where there is a preserved Crucifixion with saints late seventeenth / eighteenth century.

Proceeding towards the counter-façade, you can see a side entrance that was opened in the wall originally decorated with frescoes, of which today only fragments remain: you can recognize St. Roch, the Announcing Angel is part of an Annunciation which, presumably, was attended by God the Father and the rest of a Madonna on the throne. These paintings were probably made during the decorative campaign in which De Benzi was active in the first left chapel and in what is now the attic.

Finally, in the first chapel on the right, a canvas depicts a Madonna in torno with Child and Saint John.

For several centuries, the church of Santa Tecla housed the first known work by the painter Andrea De Passeris of Torno: the Assumption of the Virgin, dated 1488, now kept in the deposits of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.


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