Close to Villa Visconti Venosta, in a small square, there is the church of San Giorgio, an authentic jewel in the heart of Grosio. The building, enlarged at the end of the 15th century, but actually much older, is a true rarity: unlike most of the Valtellina churches, it retains its 15th-16th century appearance almost unchanged, without having undergone Baroque transformations in the following centuries.
The simple façade should not deceive: past the portal you can dive into a unique atmosphere, surrounded by works of art ranging from the 15th to the 17th century. At the back, looking up, we see the fascinating, countless figures painted by Andrea De Passeris, in the Last Judgment and in the scenes from the life of St. George.
The warrior Saint, traditionally depicted on horseback while he’s saving a princess from a dragon, is found in many other frescoes: theoldest example is on the altar, where the knight is portrayed against a mountain background. On the right, in the chapel of the BlessedVirgin, you can admire the precious wooden altarpiece with the Nativity and the Saints, and beautiful frescoes of the Madonna surrounded by musician angels. Another surprising work of carving is the baptismal font, which is located in the part once believed to be the primitive church of San Giorgio.
There are also works by the most famous Valtellina painter of the 16th century, Cipriano Valorsa from Grosio. Near the entrance you can find his fresco of the Deposition which, according to tradition, also includes a self-portraitlooking at the viewer.
In the garden near the church, the ancient cemetery, there is the chapel frescoed by Valorsa with figures of saints, under which there is an impressive charnel house dating back to the plague of the 16th century. From here you can also see, on the side of the church, a large votive fresco by Lombard painters of the 15th century.
When exiting the entrance hall on the southern side, don’t miss the coat of arms of the noble Venosta family together with two angels: this is all that remains of what was a vast decoration by the painter from Grosio.
OPENING TIME AND GUIDED TOURS
The church is open everyday from 7.30 to 19.00
(you have to open the lock).
July and August:
every Saturday at 10.30 am
Guided tours are free, reservation by telephone or e-mail is required: