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Massino Visconti

Description

On the origins of the town's name there are several theories: some historians attest that it comes from the Latin "mansus" (farm), others from "Jupiter Maximus," for the outstanding presence of inhabitants that characterized the center compared to rest of the neighboring towns. The second part of the name derives from the name of the most important feudal family of the history of Massino.
It is a municipality in the province of Novara, situated on a hill overlooking Lake Maggiore and surrounded by mountains. Originally devoted mainly to agriculture in the XIX and XX century, the local economy has seen an enormous increase in tourism, due mainly to its location between woods and beautiful meadows, slopes and trekking paths that cross the slopes of Mount San Salvatore.
After colonization by the Romans, the area was conquered by the Lombards. The first documented evidence of the settlements existence dates back to year 865. It is certain that Massino became domain of Ludwig II and in the XII century it was ceded to the Visconti, who kept the control over the fief until the XVIII century. In the late XIX century Albert Visconti ceded the castle of Massino, which became a possession of a branch of the family of St. Vitus.

Not to miss:

- the XI century Church of San Michele, located in the town center and features a Romanesque square Tower with single and a double lancet windows, which leans slightly to one side due to a landslide that weakened the foundations. The church was rebuilt in the XVII century and inside preserves frescoes of the XV century by the artist De Campo;
- the X century church of Our Saviour, which is situated in a panoramic position, in a beautiful forest. It presents an irregular structure, that originally featured a single nave plan with an apse decorated with frescoes, in 1699 a second nave and the vestry were added. The Bell tower is of later date, built in the XVII century. The forecourt of the church features two chapels, in one of which there is a fresco dating from the XV century and going down a staircase visitors will find the holy Chapel of Santa Margherita of the XIII century and the Chapel entitled to San Quirico of the XII century;
- the Parish of Our Lady of Purification. The present building dates from the XVIII century, but its existence was already attested in the year 882. It features three naves with side chapels including the Chapel of St. Agnes, characterized by frescoes of the XVI century, the new Chapel of St. Agnes with an altar and statue of the XVII century, a Chapel with a baptismal font and a wooden altar of the XVII century and the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary with its wooden altar. Inside are preserved a marble altar in Baroque style, a wooden statue of the Madonna of the late XIX century and an organ of the second half of the XIX century;
- the Church of Our Lady of Loreto, which is decorated inside with XVI century frescoes of the artist Cagnoli;
- the Castle, built in the XII century by Guido Visconti. The present building is the result of several refurbishments completed in the XVI century.

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