San Provino Church

The little Church is between the buildings of Via Rodari and Piazza Roma. San Provino Church was the ancient parish in the XII century until the end of 1787, when it was added to the Cathedral. Today San Provino Church hosts the orthodox Romanian Parish, St Gregory Palamas.

History

San Provino is one of the ancient Church in Como. It was built maybe in the Lombard period.  According to tradition this Church was dedicated to St Anthony the Abbot, and changed the dedication in 1096, when it hosted Provino’s relics, second Como Bishop. Between XI and XII century the Church was built again according to the Romanesque style. There was just only one apse hall with a bell tower close to the front.

Between XIV and XV century the Church was inserted within the city walls of “Cittadella Viscontea” the fort built by Visconti Family to control Como. Between XV century and XVI century San Provino Church changed thanks to many works. It was built the Gothic little chapels on the norther side, it was painted the choir, the nave was covered by barrel vaults. In the seventeenth century, the belfry was raised.

The Como nobleman Alessandro Volta, famous inventor of the battery, the 22nd September 1794 got married with Teresa Peregrini

Exterior

Today it’s possible to see only the façade, the feature of San Provino was done after the last repair in 1972, when it was discovered the Roman remains and it was increased the value of bell tower.

Interior

The hall is developed in four spans, during the second half of 15th century a narrow nave was realized with some chapels. On the southern wall it is possible to see a seventeenth-century altar of “Beata Vergine del Carmine” (the Holy Virgin Mary of Carmine) with the Holy Mary wooden statue, original by the destroyed Church of St Nazarius.
Presbytery hasn’t no more the Romanesque feature and it has nothing about the seventeenth-century decoration. At centre the neocalssical high altar from the seventeenth century. Till 1933 the presbytery hosted the relics of Bishop Provino, today hosted in Sanctuary of “Crocifisso” in Como. The altarpiece depicting San Provino in Gloria (XVII century) and it was ascribed to the Como painter Pietro Martire Buzzi.
The chapels on the northern side have changed over the years. The first one was dedicated to St Martha. Between XVII century and XVIII century was closed and became the sacristy. It was opened again only during the 1972 repairs.
The second one was dedicated to St Rocco, thanks to the sixteenth century wooden statue placed in the chapel. Following the Gardian Angel chapel. It’s possible to see here a remarkable altarpiece with Gardian Angel of seventeenth century.
The last one (the fourth one) was dedicated to the Saints Rocco and Martino. It has a new feature and a new dedication in 1789, when it was placed a venerated Crucifix of fifteenth century came from the Santo Stefano Church.