Complex of saints faustino and giovita
Complex of Saints Faustino and Giovita
One of the most interesting artistic treasures on the Lake Como island of Comacina is the Complex of Saints Faustino and Giovita. This ancient female Benedictine monastery is characterised by a double apse that Ugo Monneret de Villard, in 1914, justified in the association of the martyr Faustino with his brother Giovita.
The most well-preserved traces of the medieval church include the south wall, a portion of the north wall and the lower part of the apse. The hanging ceiling has a very regular structure, in large square block, crowned by hanging arches.
Inside, the changes have profoundly affected the structure's original appearance. The ceiling, which was covered with vaults, was lowered and replaced by a barrel vault. A trough, a sink and a stone bench were placed against the partially preserved walls. However, the two small apses, built side by side, can still be seen today.
The stylistic elements and the type of masonry suggest that the church's construction dates back after the 12th century. Although the island is said to have been destroyed and abandoned by its inhabitants in 1169, it is logical to assume that certain activities continued or resumed on the island after this date.
Archaeological excavations conducted in 2006 and 2009 by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Lombardy unearthed walls outside of the building that were most likely part of the island's fortification structures. Various tombs were also discovered inside the church. The absence of signs of traumatic destruction would support the theory that the church is dated after 1169.