We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
While feasting on late after-dinner hazelnut gelati a little over a week ago in the relatively non-touristy lakefront village of Baveno, just up from the small piazza on the main drag, we were drawn to the sounds of a church choir, and sat on the stoop of the side door of the sanctuary for a half hour listening to them practice as darkness fell.
Nothing can make a 20-person choir sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir the way a small stone 900 year-old church can. Excellent group, too, with an exuberant organist.
Saint Gervaso is the patron saint of Baveno. Like many old buldings in Italy, the church was built of stone previously used in Roman buildings, some still bearing Roman markings and lettering. Recycling. We noted that they never took stones from the Roman bridges or aqueducts, though. Smart - and a conservative message.
This is no famous church, just an ordinary village church. Clearly pre-Gothic. The church and tower were built in around 1100 (but the front of the sanctuary was expanded a bit since then), the Baptistery in 1628, and the open hall of the Stations of the Cross probably in the 1700s, when Baveno became wealthy from its quarries of pink marble (which are still in use).
Palm trees right up there near the Swiss border.
More photos of this small, unknown parish church below -