Sesto Calende: abbey church of San Donato

This beautiful church, founded in the ninth century in a strategic position on the Ticino river, is the most important monument of Sesto Calende, few kilometers far from Arona and Angera (Lake Maggiore).

It was the abbey of a great and powerful Benedictine monastery that owned a great deal of land. Renovated in the late eleventh and thirteenth centuries, the church is rich in works of art and decorative older remains inserted in the walls both external and internal. Of particular value are the splendid carved capitals of the narthex, very well preserved, as well as the Medieval and Renaissance frescoes. Under the raised sanctuary, elegantly frescoed in the eighteenth century, lies the beautiful and extensive Romanesque crypt which still displays traces of ancient decorations.

A few hundred meters from San Donato, is another gem to visit: the Oratory of St. Vincenzo, also known as the Three Kings, a little church with a single nave of the Romanesque period.
The interior is rich in frescoes, especially from the sixteenth century.