Castello di Rossino, being located close to the major centers of Lombardy, is a perfect starting point for exploring its treasures. Often identified strictly as a region of economic vocation, it possesses nonetheless an artistic heritage of exceptional value by hosting the largest number of World Heritages protected by UNESCO in Italy, including:
– Da Vinci’s Cenacolo: the most popular representation of the Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci’s and Italian Renaissance’s masterpiece, dated 1494-1498. It’s preserved in the former refectory of the Renaissance convent adjacent to the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan. In 2013 it was the twelfth most visited Italian corporate site, with over 400,000 visitors. To underline a curious coincidence: Leonardo da Vinci received in 1482–he had just arrived in Milan–a task by Ludovico il Moro to study a system that permitted to navigate from Lake Como to Milan. A solution to the problem is to be found in some of his drawings of the “Codex Atlanticus”, where you can recognize the stretch of rapids on the river Adda, near the sanctuary of Madonna della Rocchetta: during his long stay in Milan, this man of genius used to frequent these places regularly, and here he found inspiration for the background of “The Virgin of the Rocks”.
– Crespi d’Adda: hamlet of Capriate San Gervasio, near Bergamo, is home to a village worker, active in cotton textile arisen thanks to Cristoforo Benigno Crespi in 1875. Since 1995, “Crespi the workers’ settlement” has joined the list of UNESCO as one of the best preserved examples of industrial workers’ village that exist in the world.
– The rock carvings of Val Camonica: they are in the province of Brescia and constitute one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world, as well as the first World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. So far, more than 140,000 figures have been recognized, but new discoveries have gradually increased the overall number of incisions, up to more than two hundred thousand.
– Sacro Monte del Rosario: Varese’s Sacro Monte is part of the group of the nine Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy, included in 2003 in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It consists of fourteen chapels dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary, which in turn lead to the sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte, a place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. The latter serves as the fifteenth chapel, and it houses a neoclassical organ from 1831 by Luigi Maroni Biroldi.
– Sacro Monte della Beata Vergine del Soccorso: complex situated in Ossuccio, on the west shore of Lake Como, on a cliff 400 meters above sea level, facing Comacina island. The fourteen chapels that are part of the area, all built between 1635 and 1710, are in Baroque style and they lead to the shrine on the top, built in 1532, as a symbolic completion of the rosary. It is part of the group of the nine Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy, included in 2003 in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
– Brescia and Castelseprio: listed in the serial site “Lombards in Italy: the places of power”, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011. In Brescia one can find the preserved monastery of Santa Giulia with the Basilica of San Salvatore and the archaeological area of the Roman Forum, while in Castelseprio, in the Varese province, there’s the area of the castrum with the monastery of Torba, the church of Santa Maria Foris Portas with its frescoes and the ruins of the basilica of St. John the Evangelist.
– Mantua and Sabbioneta: the two cities, both united by the legacy of the Gonzaga family, who made them one of the main centers of the Italian and European Renaissance, have been included in 2008 in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.