As you travel along the SS42 main road through Spinone, there is an obligatory stop you should make: we are not talking about for petrol or for coffee with a lake view, but to see the ancient Romanesque church one comes across close to the road. It is situated just slightly outside the main nucleus of the village and is a national monument curated by the Belle Arti, which is absolutely not to be missed.
Whereas a “dreamy little lake in a green hollow” was the vision of Lake Endine described in a note written by Countess Winifred Terni de Gregorj Taylor, the austere Romanesque fascination of this little village church was characterised by her as “harsh in name, but agreeable in aspect”. The Countess was deeply attached to the Val Cavallina, spending long periods of time here and it was she that saved the nearby castle of Monasterolo from falling into rack and ruin in the last century, returning it once again to its ancient splendour.
On the inside of the church of San Pietro in Vincoli there are numerous frescoes, many of which call to mind the style of Lorenzo Lotto. There are clear references to the Suardi Oratory, the little chapel decorated with frescoes by the Venetian painter and available to visit at Villa Suardi in Trescore Balneario.
There are a Madonna and Child, 16th century-type paintings and a much older fresco dated to 1479, all of which combine to make the church a little jewel of sacred art. Since its restoration, the church has become popular among young engaged couples choosing it as a location for their special day.
Looking at the church from the outside, one notes also the campanile (bell tower) erected in the 1500’s, with its very singular, cone-shaped roof.