In Ustecchio there’s a small church dedicated to Sant'Antonio Abate, surrounded by green fields rising towards the Tremosine sul Garda mountains, with a magnificent lake view.
The church facing the "rising sun"
The church of Ustecchio is probably the most recent in the whole area, first mentioned in documents in the late 1500s.
In 1566, the year of the visit of the Lombard bishop Bollani to Tremosine sul Garda, the religious building was already completed and ready to host worshippers for Holy Mass.
Like many other churches in the Tremosine sul Garda area, it is characterized by a sober simplicity, that can be seen in the gabled façade and the single nave interior.
This church, like that of Villa di Vesio, faces the east according to custom, and this required additional work - builders had to dig into the rock of the mountain supporting the church.
Until 1950, there was no door in the main façade, but only two side doors.
The interior of the church
The simple looks of the church must not make one think that the church is of secondary importance - mass was already being held in the late 16th century.
The church of Ustecchio had in fact several possessions that guaranteed a stable income, and the consequent possibility of having a resident priest.
The interior was rich enough and the community was in possession of religious ornaments. The 1822 census counted several ornaments, but many were lost in time due to theft and neglect.
The church is dedicated to Sant’Antonio Abate. The saint was probably born in Egypt, and he led a hermit life in the desert, between solitude and meditation.
It is said that he is the protector of animals and fields - the people of Tremosine sul Garda became particularly faithful to the saint after a severe drought in 1600. On this occasion, worshippers flocked to the church of Ustecchio, to ask for the grace of the patron saint of stables and crops.