Vesio has always had a central role in the Christian community of the Tremosine sul Garda area, and over time the small chapel of San Bartolomeo has become a real centre for the religious community.
The history of the Church of Vesio
The parish church of Vesio was originally a small chapel, dedicated to San Bartolomeo.
Not much is known about the history of the chapel, and it is not easy to reconstruct its stages - it is only known that probably its construction dates back to the late 14th century.
These were the years of one of the worst plagues that Europe has ever seen: despite its isolation, the plague did not spare Tremosine sul Garda.
One of the most likely hypotheses about the history of the Vesio church is related to the plague. The chapel of San Bartolomeo was built near a lazzaretto (hospital for plague victims) to protect the nearby place where the sick were cared for.
The first official news about the church date back to 1566, the year of the visit of the bishop of Brescia, Bollani.
The bishop ordered the restoration of the chapel and the construction of a catechism school, in order to provide the inhabitants of one of the largest villages of the Tremosine sul Garda area with a place to pray.
After more than 150 years, around the end of the 17th century, the chapel of San Bartolomeo finally becomes a real church, with a baptismal font and the possibility to celebrate Holy Mass.
From here on, the parish church of Vesio became increasingly important, and its priest still remains one of the points of reference for the local community.
The interior of the church
Between the 16th and 18th century, the church was rather bare and simple. Vesio locals decided to decorate the interior after the visit of the bishop of Brescia.
The most beautiful painting is certainly the one depicting San Bartolomeo and San Rocco, placed on the high altar, and the Immaculate Conception altarpiece.
Both date back to the late 18th century, when the church was completely renovated by the parish priest Catturani from the nearby village of Tiarno di Sopra.
In 1768 the building, already decorated with three altars and numerous works of art, was completed with an exquisite organ by the Venetian Gaetano Callido, one of the best organists of the time.
The "Sante Quarantore" are a unique Vesio celebration - a set of wooden paintings with candles on the main altar is hoisted over the period of forty hours or one week, during the Easter period.