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Cantù

Description

Cantù is a town in the province of Como, set in West Brianza, at the foot of the Pre-Alps; it is one of the most important economic centers in the area. The place name probably derives from "Canturium" (referring to the Canturigi population) or "Cantores" (choir). The first human settlements date back to the Insubri Gauls, later submitted by the Romans who realized here a "vicus". The town was mentioned for the first time in 1007, when the archbishop of Milan, Ariberto da Intimiano, consecrated the Basilica of Galliano. Cantù (called Canturino until the XV century) participated actively alongside Milan against Como, suffering a serious defeat in 1124. In 1324 it became a domination of Gaspare Grassi, who fortified the town, erecting towers; later it returned under the control of the Visconti and, in the XV century, of the Sforza.
Today Cantù is part of an industrial district specialized in the production of high-quality handmade furniture, whose origin date back to the early XIX century.
Attractions:
- Galliano monumental complex, an early-medieval architectural jewel and one of the most important monuments in Lombardy. The Basilica, dedicated to San Vincenzo, was consecrated in 1007 by Archbishop Ariberto da Intimiano. In 1584 the Chapter and provost were transferred to the Church of San Paolo, after San Carlo Borromeo made sure the conditions of semi-abandonment of the basilica. In 1830 don Carlo Annoni, Cantù Vicar Forane, described in detail the complex and all its frescoes. Restoration works started in the first years of the XX century. The frescoes of the crypt depicting the martyrdom of San Vincenzo, as well as that one representing the Madonna with Child and Saints, set above the entrance of the crypt, are really valuable. Next to the Basilica is the Baptistery of San Giovanni, where remains of frescoes and the eight-points stars decoration of the dome are still visible. Worth a visit the so called "sacrarium", carved into a single block of granite, one of the few examples of full immersion baptismal font.
- the Basilica of San Teodoro, dating back to the XI century, fine example of Lombard-Romanesque architecture, although it has undergone many alterations in the following centuries;
- the Basilica of San Paolo, dating back to the XI century, became provost church in 1584. The building was refurbished many times over the centuries, modifying its original structure. The bell tower, once a tower of Pietrasanta castle, is very interesting;
- the Church of Sant'Ambrogio (also called of the Transfiguration), was erected in 1570, thanks to the Alciati family. Square shaped, it is rich in frescoed and stuccoes; it was deconsecrated in the first years of the XIX century and used for public purposes;
- the XVII century Church of Santa Maria with its Benedictine monastery. In particular, the church, after a period of neglect, was re-consecrated in the XIX century; the monastery, indeed, was used for public purposes;
- the Sanctuary of Madonna dei Miracoli, dating back to the second half of the XVI century, built in the place where Our Lady appeared to a local peasant;
- Villa Calvi;
- Archinzi Door (1324);
- Art School for furniture, created in 1882, the first of its kind in Italy.

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