The church is at the centre of a plateau surrounded by a series of houses located at a lower level compared to the parish church of Solto Collina. The building is mentioned in the pastoral visit of Charles Borromeo in 1575, which refers to an inheritance of “300 pounds” for the construction of the oratory; two altars dedicated to St. Roch and St. Anthony are in fact listed. The elimination of the altar of St. Anthony and closure of the oratory with a wall were ordered in the decrees following the visit; most likely, this was open on one side as also documented in other religious buildings of that time.
The current façade is divided by four pillar strips on which lies a horizontal band with an oeil-de-boeuf, topped by the gable. The niches house two modest plaster statues of St. Roch and St. Anthony the Abbot. The design of the bell tower located on the right side is rather sober.
The single nave, fairly long compared to the width, and the raised quadrangular sanctuary, are covered by a barrel vault lying on a ledge.
The lunette on the left side of the sanctuary preserves the 16th Century fresco depicting the Piety and St. Roch and St. Anthony the Abbot; the image bears witness to the most ancient phase of the building, and perhaps it was preserved as object of devotion.
The beautiful painting with the Assumption of the Virgin and St. Anthony the Abbot and St. Roch, dating back to the 17th Century, is located inside the neo-classic frame of the single altar. The painting is particularly interesting for the plasticity of the angels in flight sustaining the Virgin Mary with an adolescent face, suspended in the air. The dry decorations of the walls depicting faux medallions with angels and garlands are however more modest works; the Dove of the Holy Spirit is depicted at the centre of the sanctuary vault, in the plaster frame. The nave vault depicts St. Roch while ascending to the sky on a cloud, surrounded by angels; the lower portion features an ill person comforted by a female figure. The work dates back to the late 19th Century and is somehow similar to the techniques adopted by Giuliano Volpi from Lovere. A bas-relief is located on the right wall depicting the Madonna and Child, a 19th Century version of a Renaissance model, painted over a few times. The nave niches house the heavily painted statues of St. Roch and St. Anthony the Abbot.
For more information:
BELLINI B., La collina di Solto, Cisano Bergamasco (Bg) 1961, pp. 101, 133, 135.
Cover photo credits: Linoolmostudio