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Brugherio (Monza e Brianza, Italy): Church of San Lucio in Moncucco

Foto Church of San Lucio in Moncucco
Foto Church of San Lucio in Moncucco
Foto Church of San Lucio in Moncucco
Foto Church of San Lucio in Moncucco
Foto Church of San Lucio in Moncucco
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Church of San Lucio in MoncuccoThe Church of Lucio in Moncucco (also known as the Small Temple of San Lucio) as well as being of historical-artistic value in itself, is also special because of its history. In fact, it was not built where it is now (in Brugherio, next to Villa Andreani), but in Lugano.

Built in the sixteenth century in pure Renaissance style, perhaps based on a project by the Bramante school architect Tommaso Rodari, it was originally the chapel dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua annexed to the convent of St. Francis in Lugano.
When all religious orders were abolished in the Napoleonic era, the building was auctioned in 1812 by the Grand Council of the Canton of Ticino and was bought by Natale Albertolli, a wealthy businessman brother of the Milanese architect Giocondo Albertolli. The latter managed to save it from the demolition planned by his brother Natale, who wanted to obtain construction material. Giocondo achieved it thanks to the patronage of Gian Mario Andreani (1760-1830), brother of Paolo, the first balloon aviator in the Italian skies. Mario Andreani bought it, asking the architect Albertolli to "take it" near the Villa di Moncucco, to those times fraction of Brugherio.
One hundred and sixty carts transported the stones and the various sculpted pieces of the temple, carefully numbered, from the Convent of S. Francesco to the shore of the lake. The cargo traveled through the waterways passing through the lakes of Lugano, Lecco, the Adda and the Naviglio della Martesana until it reached the fluvial harbor of Mattalino (today in the municipality of Cologno) and Brugherio.
The reconstruction works lasted seventeen years: they began between 1815 and 1816 and continued until 1832.
The chapel, now separated from the monastery, aquired an original dimension in its own, thus becoming a "temple" and being dedicated to San Lucio, depicted in a seventeenth-century painting placed above the altar.
It should be noted that Gian Mario Andreani could not see the completed work, as he died in 1830.
The temple then followed the changes of ownership of the villa and the historical events connected to it. The last owners of the Villa Sormani and of the small temple, the Stanzani, in 1987 decided to sell the complex to the Municipality of Brugherio. After profound restorations, in 1994 the church was officially reopened.
It can currently be visited during special events such as, for example, Ville Aperte in Brianza.

The Church of San Lucio looks like a square-plan building with two orders, with the upper order high approx. half of the lower one. At the base there is a high basement. The two orders are separated by a thick frame, while the surfaces are marked by pilasters, smooth in the lower order striped in the upper one.
In the center of the roof there is a hemispherical dome placed over a drum in which there are eight round windows
The entrance can be reached via a staircase and is protected by a large tetrastyle pronaos in a purely neoclassical style, in accordance with the fact that it is a nineteenth-century addition. On the opposite side there is the sacristy.

The interior of the temple has remained the same as it was when the building was in Lugano. It is structured to correspond to a Greek cross inscribed in a square. The arms of the cross have barrel vaults and the dome is in the center. The four parts on the corners of the building instead have a lower, domed roof.
Two horizontal frames run along all the walls: one at the height of the attachment of the arches that delimit the covers of the arms of the cross and a lower one, at the height of the attachment of the arches that delimit the coverings of the parts placed on the corners. It should be noted that the arches are in turn highlighted by cornices, as well as the surfaces of all the pillars and the two edges, upper and lower, of the drum. In this way the entire internal structure is marked by the alternation between the white of the surfaces and the gray of the lines that delimit them. The only exception is the terracotta floor.
The branch of the cross opposite the entrance coincides with the presbytery and is delimited by a stone balustrade. The altar, of white stone, is decorated on the sides of the tabernacle with portraits of the four evangelists and surmounted by the aforementioned portrait of Pope St. Lucius.
Worthy of interest inside are in particular 48 stone medallions with both representations of sacred themes, such as episodes from the life of Christ and images of saints (Anthony, Lawrence, Bernardino, Francis), and ornamental and symbolic motifs, grotesques, fantastic representations of mythological animals. They were made between 1520 and 1542, as is engraved on two of them.
Finally, the bas-relief depicting Christ in piety placed on the top of the dome is also noteworthy.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value

Via S. Maurizio Al Lambro, 2, 20861 Brugherio MB
Further pictures of Church of San Lucio in Moncucco in the section Photography
Brugherio (Monza e Brianza, Italy): Interior of the Church of San Lucio in Moncucco
Brugherio (Monza e Brianza, Italy): Medallion depicting Saint Lawrence in the Church of San Lucio in Moncucco