The church

A historic monument of great value

The parish church of Melide is dedicated to the Saints Martyrs Quirico and Giulitta, mother and son who were killed in Cilicia (Roman province of Asia Minor) during Diocletian's persecution of Christian communities. Their commemoration falls on June 16th. The written sources bear witness to the existence of the Church only from 1578, but during the excavations carried out on the occasion of the restoration that took place between 1985 and 1994, artifacts emerged that would trace its origin back to the early Middle Ages, and more precisely between the sixth and seventh century.

The excavations have also shown that the building is the result of various construction phases, which lead to the current appearance in the seventeenth century. The church rises to the west of the nucleus and is composed of three naves. On the façade the marble columns that form the portal bear the coats of arms of the Marsilio and Domenico Fontana brothers, authors of the transformations that took place between 1591 and 1610 inside the church.

Very interesting is the marble and granite portal of Renaissance style, made by Marsilio Fontana, brother of the architect Domenico, a native of the place. The bell tower was rebuilt in the nineteenth century. Inside, the central nave has a barrel vault (19th century); the side ones are delimited by pairs of pillars and surmounted by domes; the vaults of the bays are decorated with stuccoes. In the apse, on the front wall, a fresco of the Assunta among the patron saints, from the 16th century. The painting of the Crucifixion in the south aisle is attributed to G. A. Petrini (XVIII century). In one of the chapels to the north a plaque from 1610 in memory of the architect Domenico Fontana.

In the years 1985-1994 the church was the subject of a restoration curated by the architect Sandro Cantoni, followed by an intervention by the artist Gianfredo Camesi who proposed a modern liturgical furniture and a very innovative Via crucis in wood and Plexiglas. On the façade the painting with the Martyrdom of Saints Quirico and Giulitta (Silvano Gilardi, 2000) was reproduced.



The parish church of Melide, part of the diocese of Lugano, is open every day and access to believers or the curious is free. Mass is celebrated by the parish priest Don Ernesto Ratti every Saturday from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and every Sunday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

Special celebrations are held on the occasion of Christian holidays and special events such as weddings, baptisms and funerals.