Upper western Lario is an area rich in historical and artistic evidences belonging to the cultural heritage of the local people: without a doubt, two of the most precious architectural treasures inherited from the past are the Romanesque-style S.
Fedelino small temple and the Fort of Fuentes.
S. Fedelino small church is situated near the final stretch of the ancient Strada Regina that, already in the Roman Age, connected Milan with the regions beyond the Alps, across Spluga, Settimo, and Maloja Passes. The building dates back to the 10th century and its history is deeply linked to the martyrdom of St Fidelis, whose relics were miraculously found in 964 and moved afterwards to Como. At the times of the persecutions perpetrated against the Christians by the Emperors Maximian and Diocletian, Fidelis was a Roman soldier who had been converted to Christianity: he refused to make a sacrifice before an expedition, and for this reason he was imprisoned with six fellows.
He escaped and concealed himself in the northernmost area of Como Lake (at that time, one thing with Mezzola small lake), but he was seized by one of his persecutors and beheaded. The place of the martyrdom became the foundations of the religious building.
After several vicissitudes during which the small temple was used as a fort by the Spanish between 1624 and 1627, as a shelter for the cattle, and as a storeroom-kitchen by the stonecutters who used to extract granite in the surroundings, the need to safeguard this architectural treasure was recognized and the restoration works finally began. From the early 20th century, a series of recovery measures was carried out thanks to the contributions of several benefactors. Afterwards, the building was given to Novate Mezzola Parish, its current owner. Between 1992 and 1993, the surrounding area was interested by recovery measures too and today, S. Fedelino church can be admired in all its beauty and in harmony with the surrounding natural landscape.
The Fort of Fuentes had completely different origins and function. It was built at the height of the Spanish rule in the area of Milan (1535-1706), in an area considered "the key of Italy, the gateway to the peninsula, drill ground, the heart, center, and rampart of monarchy", that is of the state of Milan.
The works began on 25th October 1603 by order of the Spanish governor of the state of Milan Pedro Enriquez de Acevedo Earl of Fuentes, to defend the northern border of the Dukedom from the French and the Grisons, ruling at that time in Valtellina and Valchiavenna. The building was torn down in the late 18th century by the Napoleonic troops: according to some documents, the Spanish soldiers of the fort died more because of malaria rather than because of the battles.