The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (St. Mary of Graces) rises near the ancient area of the castle of Gravedona ed Uniti, on the first slopes of the mountains that delimit the Liro valley. This is where the small oratory of the ancient manor of St. Salvatore, near the village of Pessina, was demolished in 1467 in order to build the church and adjoining convent, according to the rule code of the hermit friars of St. Agostino.
Galeazzo Maria Sforza, duke of Milan, contributed firsthand to the enlargement and embellishment of the church. To the dedication of the church to Saint Mary was added one of St. Nicholas of Tolentino (celebrated every year on September the 10th) as evidenced by the cartouche overhanging the entrance portal in which we can read that the church was endowed with indulgences by Pope Sixtus IV in 1472, consecrated in 1532 and repaired in 1742.
Terracotta dentil band runs along the entire perimeter of the church and, together with the marble portals of Musso, interrupts the simplicity of the plastered walls. The two portals have Renaissance decorations and are surmounted by lunettes with frescoes dating back to the XIV century.
The nave of the church is divided by "transverse arches" and is completely decorated with frescoes (late XV - early XVI century), magnificent examples of the Lombard School of the Renaissance.
There are three apses; the central one is embroidered with rib vaults. In the floor we can see the gravestones of some of the finest families in Gravedona who owned chapels and commissioned frescoes. Most of the frescoes were painted between 1496 and 1520, but they were not signed by the artists who made them (they were some of the most important painters active in the Lario area and in Valtellina, including the De Donati brothers).
Closed for renovation