The current church of S. Martino is the same that once carried the name of S. Felice. The name mutation occurred in time much later than its foundation.
To get news of this change, we must refer to the ancient parish church of San Martino di Dusino, which existed before 941. The parishes were the first true parishes, and they had almost all rights to this day. They were centers of plebs, that is of population, where religion was taught and also the civil sciences.
From the chief town of the Pieve di S. Martino di Dusino, other minor parishes were involved: namely that of S. Pietro, of S. Giovanni, of S. Andrea, of S. Secondo a Ferrere, of VaIfenera, of Villata, of Cellarengo, of the Palazzo Valgorrera, of S. Felice in Villanova, of S. Paolo, of S. Pietro di Solbrito. Also, worthy of mention is the prevailing of Corveglia, which belonged to the regular monks of St. Agostino.
In the second half of the 1500s, the parish church of S. Martino di Dusino, with the relative benefit, was transferred to Villanova and subjugated to the authority of the Arch priest.
The reasons that led to this transfer are not clear. Of course, since then, religious assistance became worse for Dusino, and the resulting Chaplain, under the title of S. Rocco, had to become a branch of another church; that is, the ancient parish, as a mother, had thus become the daughter of the Archpriesture of St. Martin in Villanova.
In 1585, Monsignor Angelo Peruzzi, bishop of Sarsina (1), as an apostolic visitor to Dusino, "no longer finds the arch priest church, but only the Chapel of S. Rocco, in which Mass is celebrated every holiday, by a priest sent and, expensed by the Arch priest of St. Martin of Villanova, which has the obligation, because his arch priest, once was in Dusino" (2).
The present church of S. Martino, is of considerable size, that is m. 38.50 x 18.25 in plan, excluding the chapels. The architecture is in Lombard Romanesque style, with beamed columns, and cross vaults whose raised edges intersect. Construction dates back to around 1100. Eight side chapels were built in later times. Facade was remodeled totally, even in terms of style.
The choir and the bell tower are from 1824. The interior of the church is enriched by numerous works of art. High altar, made of very fine marble and of soft workmanship, was executed by the milanese Carlo Pellagata in 1777. Worthy of honor, in the judgment of the artists, is another altar, of delicate wood carving, with many statues of perfect modeling and ornate , in pure baroque style. The beautiful statue of the Immaculate Conception, in baroque style, of splendid modeling, executed by Clementi, was donated by the bishop of Asti Faà di Bruno in 1840.
Of great value are the paintings of the Moncalvo, representing Christmas and the Immaculate, and that of the Madonna del Rosario. But above all we must remember a painting representing the Virgin with the Angels and Saints, rightly attributed to Macrino d'Alba.
The frescoes of the presbytery and choir, good for drawing, vivacity and harmony of colors and well-preserved, were painted by Peretti in 1825. The church is also furnished with precious ornaments and furnishings for invoice and material, carefully preserved, in excellent condition.
All the rest of the church, internally and externally, had a radical repair and decoration in recent times, first by Archpriest Monsignor Luigi Lanfranco, a prelate of His Holiness, died on November 4, 1941, then by the current Archpriest Rev. Don Bartolomeo Lanfranco, who gives an example of prompt zeal for the benefit of this population.
(1) Sarsina Ancient city of Umbria, in the province of Forlì.
(2) Sac. Alessandro Pescarmona - Dusino, historical memories on the ancient Pievania of S. Martino and the current Prevostura of S. Rocco.
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