The town rises on the slopes of Mount Olino in front of the Grigna and occupies a very large territory. A charming holiday village and destination for trekking and mountain biking enthusiasts, but also for those who want peace and tranquility.
To brighten up the hot summer days there are the various patronal feasts and the feasts of the Alpini of Primaluna and Cortabbio. Lately the folklore of the town has been enriched by a group of young people – Flag-wavers and Tamburini of the Tower of Primaluna -, which is being honored with commitment and passion, not only in the various events of the country, but also in travel.
Primaluna (Premalüna in insubre) is considered the village of origin of the noble family of the Della Torre Signori of Milan even if in reality the family was Milanese but had been fief of the Archdiocese of Milan of the county of Valsassina with the fortified village of Primaluna as capital. Since 2006 Primaluna, together with Introbio, Taceno, Cortenova and Parlasco form the Community of the Madonna della Neve. It is part of the Mountain Community of Valsassina.
It has very ancient origins, just think that the first human settlements occurred when the valley was still occupied by water. Later there were the Celts Insubri who mixed with the previous Rhaetian substratum. The Etruscans and then the Romans also arrived, to whom the Germanic populations of the Lombards first and then of the Franks followed. Around the 5th century AD Christianity arrived in the valley, and the oldest finding concerning this period is a funerary plaque which names a certain Flora dead on April 25, 495. Precisely for this reason it is thought that the name of the town may derive from “Primum Lumen” that is, first light of Christianity. This assumption is opposed to two other possible etymological interpretations, in fact, one might think that the name derives from the fact that the country is the first land placed in front of the arc of the moon formed by the Grigne or, historical interpretation, the name was given in honor of Martino della Torre known as the Giant, who was killed by Muslim enemies during the siege of Damascus. Around the 11th century it was given in fiefdom by the Milanese archdiocese to the Della Torre, following the events of the rest of Valsassina and Lecchese.
Primaluna, surrounded by walls with seven gates and a castle that dominated it, was the residence of the Torriani whose coat of arms is found carved on many portals of the historic center.
Interesting to visit:
To the north-east of the town and a short distance away, above a summit dominating the Val Molinara, is the ruins of a square tower, surrounded by three orders of walls, already destroyed in the sixteenth century. Difficult to date, one can think it is a fortification of the century. XI-XIII, certain eponymous of the family of the gentlemen of Milan. Destroyed during the factions of the early fourteenth century it was abandoned and used as a source of stone material until recently.
The Tower, recently purchased by the Municipality of Primaluna, is being restored and a study is underway for its enhancement and for its possible reuse.
The parish church, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, flanked by an ancient Romanesque bell tower ending with a Baroque lantern, was enlarged in 1892 and remodeled several times. Inside you can admire, in addition to the five altars and the numerous paintings of the 500 and 600, also three paintings of the school of Titian, purchased in Venice in 1607. A canvas, the most beautiful, represents the martyrdom of St. Peter while the two others depict St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome. Another important painting is the Pala dell’Assunta, located in the hamlet of Barcone, which was commissioned by Tommaso Cattaneo Torriani in 1646. Among the sacred furnishings we remember the Croce dei Torriani, a typical example of fine goldsmith art.
To keep alive the memory of its ancestors, the municipality, a few years ago, established a museum entirely occupied by objects of various types, from those used daily to those that testify to the path of industrialization of the various types of craftsmanship, especially in iron working.
This sanctuary was once nothing else but a tiny chapel that, in 1620, was restored and enlarged. It has a facade embellished in 1870 with paintings by Tagliaferro and an interior enhanced with frescoes and stuccos made in the ‘400 and by four recently restored paintings by Aloysius Realis Florentius, an artist who disseminated the valley with valuable works. The carved portal of 1647 is characteristic.