The Church of Sant’Antonio Abate is located in Lugano in Piazza Dante Alighieri.
It was built between 1633 and 1676 on the site of an ancient Medieval church with an annexed convent of the order of the Humiliati. It was certified from 1295 onwards and given to the Somaschi fathers in 1598. In 1608 the Fathers opened a school, which became famous in the 18th Century, and it was dissolved by the State in 1852 to be turned into a Canton high school. The building (ex-convent) was demolished in 1906 in order to open Via Magatti (1910). The current façade, that was originally left uncompleted, dates back to 1918-1919 and is by the Lugano architect Giuseppe Bordonzotti (1877-1932). Inside, you can admire some impressive altarpieces by Giuseppe Antonio Petrini from Carona, a protagonist of 18th Century painting in Lombardy, as well as paintings by Francesco Antonio Giorgioli from Meride, Carlo Pozzi from Puria in Valsolda and Francesco Maria Bianchi from Varese. The magnificent architectonic illusionistic decoration is by brothers Giacomo Antonio and Antonio Francesco Giovannini from Varese.
The wide stucco decoration in the building dates to 1652. It was carried out by Luca Corbellini and G.B. Bellotto, both from Lugano, and completed by Girolamo Rossi in 1683. In 1923 a plaque was placed on the façade of the sacristy in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, a pupil of the Somaschi school between 1796 and 1798.