Territory » Manerba del Garda » Point of interest » San Sivino Church


Churches at Manerba del Garda

Located on the San Sivino promontory, a rocky spur near the shore of the lake, the church has a single nave and a rustic facade. The interior is divided into bays by round-headed arches that support the exposed beams of the roof. Imbedded in the external wall facing south is the stone of the Devil's Pact , which is linked to a curious legend. A miller arrived in Manerba around 1200. Work was steady and business was booming because he was also grinding grain for half the population of Moniga. One day, the water powering the mill suddenly stopped without warning. After his prayers to San Sivino went unanswered, the miller decided to ask the devil for help. Satan, who appeared to the miller first as a monk and later as a noble knight, promised to help in exchange for the miller's soul at his death. Thus, the miller sold his soul in exchange for success and prosperity. The contract was signed: the miller pressed his hand against a stone, and the devil left his footprint. The water returned and business picked up. Things went so well that the miller decided to add another grist mill. As he grew older, however, the miller started to fear for his soul. He confessed to a priest and, after promising to leave his mill and money to the Church, was absolved. This so enraged the devil that he devastated the miller's house. Realizing he had been tricked, the devil left, but not before he turned all the miller's money into straw. Thus, a Cross was engraved on the stone of the Devil's Pact and can still be seen today, along with the imprint of the miller's hand and of the devil's foot.

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