Where she was born, where she lived
where she found her faith

where she worked
on the behalf of others, 
where her martyrdom took place …

The places of her birth, childhood and adolescence. Sister Maria Laura grew up predominantly at Villatico, a district of Colico in the province of Lecco, on the approaches to Valchiavenna and on Lake Como.

Her birthplace no longer exists but you can visit the church of San Bernardino with its baptismal font where she was baptised and where one day during confession she understood that her purpose in life was to “do something beautiful for others”.

Casa natale di Suor Maria Laura Mainetti
Villatico ai tempi di Suor Maria Laura Mainetti
La Chiesa di San Bernardino ai tempi di Suor Maria Laura Mainetti
Chiesa di San Bernardino - Villatico
Chiesa di San Bernardino a Villatico oggi
Altare maggiore Chiesa di San Bernardino a Villatico
Fonte Battesimale nella Chiesa di Villatico
La Chiesa di San Bernardino oggi e il fonte battesimale
Scuola Apostolica Santa Teresa Colico
Scuola Apostolica Santa Teresa Colico oggi

Sister Maria Laura Mainetti, speaking of herself, declared that despite having been born in Colico, she felt like a “tartanöla”, that is from Tartano, a village in the Orobic mountains of the Lower Valtellina where her parents were born and lived for some years after marriage before moving to Colico.

In 1939 after the death of mum Marcellina due to a post-partum infection, the tiny Teresina just a few days old, the latest of ten children, moved to Tartano to be with her maternal grandmother where she remained for a period during the Second World War. On the 21st August 2006 a commemorative stone was placed in the Tartano cemetery in her memory by the Bishop of Como Alessandro Maggiolini.

Suor Maria Laura a Tartano
In a barn amongst the last houses of the Arale district sits a large stone on which is carved the greeting that uncle Camillo Gusmeroli had wished to leave to the parents of Sister Maria Laura when they came down from Tartano: “G+Camillo fu Amedeo saluta M.S. 1931 – IX” (Gusmeroli Camillo, son of the late Amedeo remembers Mainetti Stefano 1931 - IX Fascist year).

Sister Maria Laura then lived and worked amongst “her” young people, and above all in Chiavenna from 1964 until her untimely death.

Suor Maria Laura Mainetti con una classe di ragazze negli anni '80


The building in the historic centre of Chiavenna, today housing the HQ of the Comunità Montana della Valchiavenna, hosts the original room of Sister Maria Laura intact, and just as she left it on the evening of the martyrdom on the 6th June 2000. The sisters of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross have for years now been accompanying groups of youngsters on trips and summer schools, who come to Chiavenna to appreciate Sister Maria Laura and see where she worked.

Ex Istituto Immacolata Chiavenna oggi
Stanza di Suor Maria Laura nell'ex Istituto Immacolata a Chiavenna


Along the way which is today much appreciated as a pedestrian and cycle path of Valchiavenna, but at the time little frequented and one that simply led to the “Natural Park of the Marmitte dei Giganti”, a cross has been set up with the symbolic phrase to her martyrdom “If the grain of wheat which has fallen to the ground dies, it bears a lot of fruit”, and it has always been the destination for relentless pilgrimages.

Luogo del martirio di Suor Maria Laura oggi meta di pellegrinaggio


Buried initially in the municipal cemetery of Chiavenna, in 2019 the body was transferred to within the church of San Lorenzo at a side altar where many of the faithful leave their intentions and pray in an intimate relationship of faith.

Collegiata di San Lorenzo a Chiavenna
Altare principale di San Lorenzo a Chiavenna
Altare chiesa di San Lorenzo


The church situated close to the Istituto Immacolata where Sister Maria Laura used to go daily to pray at Holy Mass

Chiesa di Santa Maria a Chiavenna
Chiesa di Santa Maria a Chiavenna