The church of San Nicola in Assenza was built around the 11th-12th centuries as an expression of worship for the holy bishop of Mira, invoked against the perils of the waters, and is already documented among the chapels of the parish church of Malcesine in a deed dated 1159 by of Pope Adrian IV. The appearance of that church must have been very different from the current one and, although we now have only a few traces of it, we can imagine it similar to many other Romanesque chapels scattered throughout the lake area with a gabled façade, a single nave and a semicircular apse. Then it had to be lengthened in an easterly direction and again in the course of the 15th century in a westerly direction and enlarged on the south side in line with the protrusion of the bell tower.
The facade was then restructured in the modern age with a neo-Gothic style window and door. The interior, marked by two fifteenth-century Gothic arches, is a single nave which narrows, at the height of the bell tower, into a rectangular choir. Here is the high altar and the beautiful sixteenth-century altarpiece depicting the Virgin and Child with Saints Nicholas and Anthony the Abbot; a second altar, built in the eighteenth century in honor of Saint Francis, is set against the southern wall and preserves an altarpiece with the representation of Saint Francis in the act of receiving the stigmata. Along the north wall a small side entrance, from the Romanesque era, led to the small adjoining cemetery.
The roof of the nave is open trussed, the choir is covered by a double cross vault with Gothic ribs. Finally, the internal walls preserve frescoed panels painted respectively around the end of the thirteenth century (a fragment of the Last Supper on the northern wall) and in 1322, as can be read from the figure of San Michele at the beginning of the northern wall, above. The fourteenth-century panels depict on the north wall from west to east: The flight of the Virgin of Mercy and a hem of her cloak; Saints Michael and John the Evangelist; St. Martin and the beggar; Saints Stefano, San Zeno and Bartolomeo; San Zeno; Sant’Anna, The Virgin and Giacomo Maggiore