The church is dedicated to the birth of St John the Baptist. The ancient church building was probably a fifteenth-century hut and had a single nave. During the plague of 1530, the Community of Portese made a vow to build a new altar, once the plague ceased, to implore the Lord that the disease would never come back again. In the sixteenth century the church was radically transformed. The restoration work and conversion began on 24 July 1885 and ended on 23 November 1889. On the night between 22 and 23 May 1998, the Church of St John was severely damaged by a strong fire. However, the people and the parish priest did not sit back on their laurels. Soon after, a group of volunteers went to work to clean, renovate and rebuild the church with unwavering and exemplary commitment. The church was inaugurated again by the Bishop on 8 May 1999.