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Vernazza, an Unesco village

Wednesday 25 july 2018

Colorful houses around the main square, the rocky amphitheater that encloses the marina, the two Saracen fortresses and an unusual church

Vernazza, an Unesco village

In Liguria, the Unesco lights the spotlight on the Cinque Terre, the extreme eastern offshoot of the region. Among the villages rich in history and saltiness, here is Vernazza, whose typical colored houses set around the main square date back to the rocky amphitheater that encloses the marina already known in Roman times. The scenery is completed by two Saracen fortresses and by an unusual church, that of Margherita d'Antiochia: stands on a rock overlooking the sea protected by a row of rocks and was built in 1318 in Gothic-Ligurian style by the masters Antelami on a pre-existing building, of which today only the apse remains with decorations in hanging arches and pilasters. Its apse - and not the façade - overlooks the main square of Vernazza, a maritime village famous in the present but its history has its roots in the Roman period. Its development continues in the Middle Ages and in 1088 its name - from Gens Vulnezia - becomes Castrum Vernatio. Among the most important monuments of Vernazza stands out first of all the castle of the Doria di Vernazza, stretched out on the sea towards the Mesco, which today appears as an imposing bastion from which rises a cylindrical tower on a quadrangular basement, the Belforte. On the opposite side of the castle stands the sixteenth century "Torrione", which rises inside the garden of the Reformed Minor Fathers of San Francesco. From here began the walls that defended the mountain of Vernazza which, in fact, was a fortified village as early as 1080. The visit of Vernazza continues with the church of the Friars, built on the hill above the village in the mid-seventeenth century: inside there are four chapels decorated and under the floor fourteen graves with marble slabs written in Latin.


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