September 2018 – When we arrived in Portofino after a long but beautiful walk, first stop was the beautiful church of St Martin, San Martino, as soon as you step of the path, the church is waiting to be explored. Mind you husband was the first one in, so lovely and cool inside. These churches never cease to amaze me, quite plain exteriors, but wonderfully flamboyant interiors, and they are all so different. I was in luck, there are four churches in Portofino, and I managed three, the last church was at the end of a very steep path and I was still suffering from my cold, I could now, but then it was just a little too far.
A little history …….Located near by the harbour, you will find the Chiesa Divo Martino (St. Martin Church). This lovely striped church dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, is placed in the most ancient area of the suburb. It is thought that it was built in 986 in Romanic-Lombard style, as a replacement for a primordial chapel located on the pier. In the same year, Queen Adelaide, widow of Ottone I, gave it as a gift to the monks of San Fruttuoso abbey, and the decision was later confirmed in 1130 by Pope Innocence II with a bull. In 1548 under the shelf of the altar, a case containing the memorabilia of the saint martyrs Dorotea, Cassiano and Vincenzo was found, and thus the church was consecrated. Subsequently, it was restored time and time again, and the current building is the result of the 19th century changes.
I am not sure about the bull and the Pope, maybe someone knows the reason why. After spending a little time exploring the church, we made our way down to the harbour. On our way, we came across another church…..to follow.