September 2018 – This would be the last church I would get to explore while in Italy, as we were off to Austria the next day, a very long journey in front of us. But what a church to finish Italy with, we had visited quite a few on this trip, but I think this one, San Pietro/St Peter in Porto Venere, is top of the list for location. We were quite lucky as it was late in the afternoon, the tourists had thinned down and the church was being prepared for a wedding that evening. Apparently it is one of the in places to get married……. a wonderful romantic church and location.
St Peter’s is in Piazza Lazzaro Spallanzani in Portovenere, in the Gulf of the Poets, also known as the Gulf of La Spezia. The monument rises on a cliff above the sea. Its architectural style known as ‘Genovese Gothic.’ While it dates back to 1198, it is in the same location of an ancient temple and a 5th century church. The outside facade was later added in the 13th century.
The inside of the church is decorated by large black and white bands, and the chancel is endowed with two lateral squared chapels, covered by oval vaults. The church is considered as one of the exemplary buildings of the Gothic-Genoese architecture in Liguria.
The church has always been part of the rich historic events of Portovenere : the Aragonese bombardment in 1494, the occupation by the Austrian-Russian troops and lastly the disastrous period of Napoleon, who ordered the church to be used as a battery for the defence of the Gulf
The Church underwent a significant restoration work between 1929 and 1934.
My next post is about where had been staying in this wonderful area of Italy.