San Salvatore di Cogorno

Between Val Fontanabuona and Val Graveglia

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San Salvatore di Cogorno: art & culture

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Basilica dei Fieschi

In the hinterland surroundings of Lavagna, in the municipality of Cogorno, lies the San Salvatore dei Fieschi Basilica, one of the most important Medieval complexes of Liguria, formed by authentic monuments surrounded by olive trees, vegetable gardens and little houses hidden among the trees.
The cobblestone paving, still miraculously intact, was made with river stones set in a mosaic and is in its own right a noteworthy example of well-calibrated spontaneous art.
On one side of the square stands the Basilica of San Salvatore that features three naves, with the tower set right on the transept, giving it the severe and functional aspect typical of Ligurian Romanesque-Gothic style.
The church was built in 1244 by the order of Pope Innocent IV, born Sinibaldo Fieschi, a descendent of the noble branch of the Fieschi Family who, at that time, ruled over the entire area of the Fontanabuona and part of the Aveto valleys.
The importance and beauty of the Basilica, together with the adjacent hamlet, led to its classification as a National Historic Monument in 1860.
During the summer, the churchyard stages the celebration of the “Addio do fantin” (Farewell to bachelorhood), a traditional feast in a Medieval setting.
Almost directly in front of the church, on a raised foundation with a few steps, stands another little tall and slender oratory, clearly dating back to the 1700s.
The estate of the Fieschi Family can be seen on the side: the Palace where two large arches and cusps support the upper floor which features large marble quadruple lancet windows. The same black and white stripes seen on the church define the “tone” of the patrician family, recalling its close ties to clerical power.

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