What to See

Portofino, a World apart
23
June 2010

St. George and St.Martin Churches

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The peculiar veneration towards St. George is proven by the attention given to His sanctuary, parts of which had been destroyed in the 1944 bombings, from the many ex-priests. The rise to St. George can be taken from the piazzetta on the right. A few minutes romantic walk. Ample view with available field-glasses. We suggest wearing a small sweater from the afternoon on. It is advised to bring liquids and suitable shoes

From the Castle Tower one may get a good view of the headland extending itself onto sea for 4 km, in addition to the Tigullio gulf and its thermal baths from the mountain passes of the Appennino Ligure. From the adjacent small castle and the near tower one may see a big sector of the Alto Tirreno Sea. The peculiar position of this observing place had been chosen by the Byzantines of the Eastern Roman Empire for the control and the sighting of ships approaching the coast in aid of the fleet residing in Genova. Often in ancient times, the lookout and protection duties would be given to the owners of churches-observatories dedicated to saints who protected against illnesses, injuries and wounds such as St. Apollinare, St. Pantaleo, St. Eufemiano. The general protection in Portofino was in the hands of St. George.

The Crusades
After the Crusades, to which a determining contribution was given by the citizens of Genova, numerous relics and other treasures were brought back to Genova.

The Votive Sanctuary
The peculiar veneration towards St. George is proven by the attention given to His sanctuary, parts of which had been destroyed in the 1944 bombings, from the many ex-priests; from the attendance shown every yearly memorial, where every 23rd of April there is a huge bonfire in the main piazza followed on the Sunday after by a procession in the city streets. It’s a particularly romantic holiday which we recommend attending to anyone visiting during those days.

The Position of St. George’s Castle
From the Castle Tower one may gain a nice view of the headland that extends itself onto sea for 4 km. This position has always had great value for the strategic purposes of surveillance and defence. In order to gain possession of it, the French, the Fiorentini, the Turks and the English have fought on these hills. Not to mention the local warlords such as the Fregoso, the Fieschi, the Adorno e the Genovesi themselves, as proven by the history of the Republic of Genova. The rise to St. George can be taken from the piazzetta on the right. A few minutes romantic walk. Ample view with available field-glasses. We suggest wearing a small sweater from the afternoon on.

St. Martin Church
This church, built in the X Century, may be found at the very beginning of Portofino, in a dominant position to the town, the terraced houses of the fishermen and the sea which reflects its bright colours. Going down from the adjacent stairs, one may immediately spot the piazzetta from a short walk around the typical pastel color murals. When facing the wall and looking at the little courtyard one may spot the roman fonts in the central, going-up form, in the little arches which underline the ledges on the roof, in the central gate, in the rose window and in the bell tower.

Portofino, a world apart.

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