The presence of a small chapel dedicated to Saint Mary of Nazareth is attested on this place as early as 1368.
In 1604, the building of a new church began, supervised by the architect Gio Batta Carbone, who will finish the work almost 12 years later, in 1616.
The church inherited the title of co-cathedral of the diocese of Brugnato from the pre-existing Church of San Nicolò, and was the residence of the bishops of the diocese from the 16th to the 18th century.
In the first half of the 19th century, Giambattista Prato restructured the facade of the church, also adding a neoclassical pronaos.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The interior has a structure with three naves divided by square pillars with pilasters on which rounded arches rest. The decorations are dated between the 18th and 19th centuries. The central nave has a barrel vault with lunettes, a raised presbytery and a semicircular apse. In the side aisles there are several side chapels with small cross vaults.
The high altar with polychrome marble dates back to 1762 and preserves a sculptural group depicting the Virgin with the cherubs supporting the Holy House of Nazareth. Both the altar and the marble statue are the work of the sculptor Francesco Maria Schiaffino.
The facade was completely rebuilt between 1837 and 1840 in neoclassical style on the design of architect Giambattista Prato, who created two new side doors and a pronaos with Ionic columns and triangular tympanum.
The two bell towers on the sides built in the 17th century were embelished with decorations in the 19th century. Above the main portal, there is a marble statue of the Madonna and Child.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth is located about 1 kilometer from the Sestri Levante train station. The closest bus station is in Piazza San Antonio, about 650 meters away, on the bus Lines 40, 41-42, 50, 52, 61, 63, 64 and 98.