The first Capuchin friars arrived in the village in 1609, and settled right in the center of Sestri Levante. In 1640, they built a church with a conventual structure attached, the today’s complex of the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli.
The urbanization of the town in the following years, which no longer allowed the friars proper isolation from the population, led them to choose a more isolated location on the hill located east of the Bay of Silence.
The construction of the new complex began in 1683 and ended in 1688, the year of the transfer of the order to the new convent. The former complex was sold in 1686 to the Secular Priests of San Pietro in Vincoli. In the agreement signed with the Seculars, it was agreed that any work of art and furnishings should remain the property of the Capuchins.
The property of the convent was managed directly by the friars until 1866 when, for unknown reasons, the church and the convent were sold to a private person, and then partly sold, in 1878, to the Sestri Levante civil hospital, that held the property until 1890. Today, the whole complex is managed by the religious order of the Capuchin friars.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The church is built in medieval style, with a single nave, and has a facade composed of black and white bands.
Inside, there is a wooden statue of the 18th-century on the high altar, and two paintings by Domenico Fiasella depicting The Miracle of St. Anthony of Padua and St. Felix of Cantalice receiving the Child Jesus from the Virgin.
HOW TO GET THERE
The church is located about 950 meters from the Sestri Levante train station. The closest bus station is in Piazza San Antonio, about 500 meters away, on the bus Lines 40, 41-42, 50, 52, 61, 63, 64 and 98.