The Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia is located in the seaside village of Vernazza, near the main square of the town, Piazza Guglielmo Marconi.
It seems that a first church in Romanesque style was built on this place in the 11th century. Two centuries later, the current church was raised on the foundations of the previous one, of which only the apse remained. The new building is mentioned for the first time in a document from 1318.
Between the 16th and 17th centuries, the structure was considerably enlarged, however, destroying the medieval facade. In the 18th century, the church underwent a new renovation, with the interior being redecorated in Baroque style. From the 19th century, the access to the church is made from the square, through a door built in the apse area.
Between 1964 and 1970, new restorations were made: the wooden roof was replaced, the bell tower was elevated and the interior was again redecorated in Romanesque style.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The church has a 40-meter-high octagonal bell-tower, crowned with arches and with an ogival dome on top.
Inside, there are two paintings from the 17th century, a processional crate and a wooden crucifix, the latter attributed to the Genoese sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano. The church is also equipped with an organ with two keyboards and electric transmission, built in 1975.
HOW TO GET THERE
Vernazza is a small place, and almost every landmark of the village lies within an area of a few hundred square meters, so you will easily find the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia, no matter where you are.
The church is located about 180 meters away from the Vernazza train station, or about 2-3 minutes on foot. Descending on the main street of the town, you will easily reach the Piazza Guglielmo Marconi and the small Port of Vernazza, with the church being on the right.