St. Biagio's Basilica

Basilica di S. Biagio
Today’s Church of Saint Biagio was built in the baroque style in the 17th century (its construction began in 1633) by Finalese architect Andrea Storace. From the previous medieval church (1261) it has retained only the apse and the tall octagonal late-gothic slightly leaning bell tower with its many narrow mullioned windows opening on every side. The bell tower is set on a defensive tower belonging to the walls built before 1452.
The raw-stone façade was left unfinished while the interior with its nave and two aisles is impressive for its magnificence and for the richness of its decorations. The mausoleum of Giovanni Andrea Sforza Del Carretto, the last Del Carretto marquis who died in 1604, once in Santa Caterina church, now stands in the nave. Two wonderful sculptures attributed to Francesco Schiaffino also enrich the nave: the Carrara marble Balustrade (four pretty angels holding a finely chiselled Eucharistic cloth) and the pulpit representing Ezekiel’s Vision (a column of clouds rises above the Tables of the Law and leads to the symbols of the four Evangelists).
The frescoes of the vault were painted by Luigi Gainotti and Antonio Bertolotto (1911), while the dome and the presbytery vault were frescoed by Francesco Semino and Domenico Buscaglia (1878). The church still houses: a marble ciborium of Lorenzo Sormano (1521); the original 15th century altarpiece of S. Biagio; and fine copies of Raffael’s Transfiguration and of Rubens’ Annunciation by Finalese painter Francesco Spoleti. In the side chapels are the Triptych of Madonna delle Grazie (1416), the work of an anonymous Ligurian painter and the great Santa Caterina Polyptych, a remarkable work of the early 15th century Piedmontese school.
Precious works of art, ornaments and vestments once belonging to the Prelates of the Del Carretto marquisate are still preserved in the church.
Address: 
Piazza San Biagio
Basilica di S. Biagio Basilica di S. Biagio Basilica di S. Biagio (Ph: Provincia di Savona) Basilica di S. Biagio (Ph: Provincia di Savona) Basilica di S. Biagio Basilica di S. Biagio Basilica di S. Biagio (Ph: Provincia di Savona) Basilica di S. Biagio (Ph: Provincia di Savona)