/ / Torre Civica and Church of Santo Stefano: photo description (Torre Civica e Chiesa di Santo Stefano)

Torre Civica and Church of Santo Stefano: photo description (Torre Civica e Chiesa di Santo Stefano)

Torre Civica and Church of Santo Stefano is a small complex located in the heart of the historical centre of Rapallo, just behind the City Hall, surrounded by broken rooftop gardens. Santo Stefano is considered the first parish Church of Rapallo, built on the site of the first settlement before the 11th century. The Church was built on a hill to protect it from the frequent floods of the river Boate. In 1459, the year it was attached to the Torre Civica, a symbol of democratic governance. Despite numerous renovations, the tower has retained its original appearance. In the Church today hosts concerts of organ music, book presentations, and at Christmas time - traditional ideas with the nursery.

For the first time about the construction of the Torre Civica began in the mid-15th century - initiated by 30 representatives of the most influential and wealthy families Rapallo, who belonged to different political parties, but wishing peace and prosperity to his city. The tower was built of square blocks of stone, and equipped with a bell and a clock. It was built in the immediate vicinity of the city residence of the Podesta (mayor) of San Antonio memorial hospital (now in its walls is located the municipality of Rapallo). In 1581, the year it was decided to raise the bell tower, which was built a column with a marble terrace and the ground. In 1640, the year the bell tower was somewhat altered and embellished. It was then that it had installed a new bell, which survived until our days. In 1910, the year Torre Civica was awarded the status of national monument.

We should also mention the Church of Santo Stefano, standing on a small hill now popularly known as Oratorio dei Neri. It is believed to be the first Christian Church of Rapallo. In 1643, the year of the papal decree, the Church was handed over to the brotherhood "MortisetOrationis", known as "black" because of the color of their cloaks. This brotherhood Rapallo owe the appearance of the first theatre in the city. During the Second World war Santo Stefano was seriously damaged, and restoration work in the Church was conducted from the end of 1950-ies. And today, some Church structures are not restored before the end.