Chiesa di Santa Caterina


A few hundred meters along the road to Goina you will find the remains of the Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria. 

The church was built by the Capponi family at the end of the XIV century and is unfortunately very ruined. Three walls still stand with two square windows and an arch. The façade is almost intact and is enriched with a round rose window and a portal bearing the Capponi family’s emblem and an inscription on the history of the church. The inscription reads as follows (in square brackets are parts of the inscription that are now erased but were preserved thanks to the book by Gio Batta Ratti on paintings, sculptures and architecture in some villages of Liguria, published in 1780):

MCCCLXXXX [Redemptionis indictione XIII]

Millibus tricentis [annis nonagin]ta redemptis

[Haec fuit inita] Domini Domus inde fini[ta

Sumptibus Ant]honii quondam Oberti Caponi

[Trinitas Unit]as Sancta Catherinaque dicta

Hic [au]tem primum fertur fundasse lapillum

Tunc in feria sena Novembris quarta serena

Jacobus Episcopus Sualensis, nomine dictus

Hanc [visitantes atque juvantes crimina solvens

Monstrat ut hae]c ita man[u sua litera scrip]ta.

Post haec Serenus Cardinalis Bartholomeus

Pape Vice Noni Bonifacii Antistitis Rome

Hanc donis multis Sua dotat litera sculptis:

Haec ego notarius notavi Manuel Sardus.

In 1390 this church was built thanks to Antonio, son of Oberto Capponi, and dedicated to the Lord, the Holy Trinity and Saint Catherine. The first stone was placed on the fourth Friday of the month of November by bishop Giacomo (called Sualense) who granted indulgence to those who visited the church, as confirmed by a letter written by him.  Later Cardinal Bartolomeo also made donations to the church on behalf of the Pope Bonifacio IX.  Notary Manuele Sardo

The above inscription proves that at that time in that area notary acts could be written in Latin verses. The three words of the inscription ‘hanc donis multis’ were erased by a member of the Capponi family in the XIX century, as he feared to be accused of seizing church properties. Actually, the word ‘donations’ referred to indulgence granted to those who visited the church and not to material properties.