The Cathedral of Ventimiglia is located in the main square of the city. Although dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, Saint Secondo is also venerated in the church. Highlights are the crypt and the baptistery.
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Piazza del Cattedrale/Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 4, Ventimiglia. Phone: +39 0184351813. Opening hours: 08.00 till 12.30 and 15.00 till 19.00. Admission: Free.
History and description
Ventimiglia Cathedral is built on the ruins of a pagan temple, which was dedicated to Juno. The present building was erected between the 11th and tearly 13th century and is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and Saint Secondo, the latter being the patron saint of the city.
Several times in the course of its history the cathedral needed to be rebuilt after having been destroyed. As a result its mainly Romanesque architecture displays a mixture of different characteristics.
The church consists of three naves. The portal with its pointy Gothic arch, the presbytery and the three apses were built in the 13th century. The capitals of the columns of the portal are decorated with animal motifs.
In a crypt underneath the cathedral, ruins of the original construction can still be seen, thanks to parts of the floor having been replaced by glass. An inscription inside the church testifies to the presence of the ancient temple.
The bell-tower was built around 1150. The top part, however, was reconstructed a couple of times and shows baroque influences.
The three apses were added around the 13th century. Extremely tall arches characterize the central nave.
The chapels on the right stem from the 16th century.
One restoration in the second half of the 19th century was necessary in order to avoid water damage. Another one was needed after World War II.
The baptistery dedicated to St. John the Baptist is near the left apse. It consists of two levels.
There is a Byzantine baptismal font near the entrance, which was originally inside the Baptistery.
The aforementioned inscription dedicated to Juno can be seen on the right wall.
The painting “Holy Family” on that same wall is a copy by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi.
The marble “Maria Assunta with Angels” in the 4th chapel on the left stems from the 17th century.
The 15th century wooden crucifix in the 1st chapel on the left used to adorn the San Giovanni Battista Oratorium.
The painting of the “Madonna and Child” was done in the 14th century, while the “Assumption of the Virgin” was painted in 1620.