Via San Francesco (Vernazza)

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The Doria Castle was a defensive building situated on a clifftop, about seventy meters, in the coastal area south of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre in the province of La Spezia.

The first mention of a castle in Vernazza date back to the 13th century but it is believed that the first settlement dates back to the 11th century and then that was built during the rule of the Obertenghi. In particular, the cylindrical tower, which now stands at the center of the Esplanade and which was restored in the twentieth century, is the oldest part of the fortification.

In the twelfth century the ownership of the Castle and its Hamlet, passed successively ainvescovi of Luni, the family Da Passano and then to the counts Fieschi in the second half of the century; as fliscana was the same family to cede Vernazza property to the Republic of Genoa. Occupied in the same century by Pisa, annexed to the battle of Meloria, which also sailors and ships vernazzolesi, the Castle returned to briefly in the hands of the Genoese.

During the crucial phases of the second world war it was used as a flak emplacement by soldiers of Nazi Germany.

The Castle has an irregular shape faithfully following the rocky outcrop on which it is built. Its present appearance is the result of centuries of additions and alterations.

According to a document dating back to 1470, and a map of the 18th century inside the castle there was a chapel dedicated to Saint John the Baptist which though, today, you are completely untraceable. Inside the Castle, now used as a Museum and exhibition space, was preserved a bronze Cannon (bearing the inscription Comunitas Vernatiæ) that was taken by English soldiers and still visible today in the halls of the British Museum in London.



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