THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITA DI MARIA VERGINE OR DI SAN LORENZO
The parish church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is commonly referred to as the church of San Lorenzo, patron saint of the town, celebrated every 10 August. The building dates back to 1338, as indicated by the plaque placed on the right side of the façade, and is a work in Ligurian Gothic style by the Antelami Masters.
The façade has a portal with an ogival arch and a lunette with bas-relief depicting the Martyrdom of San Lorenzo. The 1375 Carrara marble rose window is decorated with twelve small columns with foliated capitals and an external crown adorned with human and lion heads. The work is attributed to the authors of the rose window of San Pietro in Corniglia, Matteo and Pietro da Campilio. The fourteenth-century bell tower, with a square plan, separated from the church, was obtained from an ancient watchtower and was therefore raised and spiked.
The basilica-style interior with three naves is Baroque with a barrel vault, although a late 20th-century restoration has partially restored the original Gothic forms. Upon entering, on the left there is the baptismal font, against which an ancient marble measure with the coat of arms of the Republic of Genoa and the words "Comunitas Manarolae" is placed. In the window aisle, at the end, a Renaissance tabernacle with bas-relief of the fifteenth century is beautifully displayed, while on the apsidal wall of the central nave there is a crucifix of the fifteenth century.
The most important works of art are, at the main altar, a 14th century triptych depicting the Madonna and Child with Saints Lorenzo, Catherine of Alexandria and two other saints and in the left aisle a triptych with a gold background, belonging to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Health of Volastra, which in the central compartment represents San Lorenzo and, in the side panels, the Saints Antonio Abate and Bernardo. The latter has a rectangular frame divided into three parts by twisted columns supporting scalloped arches. San Lorenzo is dressed in a green dalmatic holding a book and the palm of martyrdom, with the grill at his feet.
Both works are attributed to the Master of the Cinque Terre.