Vicus Oleaster

Posted on 11 October 2013, in Blog

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At 350 meters above sea level, on the back of a steep hill surrounded by terraces supported by dry stone walls, is located Volastra, among vineyards and olive trees.
It ‘a small village to adapt to the ground, ordered the houses in two concentric semicircles.
It dates back to 177 BC when the Roman legions turned into peasants after the victorious campaign against the Ligurians, founded the village, which was built on the track of the old Via Romea, prior to the Roman road Via Aurelia.
“Vicus Oleaster”, the land of the olive trees, it was a staging post for changing horses.After the decisive battle fought near Volastra in 1276 between the troops of the Republic of Genoa, under the command of Oberto Doria, and those of Nicolò Fieschi, Count of Lavagna and Spezia, won by Doria, for Cinque Terre began, under the stable rule of the Republic of Genoa, a period of relative peace and safety from pirates attacks by sea.

A testimony of this event was in a tombstone next to the steps of the rectory, and that covered the tomb (sarcophagus) of a captain of the victorious army.
On elevated position above the village, there is the Romanesque church dating from the tenth century, dedicated to Our Lady of Health, built entirely of blocks of sandstone and decorated by the portal and the Gothic mullioned window dating from the twelfth century.
In the thirteenth century Volastra, like all existing villages on the Ligurian mountains, with the liberation of the Mediterranean Sea from the Arab-Saracen invasions by the Republic of Genoa, gave rise to the migration to the sea of its inhabitants.
From Volastra in fact descended the founders of Manarola.

 

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