My Sacred Wake-Up Call

My daily morning alarm was the melodic peals from the campanile (bell tower) right next to our B&B. I wish I could wake up to that divine “bong-bong” every morning.


You can see how close the campanile (yellow bell tower on the far left) was to our room (window in the center with the two black shirts hanging out to dry)


Those lovely chimes emitted from the graceful bell tower of the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia.

Built in 1318 over a pre-existing 11th century building, the foundations of this “Ligurian Gothic” style church rest in the sea. Rumor has it that the church was built in this spot because a wooden box containing the bones of Santa Margherita appeared here on the beach. If you’re not up on your saint lore, Santa Margherita was born in the year 275 in a region of what is now Turkey. I will leave it to you to ponder how her bones ever arrived in Vernazza.


A view of the campanile from the sea


The church’s interior is simple, providing a cool and restful sanctuary from the hubbub of Piazza Marconi outside its door.

As the bells pealed, I flung back the covers and bolted to the window to check the skies. The weather had been so unpredictable this entire trip that we never knew what every few hours would bring. This morning, it looked like it could go either way.


The source of my sacred morning bells


No matter — our plan for today was to train hop from town to town, starting with town number one: Riomaggiore.


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