The current bell tower in the old town, that dominates the view of B is not part of the Chiesa di Maria Maddalena in the central piazza of the old town. The church was consecrated in 1617, the tower was built later as a watchtower used by the town to watch for pirate ships coming from the sea – very common for that period. Later the tower was elevated over a loggia and in the 18th century it became the bell tower. Important to mention its spire that is decorated with beautifully hand-painted majolica tiles. But talking about the church, I also have to point out the grandiose chandelier in the middle of the vault, a memorable and remarkable gift from Queen Margherita Di Savoy and the fresco of Mary Magdalen above the portal dated from 1742 by Giacomo Raimondo. Between the church and the belfry a tiny piazzetta pays tribute to the memory of the town’s beloved Franciscan priest, Padre Giacomo Viale. But is it THAT belfry Elio refers to as nicknamed “to-die-for” ? After thorough research I found the answer.
It is not that belfry. San Giacomo is a small village on a hill over Bordighera and Vallecrossia where one can get by hiking on the tortuous trail after crossing the – not anymore abandoned – rails that connect B to N. Just to have it mentioned for now and I will tell you more about it at some other time.
So… “Come, I’ll take you to San Giacomo before you change your mind.” by following the link to San Giacomo’s Belfry “To-die-for”