Monday, September 19, 2011

Sardinia, Italy - Stella Maris

Now that I have started my degree in interior design and decoration, I am even more interested in different construction methods, colors, materials, patterns and certainly architectural styles that are indigenous to a certain area. So you can see why I fell in love with the tiny Catholic Church of Stella Maris, on the glorious Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Italy. Sitting atop a bluff, overlooking the comings and goings of the old port and marina below, the white bell tower is a stark and  impressive contrast against the deep blue Sardinian sky.

The Stella Maris was built in the 1960s by the famous Roman architect Michele Busiri Vici, who was hired by the Aga Khan, together with other noted architects of the time (including Luigi Vietti and Jacques Couelle), to build up what is today known as the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) of Sardinia. The Stella Maris was Vici's masterpiece. 

The inside of the church is very modest. Here is a local wedding taking place
The red tiled roof of the front portico is supported by local juniper wood
Different works of art may be admired inside the church, like the Mater Dolorosa attributed to El Greco, an organ from the 17th century, local juniper wood pews, and the massive bronze doors with bas-reliefs representing the theme of the Annunciation, created by the Bolognese sculptor Luciano Minguzzi (shown below).

A side door to the church displays beautiful fish
As if the beautiful simplicity of this church were not enough, the view down below to the old port and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is simply stunning. Funny to note the juxtaposition between the pure modesty of the Stella Maris and the exhibitionistic luxury yachts over which the church keeps a watchful eye.

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  2. We were there Sept of 2011 as well. I was thinking of it today and realized I didn't have pictures and went searching, not remembering the name of the town or church. Thanks so much for this post! Lovely and just as I remember it.