In 1450, following a leprosy epidemic in the podesterie of Rapallo and Recco, Giacomo d’Aste, a wealthy citizen of Rapallo, donated to the community a plot of land located in the locality of Bana, between the hamlets of San Massimo and Santa Maria del Campo, where the building destined to house the local sick was erected. The management of the shelter, dedicated to St Lazarus of Bethany, and therefore called ‘Lazzaretto’, was entrusted to the Protectors of the Hospital of Pammatone in Genoa, according to the order of Pope Sixtus IV in a bull of 1471. Four years later, the building took in the plague victims (including Giacomo d’Aste’s son) who had fallen ill in the epidemic that plagued Genoa and the Rivieras in 1475.
In 1505, the Lazzaretto, which was in a precarious condition, underwent an initial restoration; and even in 1582, Monsignor Francesco Bossi, apostolic visitor and Bishop of Novara, was to complain about the poor state of the building, asking those in charge of Pammatone to remedy it. But they considered the expense of restoration too high and so nothing came of it.
The 15th-century painting on the exterior wall of the building depicts, in addition to the Madonna and Child, the thaumaturge saints Lazarus, James and Blaise.