Historic Centre, west, Genoa
Saint Peter's Loggia was built between 1589 and 1595 by Andrea Ceresola, nicknamed Vannone, in the trade centre of the old city. The building was commissioned by the Fathers of the Municipality, administrators of the city, who studied a renovation plan for Piazza dei Banchi. The Loggia, with its harmonious structure, was given to the Chamber of Commerce in 1839 and was subsequently renovated following the project made by G.B. Resasco and was enclosed with glass-window vaults. In 1855 it became the seat of the Italian Goods Stock Exchange, then it was bombed and the cover destroyed in 1942; only in 1950, after renovation, did the Loggia reopen and now it's dedicated to cultural activities.
The church was originally conceived as a noble chapel of the Doria family; Martino Doria commissioned it in 1125 and only after, around 1310, the square cloister was built. The outside dates back to the 13th century and is characterised by white and black marble on the façade and an epigraph which outlines the victorious undertakings of the Doria Family. Andrea Doria, in the first half of the 16th century rebuilt it, keeping the outside decorations. Inside, in the window of the portal, visitors can see the mosaic portraying San Matteo and, at the bottom of the right window, there is a Roman sarcophagus, trophy of the Curzola battle and in the crypt there is Andrea Doria's tomb.
This church was built between 1575 and 1585 on the site of a former church that was destroyed by fire in 1398. The church features an octagonal dome and a single nave. The church sits high above the surrounding square on a terrace.
The present church of San Siro was erected during the 4th century where an ancient graveyard once stood and was dedicated to the twelve Apostles. The temple was named after San Siro, once Bishop of Genoa, only at the end of the 6th century. The church was turned into an Abbey in 1006 and given to Benedictine Monks who were ordered by the bishop to rebuild it in a Romanesque style. It became the Bishop's seat, which depended upon Milan till 1133, when Pope Innocent II founded the archdiocese of Genoa. The holy building was burned in the 15th century, during the civil unrests and in 1575 it was given to the Teatini Fathers who stayed in it till Napoleon's elimination of the first monasteries in 1798. The present aspect of the church is the product of the reconstruction which took place in the 17th century and some in the 19th century.
Palazzo Belimbau was erected between the mid-sixteenth century and mid-seventeenth century, during the period of the so-called urban revolution, commissioned by the patricians in Genoa who, during the 16th century, accumulated enormous fortunes. Francesco De Ferrari erected the building where once was a building of De Ferrari himself, combining to it a nearby building owned by Antoniotto Cattaneo in 1611 the construction works finished and, since then, Palazzo Belimbau is one of the symbols of the pompous 16th century architecture.
The church was erected in 1228 with a convent by the Friars Umiliati of the San Michele della Misericordia Convent in Alessandria, in the SS. Annunziata area. At the end of the 15th century in the community, which, at that time, amounted to a few believers came the Convent Minorites which started to erect the new church in 1520 to dedicate it to St Francis, the founder of their brotherhood. After the extension works of the city walls, the church was taken down and the religious community received the church of San Francesco del Prato. The Observant Minorites, to pay homage to the demolished church, dedicated the church of San Francesco to Our Lady, which was extended at the end of the 16th century, thanks to the funds allocated by the Lomellini family. The religious building, which included the garden and the library, became one of the most important in the city. During the second world war the building, after the American bombings, was severely damaged.
One of the most famous "caruggi" in Genova, thanks expecially to a famous song by Fabrizio de Andre'. Not many prostitutes are still there (maybe none, who knows...), but a completely restored, wonderful narrow cobblestone street is still there indeed, with its wonderful buildings. The most famous landmark of this street is the old medieval Porta dei Vacca, which was the western gate to the town, built in mid 12th century and still perfectly conserved.
Africa? China? Central America? Arabia? No, it's simply Via Pre', Genova, Italy! Along this old, narrow and picturesque street you can find people from all over the world, except Italians! ;-) This once was some sort of "red-lights" district, now it's much more a multiethnical zone where you can find many nice old buldings, some of which newly restored for 2004, year of Culture. There are no particular "monuments", you just have to walk along it and enjoy the great life of Via Pre'!
The church of San Giovanni di Pre' is one of the oldest in town, its medieval part was built around the year 1180, while the actual facade is of the 16th century. The "Commenda" was some sort of "naval station" for the pilgrims (and the crusaders) directed to the Holy Land, and a hospital at the same time.
There are 2 churches one over the other: the most interesting is the lower one, now completely restored and used for concerts or exibitions, while the upper ones is for celebrations.
I enjoyed just walking around in the historic centre. The streets were so narrow that no car could go down them and suddenly - beepbeep! - there is a car behind you! The whole lifestyle in this area fascinated me. Some streets were little more than alleys but had some lovely shops along them. Of course, while we were there, they were polishing things up for the European City of Culture and there was a lot of scaffolding to avoid. I hope to go back and see what happened next!
Piazza Lavagna is a very nice square in the heart of the Historic Centre... but often even people from Genova never heard about it!
Not all the buildings in it have been restored, just some, but it's very picturesque, expecially with its small open air market of antiquities and with some "street-musicians" which play old tunes!
This is a real attraction in Genoa - and every guide will lead you here, that's for sure.
This dirty and ugly-looking little building is the house where the famous Christopher Columbus (inventor of America) was born.
I found it quite impressing even if there wasn't much to see - just the ruin of an old building. But if you're a little interested in history, you surely want to have a look at it.
Have a look for the many great palazzi and houses along the via XX Settembre.
They vary a lot in style and look all really great.
It obviously was a big competition between the rich merchants of the 18th and 19th century to have the most beautiful building in town.
Galleria di Palazzo Spinola
The collections of paintings include works by Genovese painters Camviaso, Strozzi, Castiglione, Vassallo, G. V. Carlone, Valerio Castello. Piola and Gregorio de Ferrari. There is also a collection of ceramics.
This Baroque church, built between 1589 and 1606, is also known as the church of Santi Ambrogio e Andrea.