I read number of reviews or comments by fellow VTers regarding their experiences during a visits to the Mediterranean. Most of them manifested wonderment at the crowds in the streets after their loudly way of converasions or shouting across the streets.
We, people from the south of Europe call it "il fascino del Mediterraneo" (the charm of Mediterranean). It is custom in the Mediteranean for people not to hide their feelings, regardless of wheter they are happy, angry or sad.
The second fact is, mild climate resulted that life mainly takes place outside, making a streets the stage of life. In a beautiful sunny day nobody stays at home.
Loggia della Mercanzia is called by different names, locals call it also "La Loggia dei Mercanti" and "Loggia di San Pietro in Banchi". It is situated in ancient sestriere of Molo, just a foot away from The Church of San Pietro in Banchi.
During a battle between Guelfi and Ghibellini in 1398, they say Ghibellini provoked fire which destroyed most of the buildings in Piazza Banchi, among which was the Desks of the City Bank. As a consequence, the Dodge Barnaba di Goano ordered the construction of a loggia where the merchants could do their business. The construction was completed in 1415 but was seriously damaged in another fire in 1455. After reconstruction it bested until 1570 when the city administrators decided to built another one, on the same site, but more solid building. After WW II, during which the Loggia was damaged by air-raid, it was reconstructed and now come back to its original aspect.
The Theathre of Carlo Felice is actually opera house used for diverse performances of opera, ballet and classical music. It was built in 1828 and named fro Duke Carlo Felice di Savoia, who was also the King of Sardinia.
The theatre was designed by the local architect Carlo Barabino who built it on a site of the church San Domenico. Carlo Felice is big theatre accomodating an audience of about 2.500 in five tiers, each with 33 boxes and the gallery above tiers.
During WW II its ceiling, which had been a unique example of 19th century Rococo extravagance, was destroyed by a shell from British warship in 1941. Later on, in 1943 and 1944 the theatre was almost completely destroyed in bombings. Reconstruction works took very long and the hall was finaly officially reopened in 1991.
There is interesting story about the construction of this church. Some local people wanted to build the church but the city administrators refused it telling there was no money for that, so the group of enterprising people decided to build a church with shops/money exchange banks under it. It is from where the name of the church is derivating, San Pietro in Banchi (Banks). The rent from these paid for the building of the church.
San Pietro in Banchi is 16th century structure built on the site of the cmall church of San Pietro della Porta, which was destroyed in 1398 in fire during a battle between Guelfi and Ghibellini. The church was projected to have four pinnacles but only three of them had been realized. The front is covered in fading frescoes and fake multicoloured stonework, but also was never completed. The interior of the church, however is richly adorned and covered in white marble. There are large paintings and excellent marble statuary of the saints but bove all, it has wonderful stucco decorations in its dome.
We had just been to St. Lukes, and thought how beautiful that was, when we came to another. From the outside, it was very plain, and didn't look inviting either, part of it was being renovated.
On pushing open the door, it was another of those "wow!" moments, for this was incredible! Believe me, every one I saw come in that door were gob-smacked! And......Not many people seemed to find this Church, a plus for me, and a minus for them!
It is believed to date back to the 9th century. It is full of marvellous frescoes, painting's, statues, wood carving's, in my eyes, just beautiful! It would be one of best I have ever been inside!
Don't be fooled by the outside, do go inside and see for yourself!
Chiesa del Gesu, (its full name is Chiesa del Gesu e dei Santi Ambrogio e Andrea) is masterpiece of Baroque style and pobably the most beautiful in whole of Genova. The first church on this site was erected in the 6th century when todays Piazza Matteotti was known as Brolio. It was time when this site become home for refugees from Milano during the Lombards invasion. The Bishop Ambrogio, who later on become the patron saint of Milano, built the first church here. When the old church was demolished the Jesuits built their church on the same site in the 16th century, and it was designed by Pellegrino Tibaldi.
The interior of the church is in particularly beautiful, rich of marble decorations. It preserving valuable paintings, on the altar hangs paintings by Guido Reni and Peter Paul Rubens, the other work by Rubens displaying is a side chapel of the church.
This was a very pleasurable experience as I never knew what I was going to see as I entered another narrow alley way!
The main thing to do is.....LOOK UP! as this city has some wonderful sights.
On the corners of buildings were Religious statues, and then there was the Art Nouveau buildings, they were very interesting!
Some of the streets had bridges across them, some were Arches with old frescoes underneath the arch itself, there were little shops and Cafes beckoning for you to look or stop for a break..............And as well as all this, there were the main attractions and plenty of them.
Just one point.....This city is hilly, so be prepared for some uphill walking!
Castle D'Albertis is now the home of the World culture museum. Located way up the top of Montegalletto hill, we had wonderful views over Genoa.
Captain Enrico Alberto D’Albertis designed the castle in the style of an architectural collage.
How lucky was Genoa, when after his death in 1932, the Castle and its collections, were donated to the City.
Inside, its another decorated building, but different to other Palaces we had seen in Genoa, more Moorish! The collections are of what he brought back with him from his world travels.
ADMISSION IN 2011....Adults 6 euros
OPEN...Tuesday to Sunday....10 - 5pm
Genoa remembers with a lovely Monument of Christopher Columbus who was born in 1451, the oldest of five children. He was named "Cristoforo Colombo".
Who would have thought that he would become such a great explorer, and he would always remember Genoa as his Birthplace. He donated one-tenth of his income from his discovery of the Americas to the Bank of San Giorgio in Genoa for the relief of taxation on foods.
No wonder they remember him! He died in 1506.
The Palazzo Reale, is the Palace that I decided to visit.
It is known as the Royal Palace, it is large and has been added to throughout the Savoy & Genoese dynasties.
We had to do a tour of the Palace, nobody was allowed on their own. The tour was good, the building was beautiful! There were a lot of paintings, and a lot of frescoes, evidently done by some very important Baroque and Rococo artist's. As usual, the Hall of Mirror's is wonderful, and so was the Ballroom & the Throne room, then there were the State apartments, an Atrium, and more than I can remember! After the tour, we could go out into the garden by ourselves. This was very nice, had a fountain, quite a few statues and some lovely red roses!
All original interiors, frescoes, stucco, paintings, sculptures, beautiful furniture and furnishing's and a nice garden, this was a Palace I loved seeing.
The only problem was.... NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED INSIDE,but in the garden, we were allowed to take them.
I did think the admission price for this Palace was very reasonable and it's really worth seeing if you have the time.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 09.00-1.30pm.... Thursday to Sunday 09.00-7pm....Closed on Mondays
DMISSION IN 2011....Adults ....4euro
Concessions...2euros (18 to 25 year olds), free for under 18s and over 65s Concessions 2 euros.
The Palazzo Reale museum is part of the Genoa Museums “Card” scheme.
QUOTED AS....."One of the most beautiful and authentic Genoese palaces"
Villa del Principe, built in 1530, is not very attractive at the point of entry.
I didn't have time to go in, which was a shame, because from the photo's on the website, it looks well worth a visit. It looks to have many beautiful rooms and frescoes, and you do get to walk through the prince's and princess' apartments.
I had to be content with viewing the lovely garden from the outside fence. I could see the nicely laid out attractive garden, but for photo's, it was no good as the wire was very close together.
ADMISSION IN 2011....Adults....9euro
OPEN..... ..Tuesday - Sunday from 10.00 am to 5:00 pm
CLOSED... Easter Sunday, May 1st, August 15th, January 1st
From October to March visits need to be made on appointment
The website is good, and gives you an idea of what to expect, and then you can make up your mind!
San Donato is a small, medieval, 12th century Romanesque Church that was consecrated in 1189.
After bombing in 1684 it was restored, and has been several times since then, and it still has the octagonal Bell Tower.
There are some nice views from here, and beside the back of the Church is the beautiful building in my photo. I don't know the name, but it is worth looking at!
THE CHURCH IS OPEN....
Mon.-Sat. 8-noon and 3-7pm, Sun. 9-12:30 and 3-7pm
Another Basilica in Genoa, this one, different again!
Built in renaissance style, is was painted in a red ochre colour, and stood out in its position on the Hill. It is another I didn't get to see the inside.
I do like the story behind the building of this Church.
It was a request by Bendinello Sauli in his will to build this Church, as he wished to humiliate the Fieschi family who had committed a grave injustice towards him (they had started mass in their nobleman's church without waiting for the Sauli family!).
Seventy years later, enough money had be raised for the construction in the mid 1500's, and it was finally completed in 1602!
It is built in the shape of a Greek cross inscribed into a square, and has four statues placed in the niches carved into the support columns.
Service times: Saturdays 6pm; Sundays 8.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 6.30pm.
OPEN....9 - Noon & 3.30pm - 7.30pm ..........Monday - Sunday
I had just seen the Church of St. Lorenzo, when I came across a well preserved City Gate.
It is believed to have belonged to a Wall, but the Wall no longer exist's, just the Gate! The first known walls, were built in the 9th century, and included three gates, with the Serravalle Gate being one of them.
The next Church, which is quite close to St. Lorenzo, is the former Jesuit church "Chiesa del Gesu" that was built in 1597.
I will tell you a little about it this Church in case you wish to visit.
Viewing from the outside, it is quite nice, but it is the inside to see, as it has two important paintings, one of them are "The Circumcision" and the other "St. Ignatius Heals a Possessed Woman." It has marble, gilded stucco and frescoes inside. The side Chapel's also have frescoes.
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