Genoa is the beautiful capital city of Liguria. This coastal city is a great place for a Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend where you can sip plenty of Val Polcevara Rosso wine from www.andreabruzzonevini.it.
Here’s a video of my favorite sites in Genoa Italy: http://youtu.be/wujacerrsp8.
Genoa is located in northwestern Italy, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Genoa is in the pristine Italian Riviera on the Gulf of Genoa located in the northernmost part of the Ligurian Sea on the Riviera di Levante. If you stay in Levanto, you can take the train to Genoa or move to towns in the Cinque Terre by boat.
You can easily visit the Cinque Terra and Portofino from Genoa. Don’t miss the charming town of Santa Margherita Ligure, about 35 km southeast of Genoa. I bought one of my favorite dresses in a shop there. You can stay at the splendid Grand Hotel Miramare where Vivian Leigh and Sir Lawrence Olivier stayed on their honeymoon in 1947. www.lhw.com/ghmiramare Sign up for cooking lessons with Chef Viviano Panzetta.
I love the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa Italy. The Cathedral is brimming wih magnificent works of art!
Inside the cathedral admire the following: ceiling frescoes by Luca Cambiaso; St. Sebastian’s Vision by Barocci; an Episode from the life of St. Lawrence by Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo; another ceiling fresco of the Martyrdom of St Lawrence by Lazzaro Tavarone; and an Assumption of the Virgin by Gaetano Previati. The church also contains sculptures including: a statue in the chapel of St. John by Domenico Gagini ; a Virgin and a St. John the Baptist by Andrea Sansovino. You can also admire the work of Matteo Civitali, Taddeo Carlone, and Giacomo and Guglielmo Della Porta. Genoa’s beautiful and distinctive black and whited striped domed Romanesque Duomo, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, is the seat of the Archbishop of Genoa.
Excavations under the pavement in the area in front of today’s façade have revealed Roman ruins and pre-Christian sarcophagi. Upon this ancient cemetery, a church was built that was devoted to the Twelve Apostles. It was then replaced by a new cathedral dedicated to St. Lawrence martyr (San Lorenzo) with money generated by the Genoese fleets in the Crusades.
This Piazza of San Lorenzo, ultimately became the heart of the city.
The cathedral was consecrated by Pope Gelasius II on October 8, 1118. I love the carved lions that grace the staircase by Carlo Rubatto. The central lunette depicts Jesus glorified between the evangelists and the martyrdom of St. Lawrence.
Various altars and chapels were erected between the 14th and 15th the century. The small loggia on the north-eastern tower of the façade was built in 1455; on the opposite side, the loggia built in Mannerist style, is from 1522.
In 1550 the Perugian architect Galeazzo Alessi was commissioned by the city magistrates to plan the reconstruction of the entire building. His ultimate intervention included the cupola, the covering of the nave and aisles, the pavement and the apse.
The construction of the cathedral ended in the 17th century. The dome and the medieval parts were restored between 1894-1900.
During World War II, the cathedral escaped damage when the city of Genoa was under siege during Operation Grog. The British battleship, HMS Malaya fired a shell into the south-east corner of the nave. The relatively soft material failed to detonate the fuse and the shell is still there.
The Museum of the Treasury lies under the cathedral. It holds precious relics, jewelry and silver. One of the most important relics is a Sacra Catino, a sacred basin brought by Guglielmo Embriaco in the 12th century, after the conquest of Cesarea. It is believed to be a sacred element used by Christ during the Last Supper. Guglielmo Embriaco (born in 1040), was a Genoese merchant and military leader who came to the assistance of the Crusader States in the aftermath of the First Crusade.
Some of the other important intersting churches in Genoa include: the Church of San Donato, the Church of Sant’Agostino, the Oratory of San Giacomo della Marina, the Church of Santo Stefano, San Torpete and the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato.
Genoa is Italy’s most important commercial port. The “La Lanterna” lighthouse is a testimant to Genoa’s medieval sea-faring glory. The Old Harbour (Porto Antico) has been transformed into a mall by architect Renzo Piano. Genoa has the largest aquarium in Europe located in Porto Antico www.portoantico.it. Porto Antico also has a Childrens’ Museum with a lovely waterfront Promenade and shops. The restaurants offer outstanding “Vino con Vista” opportunities.
On Via Garibaldi, Genoa’s most beautiful street, the 16th century Palazzo Bianco houses an outstanding collection of Ligurian art from 1400 to 1700 including works by Luca Cambiaso, Domenico Piola, Bernardo Strozzi and Giovanni Benedetto. At the Palazzo Bianco, one of my favorite Caravaggio’s paintings “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man of Sorrows) can be viewed. You can also admire frescoes by de Ferrari and Domenico Piola.
The “Rolli” palaces were patrician residences built by the wealthiest and most powerful aristocratic families of the Republic of Genoa.
These dwellings were built at the height of Genoa’s seafaring prowess. Palaces are generally three to four stories high and feature spectacular staircases, courtyards, and loggias overlooking gardens. The owners of these palazzi were obligated to host official visits of State as decreed by the Senate in 1576. These formal visits contributed to the dissemination of their architectural model, which attracted famous artists like Peter Paul Rubens.
If you follow my posts, you know I depend on the Hop-on Hop-off Bus for my weekend excursions. Take the Genoa tour bus and you can marvel at the 16th and 17th century “New Streets” (Strada Nuova). Genoa’s historically impressive “urban development projects that represent plans by the public authority to parcel out a system of lodging based upon legislation.” (UNESCO).
The magnificent structures can be found in the historic city center. These elaborate Renaissance and Baroque palaces are called the Palazzi dei Rolli. This is where the note prominent families lived. These residences are located on Via Balbi and Via Garibaldi and are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visit the Palazzo Rosso museum, Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale. Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso are also known as Musei di Strada Nuova. Palazzo Rosso was built for Ridolfo and Giovanni Francesco Brignole Sale in 1671. Admire Gregorio de’Ferrari’s “Allegoria dell’Estate” in the Spring Room of Palazzo Rosso. The Gallery of Palazzo Rosso has a fine collection of furniture, ceramics and Chinese pottery. The Museum of Oriental Art houses treasures brought to Genoa by her famous navigators.
This was the childhood home of Christopher Columbus whose memory permeates the town. There is also a house where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born. I love the Cristoforo Colombo Statue that was erected between 1846-1862. At the base of the statue, the four smaller statues depict Stength, Pity, Prudence and the Art of Navigation.
Other city landmarks worth cisiting include Palazzo del Principe, and the monumental cemetery of Staglieno, renowned for its magnificent statues like the Allegory of Faith by Santo Varni.
The Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art has one of the largest collections of Oriental art in Europe.
Stay at the Locanda di Palazzo Cicala in Piazza San Lorenzo firstname.lastname@example.org and dine at La Bitta nella Pergola on Via Casaregis for a feast in Genoa.
Genoa and the entire region of Liguria is a haven for foodies! It’s the focaccia and pesto capital of the world so enjoy the cuisine.
Here’s a pesto video for you to make some Pesto alla Genovese: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvCHwnZ–fY
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com
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