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2016 Apr by Frank J Britton
My friend Brendan and I came down by train from Milan. In ways the ancient heart of this maritime city does not seem to have changed since the Republic of Genoa (1005-1797) was a major sea power - its dark narrow streets populated with prostitutes, fish sellers, cheap goods and shady characters have a medieval air. This is where our hotel the beautiful Palazzo Morali is, almost under the big ugly flyover. However just up from the seedy old quarter the commercial and UNESCO city amazingly opens up. Its easy to explore and small enough to navigate on foot. There are good views of the city from the roof of Palazzo Rosso. Most impressive of the Palazzi dei Rolli has to be the Palazzo Reale in Via Balbi, its Mirror Gallery and royal rooms are spectacular. The Palazzo belonged to the House of Savoy, leaders of Italian unification and only monarchs of unified Italy until their abolition in 1946 when the republic was declared. The following day we left by train for Monaco. |
2016 Apr by Leslie Rutledge
I drove through Liguria in 2001, whilst driving around Italy on a European tour. We entered Liguria from the south, after an overnight stop in Torre Del Lago Puccin. Our first stop was Portovenere. Portovenere is one of the most picturesque little villages in Italy but it has one big drawback. It has a one way system with quite narrow roads and no in-town parking for anything bigger than a car so we could only drive in and out again. From here we drove up the coast to San Remo via Genoa and quite a few coastal villages stopping at several for a break and to dip our feet in the sea. We stopped overnight at a camping site at San Remo and boy was I glad to get in the sea to cool off, it had been a long hard hot drive. |
2012 Apr by Franklin Murillo
We returned back into Italy with our rental car from Nice France and headed toward Seborga. After a brief visit in Seborga we continued to La Spezia to spend one night. We stayed at the Jolly hotel and went to dinner at another pasta and pizza restaurant in La Spezia. This is what we ate every night for dinner never getting tired of it. The next morning we drove to Manarola Cinque Terre a UNESCO world heritage site. There are five villages but we only had time to visit one of them. Hiking from village to village is a very popular thing to do here. You can arrive in Cinque Terre either by car, small bus, train or ferry. Our next stop was Pisa and Florence in Tuscany. |
2010 Jan by Michael Novins
January 2010 -- There are frequent trains from Milano Centrale to Genova Piazza Principe railway station, taking around two hours. From Genova Principe I walked to Via Garibaldi, the location of many of the Palazzi dei Rolli, a UNESCO World Heritate Site (http://www.irolli.it/). |
2007 Jul by Veikko Huhtala*
Liguria is an Italian region on the north coast of the country. Capital Genoa is locating in the middle of the region, just on the armpit of Gulf of Genoa on the Ligurian Sea. Liguria is long and narrow region and its surface area is one of the smallest in Italy. When you are travelling from Rome for example to Monaco by car or by train, you are going through of Liguria, all the way 300 km from east to west. The coast is full good beaches, small towns and villages. It is very popular area to spend vacations, at least for Italians. Genoa is birth place of Christopher Columbus. Last time we drove through Liguria 2007 by car.|
2005 Apr by Alfredo Fournier-Beeche
Liguria is one of the smallest regions of Italy, South of Piedmont and Lombardy, on the Ligurian Sea. Genoa, main city and Capital, is known as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Indeed this is the main known fact of the place. You can visit the explorer's home, which happens to be next door to the serene 12th-century cloisters of Sant'Andrea. The Doumo is very close and also worthwile the visit, although I found it stange that it has no plaza in front. But this is a very beautiful city in North Italy, very close to the border with France. Besides being a port, it is evident that it is very commercial. It has many vacationing places, such as Santa Marghereta Ligure and Portofino. We went to Portofino to enjoy a few days but found that it was not to our liking, since there was not much to do, except sleep and eat good but expensive food. The hotels are good, but small and expensive, without the amenities that bigger hotels have. There are no beaches and only an old fortress on top of a cliff, with a nice veiw. It only serves as a place to anchor you yacht, but I have no yacht. |
1973 Sep by Jorge Sanchez
THE PRINCIPALITY OF SEBORGA:
It was the end of my short journey to Eastern Europe. I had visited some special places in Romania, the Republic of Transniester, Gagauzia, the Republic of Srpska with the Brcko District, plus Ithaca Island. I was already in Italy returning back home hitch hiking, when a man who gave me a ride to Montecassino Monastery explained me the history of Seborga, and it was so interesting that I decided to pay a visit to that exotic place in my way back to Spain.
The Principality of Seborga (Principato di Seborga) is considered an unofficial micro-nation, just as Sealand (a platform located off the English coast), or the Kingdom of Redonda, in the Caribbean Sea.
That benevolent Italian man told me that, according to historical documents, Seborga was known in the past as Castrum Sepulcri.
In the year 954 Seborga was a feud owned by the Earls of Ventimiglia, and they ceded it to the monks of Lerin islands, located in front of Cannes.
At the end of the XI century Seborga became a Principality within the Holy Roman Empire.
Then, at the beginning of the XII century, the Abbey/Prince Edward ordained nine Templar caballeros (The Knights of Saint Bernard), and consequently the Principality of Seborga became the only Sovereign Cistercian State in History.
When some years later these nine knights returned from Jerusalem to Seborga, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux himself met them in that Principality and he appointed one of them the Great Master of the Knights of Saint Bernard.
Seborga continued enjoying the status of a Cistercian State until 1729, when it was sold to Vittorio Amadeo II of Savoy, King of Sardinia. But this acquisition was never registered (and the money was never paid!). Some years later Seborga Principality was not included in the Republic of Genoa, and it was not even mentioned in the Congress of Vienna of 1815 as part of Sardinia. When in 1861 the Act of Unification of Italy took place, the Principality of Seborga was disregarded and therefore the inhabitants of Seborga never considered themselves Italians, even in 1946 when the Republic of Italia was declared.
The Italian Government, of course, takes the “independence” of Seborga as a joke.
After two hours walking, at about 1 kilometer before reaching Seborga, a man with a long beard picked me up and offered me a room in his friends’ hostel. I did not want to tell him that I planned to sleep in the nature, but when we reached the downtown his friends were in the main square, so they offered me a room for 30 euros.
30 euros was all that I had left. With that amount I could eat several days, but it was the end of my mini-journey in East Europe; I had been sleeping for eight days on a row in beaches, benches or in boats and I urgently needed to wash my dirty clothes and have a shower to arrive back home in Spain clean, otherwise my mother would scold me. So I bargained and finally we agreed 20 euros for the room, without breakfast, in the hostel ANTICO CASTELLO.
The room was gorgeous, spacious, with an enormous bed, hot water, two frescoes in its walls depicting Templar knights and medieval castles…I felt so good!
After a long shower I visited a XIII century small chapel, called San Bernardo, located at about 100 metres from the downtown.
The door was closed but I pushed and could open it. The interior was charming and I inside noticed several Templar dresses and crosses that the local people use for their ceremonies every 20th of August, Saint Bernard day and “national” festivity, when all the inhabitants of Seborga, about 340, walk in procession around the main streets of their village performing rites of chivalry.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was a reformer of the Order of Cistercians who erected many monasteries in France, and also along the Saint James Way (El Camino de Santiago), in Spain.
He organized the monastic life of the Templar Knights, those monks’ warriors who protected the pilgrims going to Jerusalem from the assaults of the bandits.
Two of the first nine Templar Knights were Saint Bernard relatives.
The downtown was great. In every house there was a Seborga flag with its characteristic colours, blue and white. I also saw doors with the Templar Cross painted, and many Knights designed in the streets walls, like frescoes. I felt as if I had been transported to several centuries back in time.
In one of the walls I read the following phrase:
“Sede Sovrano Ordine Cavalleresco di San Bernardo di Clairvaux”
I asked for that place to a woman passing by and she said the Prince of Seborga, Giorgio I, is the Master of that Order of Chivalry.
And she continued explaining that in 1960 a man named Giorgio Carbone discovered the rich history of the Principality of Seborga and that it had never been part of Italy. In 1963 he was formally appointed Prince by the major part of Seborga inhabitants.
He is very old and weak, and stays always at home.
People call him with high respect “Sua Tremendità”. He has the title of “Gran Priore delle Venerabilis Ordo Sancti Sepulchri del Principato di Seborga”.
Templar Square was a remarkable place for its medieval atmosphere.
On the floor there was a Templar Cross made with small tiles and black stones, at one side the old Monks Palace and next door there was a Church devoted to Saint Martin of Tours.
Not far from there I saw the Prince Palace, where Giorgio I lived. On its walls I saw the following plaque:
Imperial and Royal House
De Vigo Aleramico Lascaris Paleologo of Constantinople
Government of the Roman Eastern Empire in Exile
That evening, in the restaurant where I had “dinner”, I learnt that Enrico Vigo Aleramico pretends to be a prince descending from the Emperors of the old Byzantium before Constantinople was invaded by the Turks in 1453, and he issues titles of nobility and of Chivalry, because he claims to be a Grand Master of the Constantinean Order of Saint George. He asks from 7500 to 30.000 US Dollars per title, but they are not recognized by the Nobility Societies, which is why he has been in jail several times.
I still visited a museum with 135 different musical instruments from the medieval times, which is supposed to be unique of its kind in Italy. The entrance fee was 1 euro.
In Seborga there is a supermarket, a tobacco and a souvenir shops, all around a square with a well in the middle.
I entered in the souvenirs shop and was offered a coin of 2 Luigino, the old Principality of Seborga currency.
In the XVII century the Luigino corresponded to a quarter of a French Louis. Today is not used anymore, only for the tourists.
It was minted in 1995 and looked like a 2 euro coin. On one side there was the face of Giorgio I, and on the other side there was a sort of emblem of the Principality of Seborga,
They asked me 14 euro for that coin of 2 Luigino but, considering that it was too expensive, I did not buy it.
Trattoria San Bernardo was the only choice that I had for dinner. It is located in the main square. In front of this Trattoria there was another restaurant, but it was closed.
The Tratoria is decorated with frescos showing Templar caballeros with their horses.
In the patio the atmosphere was intimate, since all the customers knew each other, and they talked with familiarity across the tables.
The future Prince was having dinner with his family. I inquired him for Giorgio I and was told that he is ill in bed.
I had a look at the menu expecting to find medieval prices. But no! A normal dinner consisting on two dishes with pasta plus fish cost 20 euros; therefore I finally ordered a sandwich of mortadela (3 euro) plus a cappuccino (1.50 euro). I gave no tips, so I did not spend too much money and still kept some coins (5 or 6 euros) to drink a cappuccino the next morning, before heading to Spain, hitch hiking.
One of the waitresses was Charo, from Montevideo, and speaks Spanish........................................................................................................
IN SPANISH, GENOA: GÉNOVA: LAS STRADE NUOVE Y EL SISTEMA DE LOS PALAZZI DEI ROLLI
UNESCO describe de la siguiente guisa este Patrimonio de la Humanidad: Las Strade Nuove y el sistema de los Palazzi dei Rolli del centro histórico de Génova datan de finales del siglo XVI y principios del XVII, época en la que esta república marítima se hallaba en el apogeo de su poderío financiero y comercial. Este sitio ofrece el primer ejemplo de proyecto de ordenación urbana en parcelas realizado en Europa por los poderes públicos en un marco unitario, y está asociado a un sistema particular de alojamiento público en viviendas de particulares, establecido por un decreto del Senado de la República Génova en 1576. El sitio comprende un conjunto de mansiones renacentistas y barrocas que flanquean las calles nuevas (strade nuove). Estos edificios presentan una extraordinaria variedad de soluciones arquitectónicas, que son de trascendencia universal por su ejemplar adaptación a las características particulares de su emplazamiento y las exigencias de una organización socioeconómica específica. También constituyen un ejemplo original de un sistema público de residencias privadas, cuyos propietarios tenían la obligación de albergar a los huéspedes oficiales del Estado.
El objetivo en mi viaje a Génova, lo reconozco, no fueron esos bellos palacios que están contemplados como Patrimonio de la Humanidad por UNESCO, aunque los vi y no me dejé ni uno de los importantes, sino saber más sobre Cristóbal Colón.
Primero cumplí con mi obligación de turista y me paseé durante una hora larga por las calles Garibaldi, Cairoli y Balbi admirando los palacios de los aristócratas de los siglos XVI al XVIII. Los veía por fuera y donde podía entrar, entraba, al menos en el patio interior. Algunos palacios habían sido transformados en bancos, otros en museos. Pero la mayoría no pueden ser visitados, y hay una cuarentena de ellos en esa zona. Algunos de los palacios poseen bellos jardines en su interior, pero yo no vi ningún jardín en los pocos que pude visitar furtivamente.
Más lúdica fue la visita al monumento a Cristóbal Colón a la salida de la estación de tren, y su supuesta casa (los gallegos afirman que nació en la provincia de Pontevedra) en la Piazza Dante.
Me hice fotografiar junto a la estatua de Colón. Existen numerosos monumentos dedicados a Colón en diversas ciudades del mundo, sobre todo en América, algunos en España (yo conozco los de Madrid, Barcelona y Huelva) y éste de Génova.
Era ése un viaje a la búsqueda de huellas de viajeros del pasado, más que de Patrimonios de la Humanidad, que visitaba de carambola. Acababa de llegar de Vicenza, donde rendí pleitesía a Pigafetta, y tras Génova me dirigiría a Savona para tratar de averiguar más sobre uno de los 18 supervivientes de la expedición de Magallanes, llamado Martino de Judicibus.
En un principio, y según algunos historiadores, Martino nació en Génova, pero otros afirman que era nativo de Savona. De hecho, se ignora su lugar de nacimiento y de su muerte, como así me confirmaron en la Oficina de Turismo de Génova, donde indagué. De todos modos, mi visita de medio día a Savona sería grata, aunque no fuera provechosa para mis propósitos. |