Genoa, Portofino, Camogli

Portofino dope pranzo (after lunch)

Yesterday, we had a day in Genoa. It was Monday and much of Italy is closed on Mondays. We spent the morning at the Villa del Príncipe, the home built by Andrea Doria. I am not sure why his name is familiar but I learned that he was a very successful naval officer of fortune, working for the King of Spain and various Italian princes and kings. He made a lot of money, guaranteed Genoa’s safety (I’m not sure from whom) and then built his house. It was very grand, big as any royal palazzo but time has not been good to it. An elevated highway cut off part of the garden, the train station is next door and there is nothing but a traffic circle close to it. Still, it was open and we went. I didn’t realize it but most of the palazzos we’ve seen in Torino and Genova are publicly owned and thus have access to restoration funds. Good investments bringing in tourist euros. Andrea Doria’s house testifies to the value of a historic house being run publicly if family pockets are not deep enough. Although the Dorias have done some renovation (it is still owned by the family) much, much, much needs doing. Continue reading