The Lanterna - Rapetta Ivo

Go to content

Main menu:

The Lanterna

Genova around > The lanterna

The Tower of the Lantern

The Tower of the Lantern of Genoa (or simply, A lantern) is the beacon of the port capital of Liguria, the city once known as the Superba or Dominating the seas. In addition to the indispensable night sailing of the ships entering and leaving the harbor, the lighthouse is also the main symbol of the city, almost a totem to the Genoese, and as such is part of the history of the city.
Built on the hill of San Benigno headland, a short distance from Sampierdarena, is seventy-six meters high. It consists of a tower on two sets of square section with a terrace to sommintà of each order.

         The place where it is - in fact, it was called the Cape because - before the hand of man ridisegnasse the contours of the bay of Genoa - was surrounded on three sides by the sea. To the west, the hill surrounded the original port of Genoa, what is now the Old Port. With the passage of time the hill has taken the name of Capo Faro and San Benigno, from the name of the convent that once stood on it. In fact, today the hill no longer exists (except just a small offshoot of which stands the lighthouse), razed to the ground to create new spaces to the city and its production sites (among other things, a coal ENEL, electric producer factory) .

         The first tower dates back to the Middle Ages (1128) and was characterized by an architectural structure made ​​up of three sections embattled. The link road between Genoa and the west, the Way of France, skirted the port bow and the Promontory probably going to rise to the sea. The graphical representations of the way they describe it instead in a form more recently, certainly not before the seventeenth century, passing inside the lighthouse through the so-called "cut", a deep trench dug upstream of the Lantern.

         At the urban level the lantern was at that time therefore relatively far from the city, and only in the seventeenth century it was incorporated into the so-called Circle seventeenth century, the mighty city walls long nearly nineteen kilometers around the city, almost all of which still exists to this day.

         On the top were lit dry stalks of heather ("heather") or broom ("sharp") in order to warn approaching ships, whose owners had to pay a
fee at the time of the landing. The tower became a hero of the war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, when it was damaged by those who tried to bring down the Guelphs who had taken refuge there to interior In 1405, the priests placed on the dome lantern guardians of a fish and a golden cross , a symbol of Christianity.

         In the sixteenth century the lighthouse was heavily damaged by friendly fire shots fired by insurgents bombed the Genoese against the rulers of France. Thirty years later, in 1543, the lighthouse was rebuilt until it assumed its present appearance.

         Once the lantern was not alone, but had a "little sister", as in all ports placed at the opposite end of the arc port, roughly in the area where presently there are the stores of cotton in the Old Port.

          A curiosity: it seems that after completing the lantern, its builder fell or was thrown down from the top of it. Most malignant put out the word that the Genoese had done due to not having to pay the architect.

         Well it seems to me exaggerated, but probably in line with the concept of saving all the Genoese.

bibliography website wikipedia. for more news on Genoa and its history

please go, you will not be

disappointed, really a great site!

Back to content | Back to main menu