Up to the Top of Genoa

Pearl Gates or Battleground?

Echo of footsteps on the stone, cool breeze and a little wait goes with the locals and tourists towards the Genoese overlook par excellence: Spianata Castelletto.
During the rise on the liberty style elevator, the romantic verses of Caproni resonate in the heart of the passengers:

When I decide
to go to heaven,
I’ll go in the elevator 
of Castelletto…

And once the doors open, the colourful light that goes through the yellow and blue glasses is almost blinding. As if you had really reached the pearl gates!
The city, seen from above, seems to meld with the same sea that once made it great. When you have Genoa at your feet, the confusing maze of the alleys, the hidden squares and the many patchy houses seem to make sense. It is almost as if only from the top you could see the drawing created by this superb city that “abounds in the strangest contrasts

This supreme “balcony” overlooking Genoa’s old town, known as Spianata Castelletto or Belvedere Montaldo, is part of those contrasts, or rather contradictions.
In the same place that nowadays gathers tourists and Genoese looking for a break or a good view, once stood a Castle whose memory remains only in the name “Castelletto”. Actually, this place has hosted many fortresses over the centuries! But they were often taken by foreign forces, so that Genoese people never had a good feeling about them. That’s why the last “hated fortress” was definitely destroyed after 1848.
Finally, we can say that in the past this majestic overlook, considered on a par with the pearl gates, was a real battleground!

However, this place has much more to offer than a view! Would you ever imagine that under the same spot on which you are maybe tasting a refreshing ice cream there are the remains of an old tower? And what if I tell you that under your feet there are also traces of an antique aqueduct? Not to mention the majestic but forgotten tanks!

From Spianata Castelletto you can embrace at a glance not only the entire city, but also its millennial history!

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