Piazza De Ferrari
Square in Genova
Piazza De Ferrari stands as the quintessential heart of Genoa, a place of convergence for both locals and visitors alike. As the city’s bustling commercial, financial, and economic nucleus, it serves as the central meeting point and backdrop for significant events that unfold in Genoa. Situated within the Portoria district, one of the “sestieri” or neighborhoods of historic Genoa, Piazza De Ferrari radiates as a pivotal hub of Genoese life. It is here that the cityscape seems to split into two distinct realms – the 19th-century center marked by financial institutions, businesses, and shopping, and the historical center adorned with labyrinthine alleyways and cozy squares that lead toward the sea. This dichotomy creates an urban dynamic that harmoniously bridges old-world charm and modern vitality.
Named after Raffaele De Ferrari, Duca di Galliera, a prominent politician and banker who made a generous donation for the expansion of the port in 1875, the square’s irregular shape reflects urban planning alterations that amalgamated two adjoining yet stylistically different areas. Piazza De Ferrari acts as the juncture between the historical heart of the city and the “modern” Art Nouveau ambiance of Via XX Settembre, a major avenue that converges onto the square.
This vibrant core is where Genoa’s character transforms. The alluring architecture of the old town, scents of Ligurian cuisine wafting through the air, blend with the sea’s gentle aroma, creating a sensory tapestry. As the square broadens, the elegance of the buildings basks in sunlight, resonating with a different kind of splendor.
At the very center of this expansive square stands a grand circular bronze fountain, an architectural marvel crafted in 1936 by Cesare Crosa di Vergagni and gifted by the Piaggio family. The fountain underwent an enhancement in 2001 with the addition of more water features.
Piazza De Ferrari is enveloped by magnificent architectural wonders on each side. The Palazzo della Borsa, a splendid embodiment of Genoese Liberty style, graces one corner, while the secondary entrance to Palazzo Ducale stands opposite. The latter once served as the original seat of the Doge’s Office in the ancient Republic. On the broader sides, Palazzo della Regione (originally Palazzo della Navigazione Generale Italiana) and the Teatro Carlo Felice stand, connecting the square with Galleria Mazzini.
Teatro Carlo Felice was born from the vision of King of Sardinia, Carlo Felice, who aspired to gift Genoa with an opera theatre. Designed by Carlo Barabino, it emerged in the area of Piazza San Domenico after the demolition of an old medieval monastery. The inauguration occurred in 1828 with Vincenzo Bellini’s opera “Bianca e Fernando.” Severely damaged during World War II, the “Carlo Felice” was meticulously reconstructed between 1985 and 1991, restoring its present-day appearance. The theater’s advanced technological design, conceptualized by stage designer Enzo Frigerio, positions it as one of Europe’s most cutting-edge venues. With an orchestra, choir, and acoustical elements designed for optimum listening conditions, Teatro Carlo Felice has become an esteemed host for world-renowned conductors, gaining global recognition as a prominent opera house.
This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!
Visiting Piazza De Ferrari