A door that divides the present from the past. Few steps that separate the chaotic world of our times from the magic and mysterious Middle Ages.

Pigna’s gates are in rapid succession and mark the passages to the three circles of walls built in defence of a city that expanded over the years and had the need of defending itself from the enemy invasions who were coming from the sea the most of the times.

As you climb up and enter into the old town, between narrow alleyways and staircases, Pigna – named so because of the characteristic shape that emerges from the maze of houses it is made of – displays a very spectacular show to the visitors’ eyes. A few steps from the first gate, the characteristic Piazza dei Dolori (“Square of Sorrows”) reveals itself, with its oratory, built in 1508 and surmounted by the civic insignias, and the Pretorio palace. A little further on, Luca Spinola Street, with the homonymous historical palace that housed the Genoa podestà, the Fornari family palace, restored by the former praetor, and Manara Palace, which even hosted in 1538 Pope Paul III while he was returning from Avignon.

Continuing to climb up and crossing the other Gates, with their louvres, built to see who was approaching, you then move from the small, but full of history, Bottini Chapel and, through Porta San Giuseppe, dated 1560, with its original gates, you arrive at the homonymous church built in 1571. The journey into the Pigna’s history leads the visitors to discover the small Piazza Capitolo (“Chapter Square”), with the mystery of its origins and name and, moreover, the Santa Brigida square.

[Simona Maccaferri]