• 2020.10.20
  • Villa Durazzo Pallavicini park visit
Villa Durazzo Pallavicini park was inaugurated for the first time 174 years ago and now, in 2020, it remains a beautiful palace and a must-see when visiting Genoa city and Liguria.
We locals enjoy visiting it on weekends to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without going too far.
Simply calling it a park is somewhat simplistic because Villa Durazzo Pallavicini is much more.
The park is now home to the Ligurian Archeology Museum and from the square in front of the museum building it is possible to admire the roofs of Pegli village while getting lost looking at the sea and with the imagination you could almost get back in time, to the time of Captain Ignazio Pallavicini, its founder, when certainly the area was not as crowded as it is today. After the restoration works which took place a few years ago, the park is accessed directly from the palace.
Past the gate on which the statues of two snarling dogs stand out, almost as if they wanted to warn us of something, one can spot a nineteenth-century neo-gothic style facade of the ancient Gothic tribune with cast iron railings.
The treelined avenue, called ‘Gothic avenue,’ recalls Dante's dark forest and the restless mood of the man who wonders about his own existence. The Gothic shape of the nave is recalled by the oak trees arranged on both sides and, even in this case you have to work a little with your imagination as it takes time (you have to wait for dusk) before the plants can actually cast a shadow on the place.
A point of interest is the majestic triumphal arch and a botanical garden which hosts a Mediterranean oasis which abounds with both local and exotic plants from all over the Mediterranean countries of Europe and Northern Africa.
Going further down the gardens, one arrives in front of the old pond, emblem of wild nature, onto which the waterfall flows directly from the top of the mountain.

The old pond of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini

The trail continues with a slight slope and the plants begin to thin out. Behind you it is still possible to observe Pegli and the runway of the Genoa airport but the real show is in front of us, perhaps the symbolic building of the Villa Durazzo Pallavicini Park, for me without a doubt the place that impressed me the most: the Captain's Castle. Located at 100 meters above sea level, it is located at the top of the hill from which it dominates the surroundings. The building has a special shape with a central tower intended to represent the level of spirituality reached by man after the purification process started in the wilderness.
If the exterior already has its charm, the real treasure is the interior, thanks to a careful restoration work in fact, although refurbished, the walls and ceilings have maintained the shapes and charm of the time it was conceived. The polychrome windows on both floors were renovated with the original colors and a narrow spiral staircase leads to the upper floor, where there is a small circular room where you will fall in love with its colors, reflections and paintings. Once out on the terrace you can admire the 360-degree panorama, in reality it is possible to climb even higher to see Genoa and the Ligurian coast free from the vegetation of the Park, however when I was there, access to the upper floor was forbidden.
Leaving the castle behind, in a few steps you reach the Captain's Mausoleum, where his mortal remains are kept. Nearby there is a small cemetery where dead soldiers would rest to defend their master's fiefdom.
There is also a playful corner inside the park, a sort of old-style amusement park, an invitation to all visitors to enjoy and be carefree and even some manmade but not artificial caves (unfortunately still partially closed to the public) which have become famous for having been made using only stalactites and stalagmites taken from natural limestone caves.

Architecture of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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