Nervi is a residential district of Genoa. Once an independent municipality, in 1926 it was annexed to Genoa. It is located at the extreme eastern suburbs of Genoa, it has a marina and a long cliff on which a promenade was built. Let’s know better that part of the city!
How to reach Genova Nervi?
- by car – motorway A12 – it is enough to take the Genova Nervi motorway exit and then follow the signs to the city centre. You will get to the centre after 5 minutes. More info here. You can also reach Nervi by state road SS1 Aurelia.
- by train – Genova Nervi railway station is a quite important railway station and many trains stop here. More info here.
- by bus – lines nr. 15, 17, 31 get to Genova Nervi. More info here.
A first settlement that was built in the current area between the Roman bridge and the marina of Nervi in the early decades of the AC. It was a station for stopping and changing horses. In the XIII century Nervi became a part of the Republic of Genoa.
With the Napoleonic era and the fall of the Republic of Genoa, Nervi was incorporated into the Bisagno department. With the fall of Napoleon I the whole Ligurian territory was annexed in the Kingdom of Sardinia and from 1861 the municipality of Nervi was an integral part of the Kingdom of Italy. From 1859 to 1926 the territory was included in the province of Genoa.
Over the centuries the village expanded and during the XVII-XVIII-XIX centuries became very popular through the Genoese nobility that chose Nervi for their residential dwelling villas (the most famous are the Grimaldi, Gnecco, Serra and Croce villas).
Things to see & do
Villa Gnecco was built in the XVI century. It belonged to the Counts Gnecco. Then it was rebuilt in 1733 when it got its present shape, surrounded by almost seven hectares of parkland. Today it is a hotel and, unfortunately, little remains of the extensive garden following the intensive construction of the XIX and XX centuries.
Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi
The promenade starts from the small harbour of Nervi and reaches the ancient port of Capolungo with a total length of about 2 km.
The promenade was originally an ancient path that, starting from 1823, was used by fishermen and farmers in the area to reach the fishing grounds or the agricultural land that then bordered the sea.
The stunning landscape, especially the rocky and jagged coastline of Nervi and the view of the peninsula of Portofino convinced Marquis Gaetano Gropallo to construct a new promenade. The first section connected the small port of Nervi with the ancient Gropallo tower while the second stretch, built in 1872, connected via Serra Gropallo with Capolungo.
The promenade is dedicated to Anita Garibaldi, the wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi. In summer it is also a destination for many swimmers and some fishermen, who can access the sea thanks to accessing ladders on the rocky coast, which often forms real natural pools. Along the promenade, there are numerous clubs and some beach establishments.
The Gropallo tower, that is known also as the Torre del Fieno (The Hay Tower) because of the wet hay that was burned on the upper part of the tower. The wet hay produced smoke and that was the alarm signal. The tower took its name from the Marquis Gaetano Gropallo, creator of the promenade, who had bought it in half of the XIX century. The construction was built in the XVI century and was part of the defensive system, that was built due to the intensification of pirates attacks. Over the years it was modified and restored several times. In 1936 the tower was purchased by the municipality of Genoa.
Parchi di Nervi
The parks of Nervi are an important botanical complex of Genoa formed by a set of several parks that in the past belonged to private villas, including Villa Gropallo, Villa Saluzzo Serra, Villa Grimaldi Fassio and Villa Luxoro. Now they are the propriety of the municipality of Genoa and used to museum structures.
The entire park’s surface covers an area of approximately 92,000 m2 and is located between Via Aurelia and the Ligurian Sea, to the east of the city centre. Inside there are many botanical species (more than 100), including several tall evergreens as well as an important rose garden. In the parks, there are also 5 trees of monumental interest.
The parks are located behind the town of Nervi and this position guarantees the presence of a more temperate climate than in other areas of Genoa.
During the summer in the parks are organized different festivals, like International Ballet Festival or Summer Cinema Festival in the rose garden.
Villa Saluzzo Serra
The Villa Saluzzo Serra was built in the XVII century. In the beginning, it was the property of Marquis Saluzzo and then passed over time by the family Morando, family Serra (who renovated the villa and transformed the land around the villa into a park) and finally to the shipowner Carlo Barabino. In 1926 Barabino sold the villa to the Municipality of Genoa. After some time the villa became a seat of the modern art gallery.
Villa Grimaldi Fassio
It is not sure when the villa was precisely built. However, some experts date it in the XVI century. The first, sure mention comes from the XIX century when it was registered in the Napoleonic land register as a “small palace”. In 1931 the villa was sold to the Brizzolesi family, that sold it in 1956 to the owners Fassio Tomellini. That family made the major changes of the building, including the creation of a new hall with access to the park. The municipality of Genoa bought the villa and the surrounding park (about 12000 m2) from the owners in 1979.
The villa now hosts the collections of the Frugone brothers and the eastern part of its park hosts a large rose garden, which in the past hosted about 800 different varieties of roses.
What else could I add, surely, Genoa Nervi is a perfect place to stay, relax and take a rest during your holiday in Liguria!
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