This place has no privilege of immunity!

With this post, I wanted to start a new category on the blog, titled “Talking Stones”. I am not to come up with this term, and it is very popular in many cities in Europe. “Talking Stones” are elements of architecture and our surroundings that were silent witnesses and are now “speaking” evidence of past events. Unlike the monuments we take pictures of and read about in guidebooks, they don’t attract our attention and we often pass by them indifferently … which is a pity 🙂 So let’s start:

Cloister of the Canons

Near the St. Lawrence Cathedral (which I wrote about here) at 20 Tommaso Reggio Street, is located the Cloister of the Canons. I highly recommend you see it because it is one of Genoa’s hidden treasures. Inside, there is an interesting collection of paintings by local artists, sculptures, and a permanent exhibition dedicated to blue jeans, which were invented in Genoa (I wrote about it here). For more information about the cloister, entry hours, and ticket prices, please visit the monastery’s website here.

Mysterious plaque

However, let’s back to the “talking stones” we’re interested in now 🙂 Along the wall surrounding the Cloister of the Canons, above one of its portals, there is a marble plaque with the following inscription:

“QUESTO LUOGO NON GODE IMMUNITA'”

which means

“THIS PLACE DOES NOT HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF IMMUNITY”

In the past, this monastery, like all religious buildings, enjoyed such a privilege thanks to which those who wanted to take refuge within its walls had the opportunity to avoid justice for acts committed “outside”. However, the situation began to get out of control and many criminals took advantage of this to avoid the punishment that would inevitably await them outside the monastery. As a result, this privilege was finally abolished in the 18th century, and to confirm this fact, a marble plaque was placed, which we can still see today.

Where else you can find a plaque like that?

Of course, it wasn’t the only monastery in Genoa. It means that it wasn’t the only place in the city that offered such shelter. If you walk around the old town, you can reach the cloister near the church of Santa Maria delle Vigne (worth seeing too). There is also a plaque with the inscription “questo luogo non gode immunity”.

That’s all for a moment 🙂 See ya with the next “talking stone”!

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