Luogo - Historical building

Villa imperiale (o Dell’albero d’oro)

Where via S. Fruttuoso, 74, Genova

Imperial Villa was built in the fifteenth century for Lorenzo Cattaneo, a Portuguese merchant consul in Genoa, who, in the same year, realizes in the city the family mansion (square Grillo Cattaneo) on land owned four houses belonging to his hotel. Unknown designers of the garden and the building was finished in its original layout of fifteenth-century Genoese villa, with large porch and loggia superimposed already in 1502, when it hosts the King of France, Louis XII. In '500 the building is changed with the construction of a central atrium with a staircase that leads to the garden behind the closure of the porch; in this phase of construction it is also decorated by Luca Cambiaso and Giovanni Battista Castello "the Bergamasco," which cover the inner and outer surfaces with architectural and figurative works (1565). Passed, in the seventeenth century, to the Salvago family and then to the Imperial, from which it takes its name, was enhanced raised by a floor and extended to the rear with two wings that define the current plani-volumetric composition; the garden is rearranged upstream spectacularly in 1909 with monumental staircase and lilies. Purchased in 1920 by the City of Genoa to be allocated to the school library and, after a heavy degradation that has resulted even in 1994 the collapse of the ceiling frescoes by Cambiaso, a recent restoration (1999-2004) has allowed the recovery of the historic venue library Lercari.

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