Genoa’s medieval alleys are rich in history and after so many years that I live in this unique city, they still surprise me. Here’s what happened some months ago.
I was wandering through Genoa’s narrow alleys searching for a small restaurant suggested by some friends of mine and I found myself walking in Vico dell’ Amore Perfetto (literally “The alley of Perfect Love”) and in a blink of an eye I arrived in a hidden square called “Piazza dello Amor Perfetto” (“Perfect Love Square”).
It was a very small square with a unique charme and surrounded by houses. It was so different from many other places visited before.
Standing in that old square in the centre of Genova was very strange for me and although I didn’t know yet the story behind that name, “Square of Perfect Love”, my feelings in that moment were of sadness. I felt as the centuries-old palaces surrounding that square were safeguarding a melancholy and secret story.
Later that day I had the chance to read the legend regarding the “Piazza dello Amor Perfetto”:
The legend says that during the Summer of 1502 the King of France Louis XII arrived to Genoa with the aim to convince the genoese nobles to help him in his conflict against Spain.
During his stay in Genova The King joined a party and met Tommasina: for both was love at first sight.
The King and Tomasina spent all that night dancing together exchanging glances full of desire. However that was the only time they saw each other, because the King was forced to return to France the next morning.
Tommasina upset for the pain of her far love, remained closed into her home for years.
Hoping to free Tommasina from her prison of pain her nurse divulged the false news about the imminent dead of Louis XII, but what happened was a tragedy. Tommasina believed in that tragic news and died of broken heart.
When the King returned to Genoa, he wanted to visit the house where Tommasina spent her last time. He visited the house and looking out from a window he said “It could have been a perfect love”.