Villa Imperiale Scassi

The building, also known as “The Beauty”, was built in the 16th century using stones extracted from quarries near the Lanterna (lighthouse)

Villa Imperiale Scassi is located in the popular neighborhood of Sampierdarena, near the Genova Ovest motorway exit. It was built in the 16th century by the brothers Giovanni and Domenico Ponzello for the noble Vincenzo Imperiale using stones extracted from the quarries near the Lanterna (lighthouse).

The building, also known as “The Beauty,” dominated the neighborhood and was surrounded by majestic Renaissance gardens developed on a hill and embellished with the Neptune fountain, steps and lush vegetation. The interiors are decorated in neoclassical style with numerous frescoes attributed to Bernardo Castello and his students, loggias, balustrades, tapestries, niches, statues and stuccos by Marcello Sparzo.

After two centuries of splendor, the villa experienced a period of crisis at the beginning of the 19th century when it became a hospital and barracks for the Austrian troops during the siege of Genoa.

The Villa then passed into the hands of the wealthy doctor and university professor Onofrio Scassi, who brought it back to its former glory thanks to a major renovation entrusted to the architect Carlo Barabino.

In 1888 Villa Imperiale Scassi was resold to the Municipality of San Pier d’Arena; the building development of the neighborhood forever changed the surroundings of the villa, which was completely absorbed by the new urban fabric of the city. The large park was largely canceled following the construction of the Villa Scassi hospital and the palace definitively lost continuity with its garden around 1920 when a football stadium was built, the playing ground of the Sampierdarenese (now disappeared).

In the 1920s the villa was used as a school, today it is still home to the “Nicolò Barabino” middle school but it has not lost the charm and elegance that have distinguished it over the centuries.

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