The Piazza of Perfect Love

October 17, 2012 / Local Interest
Genova, Liguria

Genoa’s old town is the largest medieval centre in Europe and so rich in history. You’ll be surprised to discover new parts of town even after years of living here.

One surprise in finding an off the beaten path and hidden square called Piazza dello Amor Perfetto (…of Perfect Love) for example, is how it leaves a mark in your heart. This very small and charming square conceals a secret story… you can almost sense the melancholy in this corner of  town!

During the summer of 1502 the King of France Louis XII arrived in Genoa in order to convince the Genoese nobles to help him in his efforts to thwart Spain’s power.

At a party during his stay, the King met a certain Tommasina: it was love at first sight for both.

They danced the whole night away, exchanging effusions of desire. However, that was the only time they saw each other, as the King had to return to France the next morning.

Tommasina cloistered herself at home for years due to her long-distance unrealized love. Hoping to free Tommasina from her prison of pain, her nurse divulged false news about the death of Louis XII, but it led to tragedy instead. Believing the tragic news, Tommasina died of a broken heart.

When the King finally did return to Genoa, he visited the house where Tommasina had lived and died. While looking out from one of her windows, legend has it that he said, “It could have been a perfect love.”

Anna Merulla

by Anna Merulla

Founder of Beautiful Liguria, a travel concierge service that offers everything from tour planning, hiking excursions, cooking lessons, personal shopping and much more in this great region. In 2009 she decided to begin sharing her personal knowledge of the beauty, the culture, and the history of Liguria in which she’s immersed every day.

6 Responses to “The Piazza of Perfect Love”

  1. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    Thank you, Thank you ,thank you..the type of story after my own heart.. thank you

  2. Virginia C. Mars

    Indeed, it is a sad, sweet story. But the picture of the piazza leaves something to be desired. I saw only rather uninteresting buildings and no charming square. Did my picture omitt something?

  3. Thank you for this article. I will be in Genoa in December, my first visit there. It’s always great to learn about hidden corners and specials places.

  4. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    My dear Virginia,
    what is to be desired,is fulfilled with a visit then that sad, sweet story becomes alive and you might feel as did the King of things that could have been

  5. Gian Banchero

    Ah, Genova, one of the best kept secrets of Italy, the city doesn’t have the large annoying tourist industry that much of the rest of Italy harbors and suffers from, magnificent! The food is exceptional at restaurants in that it’s made for the demands of the Genovese, not tourists.


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