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.”