Statues - Hither & Thither
Via Rati 28
Affresco sulla casa natale di Colombo
Fresco on Columbus' birth house
A CRISTOFORO COLOMBO
CON GENEROSO ARDIR DALL'ARCA ALL'ONDE
UBBIDIENTE IL VOL COLOMBA PRENDE
CORRE S'AGGIRA TERREN SCUOPRE E FRONDE
D'OLIVO IN SEGNO AL GRAN NOE' NE RENDE
L'IMITA IN CIÒ COLOMBO NOÈ S'ASCONDE
E DA SUA PATRIA IL MAR SOLCANDO FENDE
TERRENO ALFIN SCUOPRENDO DIEDE FONDO
OFFRENDO ALL'ISPANO UN NUOVO MONDO
Li 2 Decembre 1650
Prete Antonio Colombo
Rinovata] l'anno 1826 [li 9 d'Agos[
Hospes siste gradum: fuit HIClux prima Columbi
Orbe viro majori; Heu! Nimis arcta Domus
Unus erat Mundus; Duo sunt, ait Iste: fuere
On this house there are two plaques commemorating the visit of King Umberto and his brother Amedeo in 1857 (façade facing Via Rati) and the salute of the North-American steamer Princetown in 1847 (façade facing Lungomare Santa Maria) .
"Cogoletto is a small village fifteen miles from Genoa, which claims to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. A tablet has been placed in an old house in one of the principal streets in commemoration of this dubious fact. Nevertheless, the very room and the corner in which the Discoverer was born are shown to all visitors who are willing to spend a small sum for the privilege of admission. In this house there is also a small portrait of Columbus which is asserted to be of great antiquity, but evidently it is only a copy from the Jovius.
But there is another picture in the Council Hall of the village which is really deeply interesting. Its antiquity has been almost proven by Isnardi in is work, Sulle Patria de Colombo, who says that its history can be traced for over three hundred years; and some have gone so far as to pretetnd that it is the original and now lost portrait of the Jovian Gallery. A single glance at it will show its striking likeness to the Altissimo, to the de Orchi and the Yañez portraits, and to all those emanating from the Jovian type. It even has the same inscription, thus showing their common origin. The picture is in bad condition, and does not appear to be the work of a master-hand."
We visited Cogoleto on 8 August 2001. The "birth house" is closed for public, but has a huge fresco on the façade and plaques on front and back side. A friendly town official in the town hall guided me to the mayor's room, where a painted portrait of Columbus and some documents hang. If the portrait is the same as described by Ponce de Léon, it is now thoroughly restored, because it looks new to me. In the hall of the same building is a model of the Santa Maria. One of the main streets is of course named Via Cristoforo Colombo.
We found the following memorials to Columbus: