Friday, May 14, 2010
This famous and magnificent lighthouse is located near the ferry-boat terminal in Genoa, capital of the region of Liguria. La Lanterna (as it is known) is the symbol of Genoa and the arms of the city are painted on the sides of the lower stage. It is a 77 m (253 ft) two-stage square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and two galleries, one at the top of each stage. Built on a rock of 40 metres of height, the top of the Lanterna stands therefore at 117 metres above the sea level. Its light is visible from more than 50 kilometres away. The lighthouse, as we see it today, was built in 1543; it is believed that the original lighthouse (which was nearly as tall) stood on this site as early as 1128 (another source says 1161), and a lamp fueled by olive oil was installed in 1326.
The lighthouse was restored by the Provincia di Genova between 1995 and 2004. Visitors are allowed to climb 172 steps to the first gallery, which is 36 m (118 ft) above the foot of the tower and 76 m (249 ft) above the water. A museum has been built nearby in part of the Savoy fortifications that surround the tower. Here it is possible to see lamps, lenses and other lighthouse-related objects.