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Genova Brignole

exterior view of the station today
Genova Brignole is the Ligurian capital’s second railway station and it is located in piazza Giuseppe Verdi. The volume and type of its traffic, consisting on average of 60 thousand transits per day and 22 million users per year, make it a typical transit station, passed through by more than 300 trains per day.

History

exterior view of the station at the beginning of the XXth century - photo from FS archives
The railways came to Genova in 1854 thanks to the determination of the Savoy monarchy to build the city’s first passenger station Genova Principe, near the harbour. The 1905 world exhibition was the occasion that decided them to provide the city with a second transit station: the original design project for Genova Brignole, drafted by the engineer Giovanni Ottino, foresaw a passenger-traffic building 105 metres long, articulated by height into three sections symmetrically ordered along a central axis, and was completed in 1905.
Its architecture evokes the romantic theme of “rebirth” as expressed by the French school, ornamented with extensive decorative motifs. The pilasters, jambs and cornices up to the first floor are made of white granite. The Roman-style façade looking out on Piazza Verdi is decorated with stuccowork and stone from the quarries of Montorfano, while the walls of the internal halls are adorned with some fine frescoes by De Servi, Berroggio and Grife.

Present situation

view of the main hall
In its present state, the station is articulated in several levels:
• the basement floor, occupied by the heating plant, stockrooms and cellars serving the restaurant and accomodation units;
• the street-level portion consisting of the Travellers Building and containing the ticketing office, commercial enterprises and railways offices;
• the mezzanine floor, at track level, occupied by catering businesses, the waiting room, offices and railway facilities;
• the upper storeys, housing railways offices and accomodation units.



ornamental detail The station is accessed through two entrances located along the main front, while incoming flows are handled by the parking facilities located in its immediate vicinity.
Despite the unquestionable artistic value of this complex, the spaces within it are today constricted, discontinuous and occupied by services of poor quality.

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