Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 28, 2014

Above a door in Genova

In the Via degli Orefici in the old city of Genova in the north of Italy is the doorway to a shop, nothing special really.


…but look above the doorway.


You will see a relief…Adoration of the Magi, attributed to Giovanni Gagani and dated 1460.





That it is still there intact is amazing. We wouldn’t have noticed it if a kindly local had not directed us towards it.

Italy is full of surprises like this.


  1. It is the history living in our current wanderings of Italy that is so compelling. I enjoy your posts.

    • There is something amazing around every corner.

  2. The old city in Genoa is fascinating, those beautiful narrow streets… We did not see this has relief; however, we will look for it next time we visit. Thanks Debra!

    • We were lucky to find it. There is a lot to see in Genova.

  3. What a great discovery. We will certainly follow your example and track down this simple doorway when we visit Genova next month. Thank you.

    • I’m sure you will enjoy wandering the narrow streets of the old city.

  4. Beautiful. I am glad it is still there. Too bad about the ugly entryway underneath it.

    • The shop is not beautiful, but at least the relief is still there.

  5. They are beautiful,I mean those photographs.

    • It is an amazing piece of art.

  6. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing, Debra.
    Counting the weeks until I return to Milano, probably the
    first week in June. Lots of thing happening w/ writing projects.

    Hope to see you again this summer!


    • We will be here in BdL. Let me know if you come this way.

  7. Loved reading this one on Genoa. That relief almost goes back to Marco Polo’s time or does it miss by a century?

    • Christopher Colombus was around about then. His house is not far away.

  8. How amazing is this, the age and the condition. I’m looking forward to visiting some of the places I have read about on your blog, so thank you Debra.
    I will be checking out all the shop entrances!! We are coming from Australia, have already booked a couple of night in Lucca. So looking forward to enjoying the area.

    • I’m sure you will love Lucca. It is a gorgeous place. Enjoy a walk around the wall.

  9. So detailed! It’s amazing that it is still intact.

    • Incredible that it can be hundreds of years old and look as good as that.

  10. Such detail – it goes to show that in Italy you need to always look up to see such wonderful discoveries

    • You need to have eyes everywhere in Italy to take it all in.

  11. I think the clash with all the ‘new’ bits – the shop front. the stickers and our beloved cables and wires 😉 just makes the work feel even more precious and magical for having survived. A fabulous find Deb! x

    • Lucky for us an old gentleman stopped us for a chat. He was so proud of his town and wanted to share it with us.

  12. Beautiful!!

    • I think it is stunning. I wonder how they care for it.

  13. Wonderful thanks for pointing it out – there’s a blog at which also mentions the same but yours is the first mention in English.

    • Thanks Francis. She obviously gives much more description than I do, but my photos are more clear I think.

  14. Fantastic. Thank you for showing us this. We’re planning to go to Genoa in the summer and will seek this out.

    • I’m sure you will enjoy wandering in this amazing city.

  15. Amazing artwork to be hanging above a door of an unassuming shop. Hard to believe that it’s still there after all this time, intact and not damaged. Great find!

    • I couldn’t find any damage at all, it is amazing.

  16. Italy truly is full of surprises! What a find…it’s a high relief where the figures are standing way out from the background. So lifelike. Thank you for sharing this.

    • It is incredibly lifelike, even to the expressions on the faces.

  17. It is incredible the detail that still remains! 😮

    • Someone must be keeping an eye on it. I’m surprised it was not covered by glass.

  18. Wow! Amazing….so much detail!

    • It is great that it is still there.

  19. What a pleasant surprise. If I recall, Genova’s Old City is one of your favorites.

    • It is a terrible place to get into. The maze of streets is incredible. Our Satnav to us to a nonexistent car park and we ended up in a tiny dead end alley and we had an awful time getting out. Next time we will take the train., but it is a fabulous place to see.

      • Is a train station close to the old city?

      • We haven’t tried that way yet, but it can’t be all that far. It has to be better than driving.

  20. That’s beautiful! I was in Italy recently and noticed many similar things. Maybe not all with the same pedigree, but the ancient and the modern side by side everywhere we went. It’s not something we are used to here in the US. It’s part of what makes Italy and other parts of Europe so magical for me. Thanks for all the lovely pictures – I can’t wait to go back and I’ll be looking for some of the places you have introduced me to.

    • Our modern cities in Australia don’t offer the interesting old things we find in Italy either…one of the reasons we love it here.

  21. Really lovely, Debra. 🙂

    • Thank you, it was a great find.

  22. What a gem – and so much detail…

    • Amazing, isn’t it?

  23. That is incredible, and one of the reasons I love Italy (and Europe) is exactly this kind of thing. What an amazing example of history, art, culture, skill, appreciation…

  24. Love that carving 🙂

  25. Amazingly beautiful. We see so many people walking around with their faces in a map, and missing so many sights….look up, people! You are missing your vacation!! LOL!

  26. Nativity scene carvings … I love it. Though, it reminds more of the carving on the Arche de Triomphe in Paris.

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