Page:Book of the Riviera.djvu/376

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CHAPTER XIX


SAVONA


The city and port—Pope Sixtus IV.—The Delia Rovere family—Nepotism—Assassination of Giuliano di Medici—Methods of filling the treasury—Sixtus and the Spirituals—Julius II.—A fighting pope: his portrait by Raphael—Pius VII. at Savona: his removal from Rome—Death of Princess Borgia—Bishop Grossulano—The Margravate of Savona—The Sanctuario—Crowned images—Jacques de Voragine—The Albizzola Palace: and Gardens—Mme. de Genlis and travelling on Corniche Road—Ruined palaces of Liguria.


SAVONA, with its port, its towers, its engirdling mountains, and its wide-stretching orange and lemon orchards, is a very charming town.

The port, with its picturesque tower, engages the eye at once. The cathedral, built in 1604, is in the uninteresting style of that period. It contains some good pictures by Brea, 1495, and Aurelio Robertelli, 1449; and the tomb of the parents of Pope Sixtus IV. who was a native of Celle, near Savona. His father was a poor boat or fisherman called della Rovere; but it was the whim of Francesco della Rovere, when he became Pope under the title of Sixtus IV., to be thought a scion of the ancient house of the same name at Turin. A false pedigree was forged, and he purchased the complaisance of the Turin family, and silenced their jibes, by giving them two cardinal's hats. He assumed their arms—a golden oak tree on an azure ground—which figures on the tomb at Savona, and which Michael Angelo painted on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, in compliment to Pope Sixtus and to his nephew Julius.


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