San Luca Church Genoa

In the 12th century, when the San Luca Church in Genoa was built, two aristocratic families used to be by far the richest and most influential people in the area. Consequently, the church was built by a member of the Spinola family, on land that belonged to the Grimaldi family.

San Luca Church Genoa

History and description

San Luca Church Genoa, apse

The Chiesa di San Luca was built in 1188 by Oberto Spinola. The land on which it was constructed was owned by his son-in-law Oberto Grimaldi.

In 1485 Pope Innocent VIII officially gave the patronage of the church to the Spinola and Grimaldi families.

The Baroque interior is largely the work of Domenico Piola (1627-1703) and Anton Maria Haffner (1654-1732). The latter was famous for his trompe-l’oeil paintings.

What to see


The “Adoration of the Shepherds” was the work of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-1664), who was known as Grechetto.

The frescoes in the apse were painted by Piola, while Haffner was responsible for the paintings.


An absolute highlight is Filippo Parodi‘s Baroque marble “Immaculate Conception” on the main altar.

Descent from the Cross, Parodi and Piola, San Luca Church, Genua.
“Descent from the Cross”, Filippo Parodi and Domenico Piola

The wooden “Christ’s Descent from the Cross” is also by Parodi (1630-1702). Domenico Piola added the paint, to make the sculpture more harmonious with the arhcitecture of the church. Parodi received 600 lira for the sculpture, Piola 20 for painting it. Piola‘s work can no longer be seen, as it was repainted by an anonymous artist in the 19th century. Originally, Christ was accompanied by an angel.

Useful information

Address: Piazza San Luca, snc – Genova. Telephone: +39 010 2477036. Opening hours: From 08:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00. Entrance fee: Free of charge.

(Note: Rates and times may be subject to change).

San Luca Church, Genoa

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