Church of Sant’Anna and Spinola chapels

Church of Sant'Anna and Spinola chapels


The Discalced Carmelites
Chiesa e Convento di Sant’Anna, Piazza Sant’Anna – Genova Castelletto


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The Church of Sant’Anna is part of the larger complex of the Carmelites and hosts two Spinola chapels: Sant’Andrea and that of the Madonna del Carmine.The latter was commissioned by Claudio Spinola around 1618 and was finished in 1654.
Thanks to recent studies it has been possible to identify his affiliation to the Spinola family branch from San Luca, Lords of Cassano.



Church of Sant'Anna and Spinola chapels

Piazza Sant’Anna


There is written evidence from 1263 of the existence of a chapel dedicated to the saint, in Bachernia in Monte Peraldo.
In 1584, a church was built that acquired the title of being the first convent erected by the Discalced Carmelites outside Spain.
The Discalced Carmelites opened two other convents in the city, namely Santa Maria della Sanitã and that of San Carlo in Via Balbi.
Many members of the main families in Genoa entered the Order, including Spinola, Durazzo, Rivarola, Pallavicini, Doria, Giustiniani and Costaguta. Among its benefactors and friends was also the famous captain Ambrogio Spinola



The chapel of the Madonna del Carmine was entirely paid for by Claudio Spinola in 1618.
In 1620 Pyrrhus, the brother of Claudio, Prefect of Genoa of the Spanish fleet died in Naples.
In 1621 his body was transported to the chapel for internment.
In 1622, it was the turn of Nicola, another brother.
In 1647, the twenty-three-year-old Lazarus, son of Claudius, Abbot of Cremona, died in Rome. His ashes were bought here in an undefined period.
In 1654, Mary Rods, the wife of Claudio was buried here, and this event probably coincided with the completion of the work of the chapel. In fact, this date is in the epigraph that surrounds the plaque with the family coat of arms in the centre of the floor.

The Chapel of Sant’Andrea. Previously dedicated to Sant’Elia, this chapel was patronised by the Spinola family, and particularly linked to Silvio Spinola.Composed into its present form towards 1612, it has a beautiful baroque altar, dated approximately 1616. Above the altar is a painting by Domenico Fiasella, called the ‘Sarzana’ (1589-1669), depicting Sant’Andrea on his way to martyrdom. On the side walls are two paintings. On the right is  Judith and Holofernes, a work of approximately 1617 and attributed to Fiasella. The vault was frescoed in the 18th century.


  • Giuseppe Marcenaro, Francesco Repetto, Dizionario delle Chiese di Genova, vol. I, Edizioni Tolozzi, Genova 1974
  • Lauro Magnani (a cura di), Chiesa di Sant’Anna, Guide di Genova, n.90, Sagep, Genova 1979
  • AA.VV., Chiese di Genova, n. 8, Sagep, Genova 1986
  • Elena Parma Armani, Maria Clelia Galassi, Artisti e artigiani del marmo dal Cinquecento al Seicento, in AA.VV., La scultura a Genova e in Liguria dal Seicento al primo Novecento, Vol. II, pp. 43-45, Genova 1988