Il Girasole

Il Girasole is a reality in Genoa since 1997. In these past twenty years we have made about Genoa and Liguria thousands of people who have wanted to visit this corner of Italy, this harsh and wild land, enclosed between the sea and the Apennines on reserving breathtaking scenery and treasures of extraordinary art. Liguria is a land to be discovered, made ??of art and nature, but also gastronomy, traditions, local products, history and folklore. Thousands of years of history that today offer visitors eager to visit the only Italian region that can boast the Alps, the Apennines and the Mediterranean, Paleolithic sites, the remains of the Roman presence, the secular Republic of Genoa, up to the restructuring of great architects such as the Old Port by Renzo Piano. Come with us to immerse yourself in art and in nature. In the site you will find some proposals, but we will achieve it with you customized programs for an unforgettable holiday.


History of Marina Firpo

A passion for art and the study of history have always been my life’s beacons. In 1992, I received my MA degree from the University of Genoa’s Department of Literature and Philosophy. My thesis on the history of Medieval art was entitled San Francesco di Castelletto. It discussed one of the most important Gothic churches in Genoa during the Middle Ages. The following year, I was awarded a doctoral degree scholarship from the History Department of the University of San Marino. My PhD dissertation, entitled Architettura religiosa e potere: Il caso della famiglia Fieschi tra Genova e il contado, was written under the direction of Professor Jacques Le Goff of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Upon completing my university studies, I decided to offer my extensive knowledge of my city and region to a wider audience. This led me to found an agency specialized in the guided tours sector and providing in-depth consultation services on areas relating to arts and culture.

1997 - 2001

Il Girasole was founded in 1997 with the aim of offering interested parties the chance to participate in guided tours that not only provide a general overview of Genoa, but - above all - offer a more detailed glimpse of the city’s history, thus allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its past as if they were actually living it. To this end, I organized a series of theme-based tours that Genoese citizens themselves often take part in, given their frequent lack of knowledge about their own city’s illustrious past. These tours comprised “Genoa during the Time of Guglielmo Embriaco;” and, in 1999, “The Siege of Genoa during the Time of General Massena” (which included tours of Genoa’s surrounding hillside fortresses). Another tour offered was “The Lavish Dwellings of Genoa’s Aristocratic Families” (which allowed visitors to admire private residences that are normally closed to the public). In 2000, I was awarded the first prize in a contest sponsored by the historical magazine, La Manovella, for an article about Genoa’s early automotive history (I primordi dell’automobilismo a Genova: storie di auto, signore e società).

2001 - 2004

In 2001, under the sponsorship of the Commune of Genoa’s Office for the Promotion of Tourism, I was granted a professional consultation contract for a project regarding the promotion of Genoa as European Capital of Culture for the year 2004. During the G8 Summit held in Genoa in 2001, I served as the French delegation’s attaché aboard the cruise liner European Vision, which hosted the heads of state of Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Russia, while the President of the United States and his delegation stayed at the Jolly Marina Hotel. In 2003, I edited a number of texts regarding customs and society for the Mille Miglia Museum in Brescia. In 2004, during the course of Genoa’s year as the European Capital of Culture, I served as host and guide for a number of important international journalists and politicians on behalf of the Commune of Genoa, the 2004 Committee, Liguria’s Regional Government, and the Chamber of Commerce. I also held an exclusive contract with the Palazzo Ducale (Duke’s Palace) as host and guide for their VIP guests.

2005 - today

From 2005 to 2010, I held the post of President of Liguria’s Tourist Guide Association for the Genoa chapter (AGTL). Since 2006, I have been the archivist for the Fondazione Conservatorio Fieschi (a foundation run by the Fieschi family heirs). I also serve as editor and author for their Historical Studies Series. Since 2008, I have run guided tours of the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno on behalf of the Commune of Genoa. In 2013, I was elected President of the Genoa chapter of Soroptimist International for the 2015-2017 interim.


During the course of many years, I have been invited to hold a number of conferences and have authored several new publications, addressed to both a general and expert audience.