Colonia montana di Monte Maggio

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Colonie montane

other name:

Colonia montana di Savignone
Colonia Piccole Italiane Name

Savignone (GE),
strada vicinale Colonia

client: Federazione dei Fasci di Combattimenti di Genova
architect:   Camillo Nardi Greco
year: 1934
capacity: 300


The mountain colony of the Fascist league of Genoa was reserved to girls (Piccole Italiane) in opposite to the seaside colony in Chiavari and the nearby mountain colony in Rovegno which were dedicated to boys. In some distance to the village of Savignone the colony dominates a hill and can be seen from far away. With a footpath it is connected with the Renesso colony at the foot of the hill.

The building consists of three graded parts with steep pent roofs. The facades of the two outer parts are completely closed to display murals and letterings. To the valley the colony is flanked by an open dining hall with a roof standing on mushroom-shaped pillars.

No other colony had that much letterings and murals on its façade than this one. The facade to the left (lacking windows which could offer the best view into the valley) served for the self-display of the client: At the top stood: "Federazione dei Fasci di Combattimento di Genova", in the mid paraded the Fascist eagle with widespread wings standing on the initials of the Fascist party PNF, below three fasces were to see aside the year "Anno XV" (1937) and the place name "Impero Fascista". This letterings were replaced and overpainted. Also on postcards the letterings were retouched.
The "Fascist Empire" is displayed on the side wall. Still today the silhouette of Fascist Italy with its colonies can clearly be seen on the wall. Beyond the Italian peninsula the northern coast of Africa with the colony of Libya and the Horn of Africa with the colony of Ethiopia which was conquered one year before are displayed. Right below the attic of the middle part of the building the name of the colony "Colonia Montana Monte Maggio" takes nearly the whole width. Monte Maggio is the name of the nearby village.
The wall on the right displays a tall mural with contours. In the middle of this mural the colony building itself can be seen and in the sky above an aeroplane, a captive balloon and a ski jumper. The latter leads to a ski slope in the mountains which is crossed of that of a downhill skier.
The socket of the building is clad - as the only regional motif - with nature stone, while the composing of the main floor is to be stated as modern: The façade of the main floor is leaping back so that it seems that the other floors are cantilevering. The entrance is shaped by two convex flanks, appearing as a kind of funnel. Below the mural with the ski jumper lies a balcony which maybe served for speeches of the capo.

The colony is abandoned and lies in decay. The open dining hall was closed nonsensitively with walls, but the mushroom pillars are still to be found. All the furniture is dismantled and still in the rooms. Apparently some clandestine (illegal immigrants) abused the colony. Because of its good geographic location the colony serves as a fundament for antennas. .

historical photos

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photos © Arne Winkelmann

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bibiography: Architetture in Liguria dagli anni venti agli anni cinquanta, ed. Silvia Barisone, Matteo Fochessati, Gianni Franzone and Andrea Canziani, Milano 2004, p. 168