The sword of Andrea Doria

In 1535 Andrea Doria receved the Great Sword of Honour by Pope Paul III. The weapon, with a gold pommel and belt, had the hilt set with precious stones while the blade was engraved with the name of the pope, the papal coat of arms and the epigraph "with rare carved artifice". The sword accompanied Andrea Doria until his death in 1560. According to testamentary regulations, it was placed next to the body in the crypt. In 1566 the sword was stolen by Mario Calabrese, a galley subcommittee on the Doria ships. The thief was hanged, as it is said, with a gold rope; a few days after his execution, the prince’s sword was found now deprived of gold and precious stones. In 1797 the sword was placed again next to its owner. After other vicissitudes, in the last few years the sword was relocated inher original home, to watch over the crypt, protected by a shatterproof glass.

The portrait of Andrea Doria with his sword on the facade of the palace San Giorgio

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