We discover together the origin of the name of the hamlet of Boccadasse, one of the most photographed corners of the city of Genoa, which, with the colorful houses, the beaches and the fishing boats, retains all the fascination of the past ages and continues to enchant its visitors
Boccadasse is a small seaside village in the center of the city of Genoa, 5km square which, with its very special shape, gives a close eye to anyone in the neighborhood.
According to a legend, the village was founded around the year 1000 by a group of Spanish fishermen who, after a terrible storm, found shelter right in this creek. Moreover, it appears that from the name of their captain (De Odero or Donderos) derives the surname Dodero, still spread in the city. It is also reported that the village gave the name to a district in Buenos Aires called "la Boca", which is, in fact, inhabited by immigrants from Genoa.
Originally, the village was part of the municipality of San Francesco d'Albaro, but in 1873 it was merged with the commune of Genoa. Thanks to the reconstruction of Corso Italia's street in the early 1900s, Boccadasse has become the meeting point of many Genoese families after the classical Sunday afternoon walk. Nowadays, this beautiful centre retains the charm of a village that has remained unchanged for at least three hundred years, which has inspired many artists, from the least to the lesser known
The poet Edoardo Firpo, in fact, dedicated to this village the poem called Boccadaze.
The two famous singers Gino Paoli and Ornella Vanoni dedicated a song to Boccadasse:
It is from Boccadasse, then, where the Genoese girlfriend of Commissioner Montalbano, the protagonist of the novels by Andrea Camilleri, from which one of the most popular TV series of the Italians has realised.
In addition, a song by the Genoese duo Trilli, titled Trilli Trilli, taking on an ancient flamboyant flavor, argues that the inhabitants of Boccadasse are, if possible, more tarlucchi (stupid) than those of Foce:
Finally, the Italian Progressive Rock group The Temple of Hourglass also devoted a song to the poetic atmospheres of this seaside village:
But let’s put aside arts for a moment, and focus on the main issue: what is the origin of this magnificent village?
The answer is not that simple, because around the name Boccadasse gravitates different theories and legends.
The most famous legend tells us that the name derives from the singular shape of the small bay, that seems to draw a donkey mouth, which in the dialect of the area is called "bocca d’aze".
According to another hypothesis, however, the name would refer to the "Asse" river, which once ran through Boccadasse, and which, after watering lavatories and fountains, went off to the sea in the centre of the village.
A third and last hypothesis would give the name to Guglielmo Boccadassino, the historic owner of the area.
And you? what theory do you prefer?