I.M. Pei has probably never visited Rapallo, but that hasn’t kept us from having our very own pyramid, which is quite reminiscent of the glass pyramid Pei designed for the Louvre Museum in Paris. Well, no, ours isn’t quite as large, but it does make its own quiet statement in the square on the Lungomare that holds the newly renovated bandstand.
In fact the whole of the piazza has been renovated over the last year or so, and that is why we have the pyramid in the first place. It used to be that delivery trucks and cars could drive and park around the band shell; the road surface was removed and the piazza has been turned into a quite lovely pedestrian zone. While they were excavating the old road they came upon some stonework from the port, back when the sea came up almost to the buildings. In the intervening years the Lungomare road and its neighboring broad seaside passagiata were built, evidently right on top of what was there before. Here’s what you see if you peer into our pyramid:
That’s a nice bit of stonework, isn’t it? I would imagine the rusty hardware is an old mooring ring. I think it’s great they took the trouble to preserve and show all of us a bit of maritime history. It would’ve been easier simply to cover it all up again.
Well, maybe it’s not quite as exciting as the Louvre. But whenever I’m revisited by my lifelong and thus far unrealized wish to visit Egypt, I just go down to the Lungomare and gaze at the pyramid.