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Botanical relics of a lost landscape: herborising ‘upon the Cliffs about the Pharos’ in Genoa, March 1664

Bruzzone, Rafaella; Watkins, Charles; Balzaretti, Ross; Montanari, Carlo


Rafaella Bruzzone

Carlo Montanari


This paper uses approaches derived from historical ecology to show how knowledge can be gained about the historical and cultural value of neglected urban landscapes. We study the area around Genoa’s lighthouse and consider the long-term survival of individual plant species and some implications for landscape conservation. We examine topographical representations over the last 500 years to establish the landscape context of the lighthouse. We then analyse the records of plants collected by two English naturalists of the seventeenth century, John Ray and Francis Willughby, and demonstrate how the plants were identified and documented. We survey the current vegetation to establish whether any species identified in 1664 still grow at the site. This exploration of botanical ancestry at a local scale makes it possible to demonstrate cultural–historical values of the lighthouse rocks and their vegetation which should be considered as part of the cultural heritage of the city of Genoa.


Bruzzone, R., Watkins, C., Balzaretti, R., & Montanari, C. (2018). Botanical relics of a lost landscape: herborising ‘upon the Cliffs about the Pharos’ in Genoa, March 1664. Landscape Research, 43(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 23, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 16, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 17, 2018
Journal Landscape Research
Print ISSN 0142-6397
Electronic ISSN 1469-9710
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 1
Keywords Urban biodiversity, John Ray, Francis Willughby, Genoa, landscape change
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