Saturday, 25 May 2013

Ana Kai Tangata

A little further from the airport track, on the southern exit of Hanga Roa, we find the cavern of the cannibals (ana = cavern; kai = food, tangata = men.) However, we mustn’t reach any conclusions from a simple translation, since the cavern can be both a place where men ate and a place where men were eaten. This place is worth visiting due to some paintings of birdmen on the ceiling (unfortunately very deteriorated). From a small cornice on the left side of the cavern, the visitor can also admire the power of the waves crashing against the rocks.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Palazzo San Giorgio

The Palazzo, now the headquarters of the Port Authority of Genoa, lies at the centre of the medieval port, between the Old Wharf and the Commenda di Prè, and was built in 1260, the first public building in Genoa.

Its construction was the outcome of a commission by the Captain of the People, Guglielmo Boccanegra, and the technical expertise of Brother Oliverio, a Cistercian monk from the Abbey of S. Andrea di Sestri, who had worked on the first extension of the Old Wharf.

In the 14th century a customs office was installed, and magistrates were engaged to control port traffic and extract taxes.

In 1407, the offices of the S. Giorgio bank, which administered the entire public debt of the state of Genoa, were permanently houses on the upper floors.

In 1570, due to the continuous growth of the Bank, the Palazzo was extended to the sea, and the front prospect was decorated with frescoes by Lorenzo Tavarone.

At the end of the 19th century, the building complex was restored by Alfredo D’Andrade, director of the office for the conservation of the monuments of Piedmont and Liguria, with the restoration of the most important internal areas: the hall of the Captain of the People, Manica Lunga and Manica Corta.

Since 1903, it has been the headquarters of the Port Authority of Genoa.


Saturday, 11 May 2013


The ceremonial complex of Tahai, famous for its sunsets, is located beyond the small cemetery of Hanga Roa. On a small accessible slope covered by grass, the visitors will discover many restored ahu, as well as numerous remains of houses, the well-known boathouses where the family of the notable islanders lived. The only things left of these buildings are the stone foundations and the pavement of the ground with the holes to receive the wooden skeleton.
When talking about Tahai, it is necessary to make a distinction between the Vai Uri ahu and its five statues, the Tahai ahu with its unique statue, and the Ko Te Riku ahu. To the north, over the Hanga Ki’oe ahu is located the Moai A Kapu. Not far from there, slightly dominating Tahai, was built the Easter Island museum, initially financed by Japan. The Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum exposes a very small part of the island’s lithic utensils, a collection of old fishing hooks, the first coral eye discovered in Anakena, and many other valuable pieces such as the splendid Kava Kava moai. In the warehouse remain other 20,000 pieces, which were inventoried thanks to a private foundation’s financing. However, due to the lack of bigger resources, it is difficult for the museum to expose more objects in their showcases because, like in other places, great vigilance and expensive security measures are needed in order to prevent the theft of antiques, which makes it difficult to expand the exhibition rooms.