Luca Ferrari (Ferrero)
Luca FERRARI, son of Emanuele and Paola DORIA of the Sirs of Oneglia (IM).
Team Leader and Commander of the Royal Spanish Navy.
“The magnificent Signor Luca, son of the nobleman Signor Emanuele, following his father’s footsteps served the Court of Spain; he continued to serve for many years and obtained from Emperor Charles V the rank of Commander, or rather, Commander in Chief Naval Fleet.”
(cfr. Vittorio del Corno, The Marquise of Alassio, Turin 1890, pag. 3)
Luca FERRARI He was born in Alassio, son of Emanuele and Paola Doria of the Oneglia Lords; he was a relative of Andrea Doria.
Once he finished his maritime studies, most probably under the Benedictines of Monte Oliveto of Finalpia, the nautical school had become renown and highly attended at the times of Luca, and once he was trained on homeland ships, he was forced to offer his expertise and his valor to the King of Spain and to militate under foreign flag; as another great navigator of Liguria did before him, Christopher Columbus. The Spanish navy was incredibly powerful in terms of fleet and crews at the time. The conquest of the Americas had paved the way to a new age in Europe and had brought considerable wealth to Spain, which was truly the queen of the seas: Luca Ferrari’s career within the Spanish fleet was swift and brilliant.
Nominated Rear Admiral by Royal Decree, he embarked on perilous but glorious ventures, in which his reputation, tied to the valor of his feats, won him the recognition and admiration of the Monarch and the Court of Spain.
Spain owes much to Luca Ferrari as thanks to him the kingdom of Peru, after the throne was usurped by the brothers Francisco and Hernando Pizzaro, returned under the rule of the Spanish Crown; it was our hero who succeeded in landing in Peru with his fleet and, imprisoning the survivor Pizzaro, restored the order, enthroning the Vice King who had brought with him from Spain.
Luca endeared himself to Charles V, who was praising the courage and diligence of the great mariner.
He was an intimate friend of Andrea Doria and they cooperated to shine with glory their common homeland: Liguria.
Left his sea career and retired to Alassio, he did not stay idle resting on his laurels: nominated Massaro (that is Churchwarden of our Parish), he endeavoured along with his fellow colleagues in the delicate and prestigious charge to awaken the sacred worship and to wisely administer the goods of the Church.
Death came upon him while he was carrying out these works of piety and while he harbored the fatherly longing to be at last rejoined in blessed eternity with his son Scipione, who had been slaughtered in the battle of Scio by the Barbareschi. He was buried at the feet of the Presbytery of the Parish church and a tombstone recounts his merits.
In the Sancta Sanctorum, close to the supreme altar of the Collegiate Parish of Saint Ambrogio of Alassio, lies his sepulcher, near the balustrade, bearing the epitaph:
SEPULCRUM MAGNIFICUM DOMINUM LUCAE FERRARII ANNO MDLXXVIII.Bis a Successoribus Restauratum.
(Sepulcher of the Magnificent Sir Luca Ferrari, son of Emanuale Ferrari. Year 1558. The sepulcher was renovated twice by his successors.)
Luca had, in addition to Scipione, Pietro Francesco, and Gian Domenico, a daughter named Antonia, who became the bride of Ambrogio Freghetti.
In the year 1700, the license recording Captain Luca’s nomination as head of his army by Charles V, was stored in the Ferreri Palace.
We thank Mr. Antonio CAROSSINO, an historian of Alassio, for the research and description given, and for his precious cooperation.