Luca FERRARI, son of Emanuele and Paola DORIA of the Sirs of Oneglia (IM).

Fleet Commander-in-Chief and Commander of the Royal Marine of Spain.

The magnificent Sir Luca, son of the nobleman Sir Emanuele, following in the steps of his father served the Court of Spain; he continued in service for many years and obtained from Emperor Charles V the grade of Commander, or rather, Head-in-Chief of the Naval Fleets (...)


(cfr. Vittorio del Corno, The Marquise of Alassio, Turin 1890, pag. 3)



Luca FERRARI Luca FERRARI was born in Alassio to Emanuele and Paola Doria of the Signori of Oneglia; he was kindred of Andrea Doria.

Once he finished his maritime studies, most probably under the Benedictines of Monte Oliveto of Finalpia, the nautical school of which had become renown and highly attended at the times of Luca, and once he had trained on homeland ships, he was forced to offer, as another great navigator of Liguria before him, Christopher Columbus, his expertise and his valor to the King of Spain and to militate under foreign flag.

The Spanish navy was incredibly powerful in terms of fleet and crews at the time. The conquest of the Americas had paved the way for 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 fast-paced 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 of the Court of Spain.

Spain owes it largely to Luca Ferrari that the kingdom of Peru, after the throne was usurped by the brothers Francisco and Hernando Pizzaro, returned under dominion of the Spanish Crown; it was our very hero who with his fleet succeeded in landing ashore Peru and, imprisoning the survivor Pizzaro, restored order, enthroning the Vice King in his place, whom he had brought along from Spain.

Charles V was much endeared to Luca, praising the courage and diligence of the great mariner. An intimate friend of Andrea Doria, he cooperated with the latter to make the glory of their common land, Liguria, shine anew.

Having left his career at sea and retired to Alassio, he did not stay idle and rest on his past success: nominated “massaro” or “manor head” (or Vestry of our Parish), he endeavored 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 keen on 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 footsteps of the Presbytery of the Parish church and a tombstone recounts his merits.

n the Sancta Sanctorum, closeto the supreme altar of the Collegiate Parish of Saint Ambrogio of Alassio, lies his burial tomb, near the balustrade, bearing the epitaph:

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 fathered, in addition to Scipione, Pietro Francesco, and GianDomenico, a daughter named Antonia, who became the bride of AmbrogioFreghetti.
In the year 1700, the official document recording Captain Luca’s nomination to Commander of the Royal Navy of Spain by Charles V used to be stored in the Ferreri Palace.

Many thanks go to Mr. Antonio CAROSSINO, an historian of Alassio, for his kind concession, research, and description, and for his precious cooperation.




View the historical document:

"The Contribution of Alassio to the discovery of the New World