Castello Doria: Summer Art Exhitibion

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The majestic Castello Doria in the sea village of Portovenere will host an art exhibition by Norwegian artist Dora Bendixen from 8 August to 13 September 2015.

The exhibition is called Prospettive (literally “Perspectives”, although in Italian it can also mean “points of view”). After its opening in Portovenere, it will become a traveling exhibit across some of Italy’s most prestigious art spaces, to eventually end in Bergen, Norway.

About Castello Doria

This is a beautiful castle whose exact construction dates are still unknown. Indicatively it was built in the XII-XIV centuries, and it originally housed one of the protagonist families of the Republic of Genoa, the Doria Family. Throughout its history it also served as a fortress to protect Portovenere and the Gulf of Poets, and as a jail during the Napoleonic era.

castello doria Portovenere
Doria Castle overlooking Palmaria Island across the channel – image by Agostino de Maio

The Castle has an almost regular pentagonal plan with a bastion that protrudes towards the sea in the south. Inside its grand walls, it includes a series of beautiful rooms with barrel-vaulted or cross-vaulted ceilings of different heights, as well as an amphitheater. Outdoors, it features large trenches with sentry boxes and defensive loopholes, terraces and a large, massive tower with a circular base.

Castello Doria (also known as Castello di Portovenere) is a must-visit attraction for tourists visiting Portovenere. Apart from its rich and important history and physical splendor, it offers spectacular views of the village and its harbor, as well as Palmaria Island and the Gulf of Poets.

The view from Castello di Portovenere
The view from Castello di Portovenere – image from

During the high season it is open daily from 10:30 AM to 18:30 PM, however the opening times can vary due to special events. To confirm the visiting times both during low and high season, ask for information at the hotel where you are staying at, or contact the local tourist board:

Telephone: (0039)0187-790691 or E-Mail:

About Dora Bendixen and the Art Exhibition

Dora Bendixen is a Norwegian painter and sculptor. With her authentic and original style, she defines and elaborates the main subject of her works: the human being. Through painting, she promotes the return to human figures and bodies.

She goes back to the figurative art, between tradition and an original reworking. This painter can psychologically penetrate the characters that live on the canvas, giving off living emotions. It is an introspective and reflected painting. Dora Bendixen creates architectural compositions, often choral ones, with a photographic approach, where light enlightens characters, while the background is neutral, almost shaded, ethereal and foggy. Her paintings are invaded by a glare that forms special light-and-shade effects that focus your attention on some particulars and in turn favour a face, a glance, or a hand, all of them belonging to persons she loves.”

from a review by Elena Orlando

Dora preparing the art exhibit rooms at the Castle of Portovenere
Dora preparing the art exhibit rooms at the Castle – courtesy of Dora Bendixen

The vernissage (preview) of the “Prospettive” exhibition, which is sponsored by the Embassy of Norway, the Region of Liguria and the Municipality of Portovenere, will take place on Saturday 8 August 2015 at 6:00 PM.

The exhibition at the Doria Castle is centered on the topic of “family” and features 25 large artworks created exclusively for this traveling exhibit between Italy and Norway.

If you are traveling around the area this summer, you can visit the art exhibition every day from 8:30AM to 6:30PM in the impressive rooms of the Doria Castle.

Here is a short video of Dora Bendixen describing aspects of her work, and interests.

You can also visit her website at

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