Fortuna is the capital of Ispelia and the capital of the federal State of Balzavì. It is the first city of the country for number of inhabitants and one of the most important commercial and cultural centres in the area.
The original city name was Delloro (Ispelian for "Of Gold"), kept until 1548, when the Merchant Nicola Gustavi proposed the king Cursato of Balzavarta to change the name of the city which was growing in importance and had become far off richer than the capital Avidoma. The name changed into Fortuna (Fortune in Ingerisch) only in 1822 under the Renovation plan of King Antonio Barbati (Antonio III). It was the start of a prosperous period for the city.
Total inhabitants of the metropolitan area of Fortuna reach the number of 3.238.450 according to the last national census (2013). A small but relevant percentage of the actual population has not been recorded, consequently it is estimated that in the whole administrative area live a total of 4 million inhabitants.
The city is served by the municipal transportation company TRAF (Trasporti Fortuna) The underground network (TRAF Metro) includes four lines (Linea A, Linea B, Linea C, Linea D) with regular services from the centre (Centro, Fortuna Centrale Station, Fortuna Marittima Station, Air Terminal and NIO Station) to the outskirts areas. Extensions of the lines are planned. TRAF also runs the network of the capital's trams and buses services.
Airports Aeroporto Fortuna Città Aeroporto Intercontinentale di Fortuna Starre
Monuments and Places to see
Baretta: This district is the old place where merchants of the XVI century concentrated their businesses and homes. It is today the first visited place by tourists from all over the world. Dispite it has lost most of its original atmosphere, it is still a good example of how the ancient Fortuna should appear. A stroll along the Via Baretta and its characteristic houses will give you a good idea.
- Piazzetta Radicondoli, the heart of the district, a beautiful circular pedestrian square where the majority of the houses of merchants are. Decorated with stuccos and frescos showing off the richness of the past commercial businesses and opulence. Casa Mari is the most significant example.
- Casa Guenzi - the museum is the former house and business centres of Alfredo Guenzi's Compagnia di Navigazione Imperiale Ispeliana (CNII).
- Bastione Sigaldi
- Basilica di Sant'Alessio
Do not forget to pass by the Fontana dei Desideri (Wishes Fountain) to throw some coins in its water: the Fortune on your side will make you rich. Whether you believe it or not, you will enjoy an wonderful view of the bay.
Piazza della Libertà:
Palazzo delle Corporazioni
Casina delle Acque: in 1818 Merchant Paolo Merlini gathered the most honourable architects and engineers from all over the world to create this unique and elegant villa, a real diamond belonging to the Ispelian Artistic Heritage (PAI). Conceived to be the official meeting venue of King Antonio III, it soon became an art object to be exhibited to the public. It was opened in 1821 and the local population as well as foreign visitors feel in love with it. During the years, it changed its function several times to host an hotel, then two restaurants and even a lawyer's office. The characteristics of this building is a sophisticated hydraulic system that provides efficient refrigeration in summer and heating in winter. The system is visible in almost every room, each decorated with peculiar, rich and colourful art nouveaux patterns. The tower is one of the symbols of Fortuna.
Antichi Magazzini Conte
Via del Commercio
San Gaudenzo all'Oro
Piazzetta Ugo Foscolo
Collezione Palazzo Strozzi
La Maddalena: this original market was open to the public in the 90s in the location that used to host the ancient city centre hospital. In the ancient wards, under stunning vaults and along impressive corridors it is a continuous row of little shops, antiques, bookshops, coffee houses, fashionable bars, restaurants. A proper big market is open daily in the morning.
Galleria Bissan: the institute was founded in 1961 to host the private collection of Emanuele Bissan. Criticized at the time for the bizarre architecture said to be not suitable for the surrounding ancient building, the original facade was yet innovating and it is still a major attraction nowadays. The collection of Ispelian paintings ranges from the sixteenth century to contemporary period. It includes the famous "Crepuscolo a Ludino" di Piergiorgio Marti (1626) e "Sguardo di Albina" di Rinaldo Veronico" (1971)
Corso Valletta: fashion street with shops of all the most important and renowned brands.
The famous department stores 'Magazzini del Popolo' (once named Unione Militare) are located here.
Eremo Nova Salus
Gardens and Parks:
Villa Rigarbi: this enormous park right in the middle of the city centre was inaugurated in 1822 by King Antonio Barbati (Antonio III) under the renovation plan that aimed at transforming the old Delloro into a modern and efficient city with a brand new name (Fortuna). The old districts of Delloro that covered most of the area were pulled down to host this big garden conceived as the main recreational area of the middle class. Something of the old city remained and is still visible today (Via Delloro and Baretta). During the excavations a big archaeological area with ruins of old markets was discovered and preserved: Forum Fortunae. At the southern part of the city there is the Villino Rigarbi, a rich neoclassical building which was the former residence of King Antonio's lover, Adele Rigarbi.
Villa Imperiale: this magnificent Villa was built in 1869 by architect Goffredo Pandolfi. It was the major urbanist project set in the new planned district of NIO (Nuovo Insediamento Orientale, literally "New Eastern Expansion"), that started the spreading of the city eastwards and southwards. A number of rich and stylish buildings are alined along the Corso Imperiale overlooking the green area where in summer fairs, concerts and open air activities are held. The most important and well know buildings are Villa Moratti, Casa Baldanza and Domus Binetti. In this Corso stands the Eleonora Verucchi permanent exhibition of old china collections from all over the world.