The IIM opened to the public for one day and Genoa responded with enthusiasm, almost with love.
The gates were supposed to open at 9.30, but at 9.15  a small crowd had already gathered in front of the entrance, even though it was a beautiful summer day which would have been perfect for the beach.
People were curious to see what was going on behind the high walls of  our 14th century  fortress and were not discouraged by the imperviousness of its winding corridors and steep stairs or by the lack of lifts and ramps.
You could see elderly ladies puffing and panting up the steps and old gentlemen leaning on their walking sticks and trying to rest while our technicians explained the incredible amount of work that lies behind the construction of a nautical chart.Our tours were supposed to last about an hour, but in some cases they lasted over two hours, as people were so interested that they kept on asking questions.
 Among the almost 400 visitors, there were men who had served their military duty at the institute, children and grandchildren of former employees, people who had visited the institute many years ago and were looking forward to visit it again.
There were men, women and children from the neighbourhood, who walk past the fortress every day wondering what it is like inside and, for once, had an opportunity to see it.
There were VIPs and – mostly – ordinary people, from Genoa and from surrounding towns and villages.
A group of  ladies travelled all the way from the French border and two sailors from Sicily disembarked from their ship to drive up the hill to the fort. It was definitely a success that went beyond our greatest expectations.