A trip to Genoa is not complete if you do not visit Via Garibaldi and the system of the noble Rolli Palaces.
These 42 noble residences, protected by Unesco, are an extraordinary example of urban and architectural development.
The Palazzi dei Rolli with their high ceilings, grand staircases, and elaborate stucco ornamentation, were on an official list (rolli means rolls of paper) of palaces where visiting dignitaries such as kings, princes, diplomats, and ambassadors could stay during Genoa’s Golden Age, between the 16th and 17th century when its wealthy merchants became the bankers for much of Europe.
Today many of these Rolli Palaces have been converted to public offices, beautiful shops, museums, cafes, restaurants, banks, luxury antique shops, and private homes.
Let’s have a look at 3 of them
Palazzo Rosso (The Red Palace) owned by the Genoese Brignole Family today is an art gallery and there are paintings and sculptures by artists who were sponsored by the Palace owners.
These nobles were great art connoisseurs and recognized the talents of young artists such as Van Dick, who was commissioned many works in Genoa.
In Palazzo Bianco (The White Palace) there are magnificent artworks of Ribens, Van Dyck, Caravaggio and other Genoese artists.
This Palazzo was donated to the city of Genoa in 1894 becoming a museum.
Walking through Via Garibaldi brings you also to the beautiful Palazzo Tursi, the Town Hall. This Palazzo has an open inner courtyard bounded by stories of colonnades and in one of its rooms, you can find “Il Cannone”, Paganini’s violin.
This instrument was donated to the town of Genoa by Paganini in his will.
There are many others that should not be missed, some of them are still privates and, if by chance, you are lucky to be in Genoa during the “Rolli Days” you can enter them for free and visit some palaces that aren’t usually open to the public.
Via Garibaldi from the top – A tip to end your day trip in Genoa
Genoa medieval center could appear chaotic and to give a sense to it, we always suggest to take the “Paradise lift” and go up to Castelletto to admire the city from one of the greatest panoramic points the town offers.
Take a coffee or a gelato in one of the bars and enjoy the pleasure of the Italian lifestyle!
More Tips and ideas?