Via Garibaldi Palaces
Palace in Genova
Originally Strada Maggiore, then Strada Nuova but known until the nineteenth century as Via Aurea (the Golden Street).
During the 15th century, the city of Genoa was steadily growing in both influence and affluence. By the early 16th century, the city reached its zenith, a point that will become evident as we delve further. The city’s most prosperous families aspired to construct new, opulent residences that would mirror their elevated status and vast wealth. This desire catalyzed the establishment of a novel street in 1550, where these magnificent palaces would be erected. Initially christened Strada Maggiore, the street was later renamed Strada Nuova. Ultimately, in 1882, it acquired its present name, Via Garibaldi.
While each of these splendid palatial dwellings was individually owned, they collectively functioned as a group of residences with a communal purpose. This assembly is commonly referred to as the Palazzi Dei Rolli.
The facades of these structures present a seamless succession of intricately painted and sculpted adornments, embellished balconies, grand loggias, and arcades. The entrances are crowned with the crests of noble families whose abodes once graced this avenue. The amalgamation of these features is so remarkable that the street has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Strada Nuova Museums
Palazzo Rosso or Red Palace was erected during the years 1671 to 1677. It was held by the Brignole Sale family until 1874 when Maria Brignole Sale, the duchess of Galliera, generously bequeathed it to the city of Genoa. Upon ascending the grand and captivating staircase to the first floor, you’ll be greeted by an array of rooms adorned with frescoes executed by the most accomplished Ligurian painters of the 17th century. These spaces are enriched with exquisite furnishings, paintings, and various art pieces. The first floor provides a glimpse into the arrangement of rooms and the manner in which guests would have been entertained in the past. As you ascend to higher levels, you’ll encounter exhibitions that offer insights into the lives of the fortunate individuals who once called this palace their home. Ensure you take advantage of the elevator, which transports you to the rooftop for awe-inspiring vistas that stretch across the city of Genoa.
Just across the street lies Palazzo Bianco or White Palace, which was constructed between 1530 and 1540. Upon arrival, you’ll swiftly notice the significantly more imposing entrance that this palace boasts. As you ascend the staircase within the foyer, the sheer magnitude of this edifice becomes evident. One of the standout features is the terraced garden situated on one side, offering a delightful highlight. In comparison to the gardens of the other palaces, this space offers ample room. Presently, Palazzo Bianco serves more as an art gallery than a representation of its original interior layout. While you can certainly appreciate the adorned rooms and their decorative elements, the primary focus centers on the impressive assembly of paintings and other artworks gracing the walls.
Adjacent to Palazzo Bianco is Palazzo Tursi, and access to it is conveniently achieved through a connecting corridor, negating the need to return to the street. This palace boasts grandiose halls that are open for your exploration. The frescoes and intricate designs that adorn these chambers are captivating in their own right, but they also serve as the backdrop for showcasing some of the city’s cherished treasures. Arguably the most significant of these treasures is a violin crafted by Giuseppe Guarneri that once belonged to Paganini. This violin is considered “priceless” and carries an estimated value of approximately $18 million. It’s worth noting that the Palazzo Doria Tursi houses certain offices of the city council, lending it a more formal ambiance distinct from the residential-style palaces you’ve encountered earlier.
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Visiting Via Garibaldi Palaces
From 1st Novemeber
From Tuesday to Friday 9 am – 6.30 pm
Saturday and Sunday 9.30 am – 6.30 pm
From 18 April
from Tuesday to Friday 9 am – 7 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 7,30 pm
Closed on non-holiday Mondays
Last admission one hour before closing
The Genova Museum Card is a single ticket, valid for 24 hours , which allows you to access only once the 28 city museums, 19 civic museums and 9 non-civic museums, for the price of 15 euro inclusive of AMT public transport