The ideal combination between Rapallo golf and Genoa’s Rolli Palaces is fantastic and it it’s not only due to the short distance between these two amazing locations! Genoa, 45 minutes away and Rapallo Golf, create a magic union that will give you the gift of playing on a wonderful natural course (and extremely diverse! ) within easy access to numerous attractions in the “Superb” city of Genoa. We are elated by all your wonderful comments written about our first article. So now, we are going to explore the second part dedicated to the Rolli Palaces. This time, with those that are located on the prestigious Via Garibaldi, also known as Genoa’s marvelous 16th century “Strada Nuova” or “New Road”. If you need to consult the map of Genoa with the street locations of the palaces, you can click here.
Genoa – Via Garibaldi – Palace of Meridiana
8 – The Agostino Pallavicino Palace (Via Garibaldi, 1) – built in 1558
it was the first building on Via Garibaldi completely finished (in 1560) after only two years of work. The architectural work was carried out by the Master builder, Bernardino Cantone, on behalf of Augustine Pallavicino, an influential government member of the Maritime Republic of Genoa. The building is one of the few Palazzi Rolli to face 3 different important streets. The first, the main one, is obviously on Via Garibaldi which features gray stone bosses that create a great and effective contrast to the white Carrara marble present in the palace’s main entrance, in the window frames, in the tympanums and in the wonderful decorative meandro band that divides the building’s floors. The second view is on Piazza Fontane Marose and possesses the same characteristics apart from the entrance portal that is not present there. The large space offered by the Piazza allows the passer-by to admire the architectural work in its entirety. Lastly, the third view is particular because, in 1864, the Palace underwent a major renovation to allow for the opening of Via Interiano, which more easily connects Piazza Fontane Marose to the hill-perched section of the town behind Via Garibaldi. In the second half of the 1700s, the building changed ownership and was acquired by the Cambiaso family who owned it until 1922 when it was then sold to Banco di Napoli as the headquarters for its local operations. Today, it is the main branch of UniCredit Bank and therefore can not be visited unless it is for banking transactions. In the building’s atrium, one can see the heraldic arms of the noble Cambiaso family. Also, worthy of admiration are the two frescoes by the Semino brothers, Andrea and Ottavio. In one hall, one can lay eyes on the story of “Cupid and Psyche”, while the main floor hall depicts scenes from the “Rape of the Sabine Women”. Today, the owner of this property is an international Bank.
9 – The Pantaleo Spinola Palace (Via Garibaldi, 2) – Built in 1558, it’s the first palace on the left of Via Garibaldi arriving from Piazza Fontane Marose. It was commissioned by the nobleman Pantaleo Spinola to the Master builder Bernardo Area. Overall, the building is among the most sober, at least seeing it from the outside. The facades on the ex Strada Nuova and on Piazza Fontane Marose have the “ALESSIAN” characteristic, where 5-axis windows are located on the building’s facade. Although, both facades have neither frescoes nor decorations. The only important “movement” attributed to the building is the great portal built by Giovanni Orsolino in white marble with two imposing Doric columns supporting a curved tympanum on which the representational statues of Prudence and Vigilance rest on. On the ground floor, the Great Hall’s vaulted ceiling hall depicts a fresco by Domenico Piola which represents the Allegory of Peace.
The other frescoes in this room are creations of the Carlone brothers and describe the vicissitudes of biblical episodes. Going up the elegant staircase, one arrives on the main floor where there is another fresco which represents the offer to Jupiter of the keys to the Temple of Janus by the master Piola, assisted by the artist Paolo Brozzi,. This room leads to the terrace whose nymphaeum once contained a great marble sculpture, which was a Baroque style work representing the “Abduction of Helen”, by the Frenchman, Pierre Puget. This palace is usually open during the “Rolli Days” and one can even have a guided tour accompanied by university students from the Department of Cultural Heritage Preservation.
10 – The Franco Lercari Palace – (Via Garibaldi, 3)
It was built in 1571 by Franco Lercari, who in his time in Genoa, was also known as “the rich man”, given his various possessions and fortunes accumulated through his merchant affairs. Unfortunately, we don’t know who the designer was of this three-story building that features a decorative “diamond” boss on its ground floor facade. On the upper floors instead, the façade is adorned with loggias and terraces to give a greater sense of lightness to the building. The portal, created by the sculptor Taddeo Carlone, is decorated with two atlases with a truncated nose that support the entablature. In these depictions, the artist seems to have wanted to evoke the spirit of the owner’s ancestor, Megollo Lercari, who punished his enemies by mutilating their noses and ears.
Going up to the first main floor, one can first see the busts of Franco Lercari and his wife (Antonia De Marini) and then view paintings of battles and varied landscapes carried out by the artist, Antonio Semino. On the second main floor, instead, one will find the palace’s most important artistic work, Luca Cambiaso’s fresco that recounts the exploits of the Genoese and the construction of their great warehouse in Trebisonda. Thanks to the feat of Megollo Lercari, the Genoese were able to trade with this colony located on the Northeastern shores of present-day Turkey. Usually, during the “Rolli Days”, only the building’s lobby can be visited, as it is houses private residences and offices. Since 1845, the palace has been owned by the Parodi family.
11 – The Tobia Pallavicino Palace (Via Garibaldi, 4) – built in 1558
It was designed by Gian Battista Castello, the so-called “Bergamasco” and commissioned by the well-to-do Genoese financier, Tobia Pallavicino. The palace was originally made up of two cubic block floors and two mezzanine ones. Then, in the 18th century, when the Carrega family became the owners of the building, another floor level was added, maintaining a sense of harmony with those underneath,. Externally, the building presents a refined Finale stone facade accompanied by ground floor bosses. The first floor, on the other hand, is decorated with Ionic pilasters, marbled window frames and by a succession of triangular gables and tilts. Entering the palace, one can see the ground floor with a simple distribution of space characterized by an atrium, stairs, hall, indoor garden and then, on the upper floors, an open gallery and a lounge, but with two perfectly symmetrical ramps (one blind) that render the atrium quite spectacular in appearance.
In the 18th century, the palace was also considerably expanded with two side wings built that today enclose an inner courtyard and space for a golden tunnel made by the painter Lorenzo De Ferrari. The style is Genoese Rococo with sinuous sculptures in stucco gilt and frescoes present in the halls and living rooms. Since 1922, the palace has been the property of the Chamber of Commerce, which has the merit of having restored the building after it was bombed in 1942 during WWII. Click here to view other fantastic photos of Tobia Pallavicino Palace.
12 – The Angelo Giovanni Spinola Palace (Via Garibaldi, 5) – built in 1558
The palace was commissioned to the architect Giovanni Ponzone by Angelo Giovanni Spinola, the Marquis of Arquata, who was also the Republic’s ambassador to Philip II of Spain as well as being a banker to Emperor Charles V. Unfortunately, he did not get a chance to see his palace finished since he died in 1560. Nonetheless, he had been able to agree upon construction and completion plans before passing away. Externally, the building has a rich facade of frescoes depicting subjects celebrating military victories and reproducing Spinola’s family members dressed as Roman leaders. Internally, you can admire the large lobby and lounge on the main floor with its solemn grand staircase featuring frescoes painted by Andrea Semino, Bernardo Castello and Lazzaro Tavarone.
This building was the property of the Spinola family until the 20th century. However, since 1919, the various lending institutions that have become the new owners of the palace, have carried out various renovations which have greatly altered its original appearance. The “piano nobile” or main floor , since 1930, has housed some of the most exclusive clubs in the city, such as the “Tunnel Artistic Circle”, whose ceilings are decorated with a cycle of frescoes depicting Greco-Roman legends.
13 – The Gio Battista Spinola Palace (Via Garibaldi, 6) – Edificato tra il 1564- 1567
The palace’s construction was ordered by the brothers Gio Battista and Andrea Spinola to Bernardino Cantone. Originally, there was a stark contrast between the outside, ornamentless, and the inside, full of frescoed rooms painted by Luca Cambiaso and Andrea Semino, which represented the Spinolas’ feats. The exception would be a hall on the first main floor that does not have original decorations on its walls. Compared to the initial structure, the building was thoroughly modified during the 17th and 18th centuries for structural reasons. Additionally, the external facade was enriched with objects and recesses made by A.M. Ricca in 1683-1684 as a result of damage caused by the Sun King’s bombing of Genoa. Inside, the palace possesses a roof garden and a not very large entrance overlooking a brightly lit courtyard which was built two steps higher. In 1740, the building was sold to Giorgio Doria, who made the facade and decorated the interior rooms adorning them with a gallery of paintings, mostly 17th century masterpieces, by Grechetto and other Genoese artists. Today, the palace houses private residences and offices.
14 – The Nicolosio Lomellini Palace (Via Garibaldi, 7)
Built in 1563, it is the fourth building on the right and was commissioned by Nicolosio Lomellini on the designs of Giovanni Battista Castello, known as “Il Bergamasco”, while its construction was overseen by the architect Bernardino Cantone. At the request of the first owner, the outside facade was done up with original stucco work by Marcello Sparzo, who also carried out the decorations for the oval-shaped atrium vault. However, in 1606, Nicolosio died and was succeeded by his son Angelo, who was forced to sell the building due to the debts inherited from his father at the time of his death. Thus, the palace became the property of Luigi Centurione Scotto, the Marquis of Morsasco, who then commissioned Bernardo Strozzi to paint the frescoes on the main floor. The second floor decorations and the nymphaeum which serves as a backdrop for the courtyard, however, were carried out by Domenico Parodi at the request of the successive owners, Carlo and Stefano Pallavicini, in the 18th century.
During the same century, the external façade was redone with its rectangular windows and classical entrance portal. Particularly pleasing to look at during the visit is the garden, which was created by exploiting the natural slope of the hill below and studded with rich plant-life from every continent.
From the 19th century to today, the palace has changed ownership three different times. Today, the building is a private residence and is partially open during the Rolli Days. Click here to explore the interiors of the Palace. For more information, you can visit the official site of Lomellini Palace clicking here
15- The Lazzaro e Giacomo Spinola Palace (Via Garibaldi , 8-10) – Built in 1584
The palace was built by two cousins, ??Lazzaro and Giacomo Spinola, and it represents a truly unique architectural style in the city being made up of two identical and independent properties side by side, even if outwardly they appear as a single unit. This architectural choice reflected a need for prestige while trying to economize. The facade consists of two entrance portals to two separate structures whose interiors are decorated with frescoed architectural motifs representing events in the life of Antoniotto Adorno, whose family has owned the building at number 10 since 1609, when it was acquired by Filippo Adorno. The other half, instead, was purchased in 1612 by Giacomo Saluzzo, then, successively by the Scassi counts and finally by the Cattaneo family.
When a marriage took place between Luigi Cattaneo and Viola Adorno in 1875, the two properties became reunited again being entirely owned by the Cattaneo Adorno family. Today, the palace is used for private residences and offices.
16- The Nicolò Grimaldi Palace (Via Garibaldi, 9) – Built in 1565
The palace was commissioned in 1565 by Nicolò Grimaldi, known as ” the Monarch”, to the Ponzello brothers, Domenico and Giovanni . He was the Prince of Salerno, Duke of Eboli, count of Rapolla and Lord of Altavilla, and the first banker to Philip II. The building was built on a lot that would have been sufficient to accommodate up to three properties and happens to be the most majestic palace on the street, characterized by two large gardens around a central structure. The owner wanted to show his wealth on the facade through the use of white Apuan marble, pink Finale and black Promontory stone. The plot of land’s intense slope obliged the builders to find innovative spatial solutions, widely taken up and developed in the following century. Today, we can identify them by observing the penetration axis, consisting of the hall, staircase and the raised courtyard sequence which leads to a bright open space.
The staircase is conceived as a fundamental part of the scenery in a game of lights and perspectives. In 1569, the house became the property of Giovanni Andrea Doria, Prince of Melfi and admiral of the Empire. Then, in 1593, it became the property of his son Charles, Duke of Tursi, who carried out the construction of the two porticoes with three arches that connect the first floor to the space reserved for the garden. The halls did not have any frescoes until the building was purchased by the Royal Savoy family in the 19th century. Since 1850, the palace has housed the town hall and today, even a museum.
17 – The Baldassarre Lomellini Palace (Via Garibaldi, 12) – Built in 1562
The building was commissioned by Baldassarre Lomellina to Giovanni Ponzello. The façade, which was even described in detail by Rubens in 1622, was decorated with a painted architectural scheme that has now been lost. Internally, the distribution of space looks different than the street’s other buildings in that it has a significantly raised courtyard. In 1587, the property was sold to the Salvago family; in 1770, it was sold again to Christopher Spinola (who had the interior’s neoclassic renovation carried out); at a later date, it became the property of Domenico Serra and then finally, in 1917, it came under the ownership of the Campanella family. The latter was responsible for the building’s restoration following the WWII bombings in 1942 which severely damaged the main hall, the loggia and the oval dining room.
Of particular value, is the ceiling on the main floor with decorations and frescoes representing “Dido and Aeneas” by Gio Battista Castello as well as the original stuccoes on the west wall. The palace today houses private residences and businesses activities.
18- The Bianco Palace (Via Garibaldi , 11) – Completed in 1712
The palace was originally built between 1530 and 1540 on behalf of Luca Grimaldi with an entrance on the Salita San Francesco. Later, it was purchased by the Brignole – Sale family who demolished it and subsequently rebuilt it between 1712 and 1717 under the guidance of the architect Giacomo Viano. This palace is now a museum and the headquarters of an important art gallery with important Flemish paintings from the 15th to 17thcenturies which deserves a subsequent separate look altogether.
19- The Rosso Palace (Via Garibaldi, 18- 20) – Erected in 1671, it was built by two brothers, Rodolfo and Gio Francesco Brignole – Sale, who wanted it to be used as a home for their families. Thus, they had had two main floors constructed, one for each family. It remained the property of the Brignole Sale family until 1846, when Maria Brignole Sale De Ferrari, also known as the Duchess of Galliera, donated the building to the City of Genoa for the creation of a national museum. Today, the palace is called the “Red Palace” because of its color which makes it strikingly stand out in the street. Being of particular beauty and value, it also deserves a further separate look.
20- The Gerolamo Grimaldi Palace (Salita di San francesco, 4) – Completed in 1541
it was built at the request of Cardinal Gerolamo Grimaldi Oliva, a banker and merchant from Genoa. The building, which was constructed before the Strada Nuova palaces, has its main entrance on the Salita San Francesco. Ownership then passed on to Grimaldi’s son, who undertook the interior decorations that were done by G.B. Castello (called the Bergamasco), Battista Perolli and Lazzaro Calvi. Of particular interest are the frescoes on the main floor, most notably, the one in the main hall by Luca Cambiaso which represents the “History of Odysseus”. On the ground floor, one can also admire other mythological scenes of precious value. At the end of 1700, a Meridiana (Sundial) was painted on the façade. Since it became the building’s main façade, its name was changed to the “Palace of Meridiana”.
During World War II, the palace was used as a military hospital and during the last century, it was the object of restoration work by Gino Coppedè, whose elaborate art nouveau decorations dot the inside of the imposing colonnaded courtyard. In recent times, the palace was bought by a real estate developer which has converted it to residential use.
21– The Gio Carlo Brignole Palace (Piazza della Meridiana, 2) – Eseguito nel 1671
The Constructon of the building was carried out in 1671. It was commissioned by Gio Carlo Brignole to Pietro Antonio Corradi in order to reconstruct his paternal palace, while in the process, annexing some houses belonging to the heirs of Bernardo de Franchi. The building has a structure in perfect harmony with the 16th century palaces described above, even if subsequently constructed in 1671. It is situated on Piazza della Meridiana in a rotated position on an axis with Via Garibaldi; it also closes the view to Via Cairoli. Originally, the main entrance was located in Vico Santa Maria degli Angeli and possessed a large garden, the entrance to which was enriched with a marble portal and two atlantes sculpted by Filippo Parodi.
For a long time, the palace gave a green backdrop to the Strada Nuova and covered the area of ??today’s Piazza della Meridiana. Then, with the opening of the Strada Nuovissima (now Via Cairoli) between 1778 and 1786, the entrance was moved to the current position and a marble door became the entrance to the Palace with the garden becoming totally sacrificed. For the occasion, the new entrance was also enriched by a double portico of columns and a grand staircase. The frescoes on the main floor depicting Flora, Prometheus who gives life to the statue, Aurora, and Diana looking for Endymion are all of important value. The Palace remained under the ownership of the Brignole family until 1820, when it was sold to the Durazzo family, who had the decorations to the two parts of the atrium made and also had the floors redone utilizing precious polychrome marble. Today, the palace is used as residences and offices.
So, we’ll now conclude our panoramic tour of the Rolli Palaces in Via Garibaldi and then hope to see you soon with the wonderful Palaces of Via Balbi!