I like to observe and explore the places when strolling around, there are so many small, hidden but beautiful details that can easilly miss to our attention. Details give us an impression wheter local people love their homes, their city and do they care for it.
Once upon a time alot more attention were paid to details on the house that was someone's home. People used to decorated the facades with family crests or with the bass reliefs which indicated the owner's title ot profession. The doorways were in particularly well adorned, usually by honouring or celebrating patron saints. Why do we miss all of it today?
Also known as Palazzo del Principe, this building would be one of the pearls of Genova's if it wasn't so hidden, without even an inscription or a sign, close to the Principe railway station. This building confirmed my impression that Genova could have way more tourists than it has if only the local administrations wanted it.
My mother and I wanted to visit it after reading about it on the Touring Club guidebook, where it is marked with one asterisk (two asterisks mark the worthest seeing or most important attractions, but many locations don't have any asterisk). It was 5.10 pm, I think.
After realizing that that grey building was the palace we meant to visit, we went in and met a guy of the staff who told us that we couldn't visit the museum. We actually read that it would close at 5 pm (which is very early for such a big city). We asked if we would be able to visit it on the next day, but he answered that the museum was closed and not visitable. This sounded weird to me, as my guide was published in 2009.
But imagine the bitter surprise I had when, few days after getting back home, I saw a report on the news inviting to discover the beauties of... Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Genova! You can visit there an exhibition of Caravaggio paintings until 26 September 2010.
Only after googling a lot, I found out that the visit to the Palace from October to March is only possible in groups and under reservation. That was not clear at all, though, when we went there.
Anyway, after this complaint, I will tell you what you may see in this palace if you are in Genoa when it is open.
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj was built by the will of admiral Andrea Doria, who played a major role in the politics and history of the city in the 16th century. He became so important that he was referred to as "prince", even if he wasn't one.
Being a "prince", he also needed a princely residence. His apartments are decorated with beautiful paintings and tapestries.
Another worth visiting part of the palace is the garden, where we were admitted to.
Photos to come.
This lovely palazzo may be seen from almost every place in Genua and so it attracted my attention and I walked up the hill behind the " Castelletto "
It took my about 40 minutes to walk up there on Corso Firenze simply to find out, it is a private home now, and the closer you get, the less of it you may see.
But that walk also showed me lots of other great buildings and it might be a good idea, if you have a lot of time.
(You may also simply take the funicolare per Righi and leave the 2nd station )
This is the tiny left-over of the big parks of the Palazzo.
It is a pity to see and hear all the trafic passing by all day long there...
The palace was finally opened to the public in 1995
When you are in the park - have a look for their great fully automatic grass-cutting-robotters : They look like turtles running smoothly over the lawn, touching some electric fence every now and then and getting a new direction to go on cutting...
(NOT seen on the pic )
According to my books this Palazzo del Principe ( also called Palazzo Doria Pamphili ) was one of the most beautiful villas of Genua and it once even had its own port.
But today the modern streets, the nearby railway and the cruise-port took away a big part of the park and somehow I expected much more than what I saw finally there - maybe mainly as the museums inside were closed on MONDAYS !!
The Prince’s Palace, located near the Principe train station, was the residence of the Doria Pamphilj princes. Partially restored quite recently, the Palace was built in 1528 by Andrea Doria (1466-1560), the great admiral of Emperor Charles V. Frescoes and decorations were done by Perin del Vaga, from the school of Raffaello. Composer Giuseppe Verdi rented an apartment in the Palace where he spent several winters.
Marco Polo was imprisoned here after the Battle of Curzola. I like the frescoed facade of Palazzo San Giorgio very much.
San Siro is a church that you may almost pass by without looking inside, as it is under construction now and is built in one of the plenty tiny side-streets of the old part of Genua.
Plenty of great palazzi are also to be seen in the side-streets of Via XX Settembre
This one is in Via San Vincenzo
Galleria Mazzini is just behind the Teatro d'Opera Carlo Felice.
The galleria has great chandeliers and some nice shops and cafes.
This is what you see from the street :
The building with the museum on the right and the arcades with the small entrance in the middle.
This Palazzo was built for Andrea Doria in 1521
Have a look at this beautiful garden. It is located inside Palazzo del Principe and it is very close to the new harbour.
Not really off the beaten path but the Via XX Settembre is an elegant shopping street. Convenient, sheltered, and grandiose, intimate, handsome.