Palazzo Ducale & Piazza De Ferrari, Genoa
Your one-stop destination for Genovese art, culture and religion. Listen to the rushing water of the fountain in the center of this piazza. See Ligurian paintings at the Accademia Ligustica Belle Arti, check out a temporary exhibit (or have Sunday brunch) at the Palazzo Ducale, attend mass at the Chiesa del Gesu or take in an opera at Teatro Carlo Felice. Stand in the center of the piazza, close your eyes, spin around and go where destiny takes you (and if it takes you shopping under the covered arches of Via XX Septembre, so be it…)!
No need to describe Piazza de Ferrari... it's the most famous square in Genova by far. And there's no need to tell you how to get there, since you will surely go there if you come to Genova! ;-)
It's the heart of the town, between the old and the modern city, and it's the cultural centre too with the Opera theater Carlo Felice and the Palazzo Ducale. It was once the financial centre too, with the Borsa (Stock Exchange) which now is not active anymore.
So, go there, relax, take pictures on the fountain and enjoy your stay in Genova! ;-)
Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace) is probably the most known building in Genova, and where most important exibitions are held, expecially during the year of Culture 2004. It was built in the 13th century and modified much times during the centuries, expecially in the recent 19/20th century, when the actual facade was built. Inside the building there are not only exibitions (in the wonderful rooms of the palace), but also a bar, libraries and shops.
What is a Doge?
Well, a Doge is another name for a Duke, and so the building is known as "Doges Palace," or in Italian "Palazza Ducale."
This is another important building in Piazza De Ferrari, built between 1251 and 1275. It was the home of the first Genoese Doge. During the 14th century, it was added to, and it was during this time, the medieval appearance disappeared, and new one was born. In 1539, more addition's, and this time it was the Tower, given the name "Tower of the People."
I really liked the exterior with all the decoration, the figures and the balcony, I thought it very nice!
The Palace of the Doges was restored in 1992, for celebrations of Christopher Columbus and the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America.
And, another important event took place here in July 2001.......
The Palace hosted the G8 Summit, which was attended by the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.
Exhibitions with admission charge open from 9am to 7pm, closed Monday.
Ticket office: Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 6.30pm.
A lot more detail is on the website.
Palazzo Ducale is huge imposing building extending over two city squares, facing and accessed from Piazza Giacomo Matteotti while the rest of it overlooking Piazza de Ferrari. Once seat of Genova's rulers it is nowadays housing a few museums and archives. This building is usually used for the high-profile temporary art exibitions.
The first parts of the palace were built between 1251 and 1275, while the Torre Grimaldina - also called Torre del Popolo - was completed in 1539.
I admired and admired this huge building and also wondered what it was used for.
It was the home of the Genoa Stock Exchange, built between 1907 and 1912, and was the oldest in Italy. I say "was," as in 1998 it closed its doors. To me, this was one of the most beautiful buildings in Genoa, different, because of the curved facade facing Via XX Settembre and Via Dante, as well as the central Piazza De Ferrari. It took up the whole width between the streets. It's very decorative, and has many, many faces on the exterior.
It is now the premises of an "exclusive" Club.
This is the main square of Genoa, and a rather beautiful one at that!
Quite a large, paved square with a Foutain residing in the middle. It was popular, everybody seemed to want their photo taken, so very hard to get one with nobody in it, I didn't!
The area is where the old and new city meet, and it has been restored in latter years to what I saw today. A very nice area, with beautiful, old buildings surrounding it. Evidently, most of the Banks and Stock Exchanges were here, so that is why they are impressive!
La Galleria Giuseppe Mazzini, Genoa’s elegant 19th Century architectural gem, an imitation of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery in Milan, was built in the second half of the 19th century. It connects Piazza Corvetto and Piazza De Ferrari with the Carlo Felice theatre.
The Gallery was named after Giuseppe Mazzini, the famous Italian patriot, philosopher and politician, who was born here in Genoa
Beautiful shops, cafes are inside the Gallery covered by glazed roof in metal framework. During Christmas time the popular book and antique fair held here.
This is certainly the most beautiful square in Genua with this great fountain in the middle and Via XX Settembre - the main shopping-street of Genua - ending here on the left of my picture.
On the same square you will also see some other great buildings :
Teatro Carlo Felice ( my last picture)
Palazzo Ducale (my 4th picture) - BUT at Piazza de Ferrari you see just the backside of the palazzo, it looks a lot better from the other side of the building !
Do you like Statue's with Horse's, I do!
Located infront of the Theatre, "Carlo Felice" in Piazza de Ferrari, is a nice monument of Garibaldi on his Horse.
Garibaldi is known as an "Italian National Hero," with monuments in his memory found in many countries around the World. He was very popular with the people and has the credit of making unification of Italy come true. He died in 1882, and since his death, five Italian Navy ships have been named after him.
This palace was started to be built in 1591 - but it burned down and was rebuilt again in 1778 and got a fassade of that time.
Today Palazzo Ducale is used as a multi-cultural centre with plenty of changing exhibitions, flea-markets etc.
You may walk freely into the hall and will see these great courts with plenty of columns. You may take up the lift and in the last floor you will even find a nice restaurant.
Don't miss Palazzo Ducale, it is really a great place to go !!
Do not be afraid to climb up to the different floors.There is a ticket-office on the groundfloor, selling the tickets for the art-exhibition inside a very small part of the Palazzo. But all of the rest of Palazzo Ducale may be visited freely and without restrictions during the day, including a great restaurant on top of the building, and you will even have a lift taking you up there to the 4th floor.
Look at this great work of art that was used to knock on the doors of Palazzo Ducale.These doors are really huge and about 6-8 meters high...
...and when you look up on top of these huge doors, you will also see another handle for the door in a hight of more than 6 meters...(Was that for the giants, or is it just a funny idea by the architects ??)
My last 3 pictures show also the interesting interior of this old palazzo !
This fountain in the middle was built in the 19th century. I like the fountain very much and went three rounds for the fun of it. Walking around the area, you can find interesting shops and buildings. There are many bus services coming to Piazza Ferrari.
Palazzo Ducalo was first built in 1339. After centuries of expansion and changes with 1992 restoration, it became a venue for exhibitions. I saw an exhibition of artworks by children. Smiles gleamed as innocence was vividly shown on each art piece. With Italy celebrating its 60th independence(in 2006), there will be more exhibitions here. A flashing display of Italy's Arts and Culture filled Genoa when I was there. I think this year will be one of the better years to visit Italy.