Rolli weekends

By | Category: Travel destinations
Museo di Palazzo Reale

Museo di Palazzo Reale

Last weekend was the first of the three Rolli weekends of the year in the Italian city of Genoa.

These are the weekends of the year when palaces in the central heart of the city throw open their doors and let visitors in at no cost so that they can see the full splendour that normally are not available for the public to see.

A total of 23 out of the 42 palaces in Genoa’s historical centre, which are collectively known as the ‘Palazzi dei Rolli’ plus six churches will be open and, in addition, it will also be possible to visit some suburban villas of the aristocrat families who owned the Rolli Palaces.

Genoa was once Italy’s most powerful republic and its palaces were built by the wealthiest aristocratic families in the 16th century. Due to official ‘rolls’ (scripts) or ‘Rolli’ issued in 1576 about these palaces, they became known as the Rolli Palaces. Today the 42 palaces, which are all located in Genoa’s Old Town, have UNESCO World Heritage status due to their historical, economic and aesthetic significance.

Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria

Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria

May’s Rolli Weekend will host the grand opening of a new path linking two of the most important historical houses in Genoa – the Palazzo Bianco and the Palazzo Tursi. Built in 1530, the Palazzo Bianco was originally home to some of the most important noble families in Genoa before being turned into an art gallery in 1884. The splendid Palazzo Tursi, built in 1579, also hosted notable aristocratic families in Genoa before it was taken over by the Savoy in 1848 and turned into Genoa’s town hall.

October’s weekend will unveil the opening of the new halls of the XIX Century on the third floor of Palazzo Rosso, where guests can view furniture and the rooms of the last heirs of the Brignole-Sale family.

The number of visitors can be high on a Rolli weekend. Expect up to 100,000 people to join you as you see the splendour so the advice is to get there early on the day. The only other two remaining Rolli weekends of the year are on May 28 – 29 and then, towards the end of the year, the 15 – 16 October.

If you opt for the May Rolli weekend, do visit the Saint Agostino Church Museum where an exhibition chronicling Genoa at one of one of the most important times in its history – during the time of the Embriaci family – is running until the 26th of June.

Over six centuries this family were merchants, politicians, sailors and they traded with a wide part of the known world so the exhibition contains objects from Liguria, European countries, Byzantine Empire and Islamic territories from the end of the 11th century to the end of the 17th century.


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