Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli

Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes a number of streets and palaces in the center of Genoa, in Northwestern Italy.

  • The Strade Nuove (Italian for "New Streets") are a group of streets built by the Genoese aristocracy during the expansion of the city at a time when the Republic of Genoa was at the height of its financial and seafaring power. These are Via Giuseppe Garibaldi (1558-1583, formerly Strada Maggiore or Strada Nuova) and Via Balbi (1602-1620, formerly Strada Balbi), later followed by Via Cairoli (1778-1786, formerly Strada Nuovissima).
  • The Palazzi dei Rolli (Italian for "Palaces of the Lists") are a group of palaces - most of which also date from the late 16th and early 17th centuries - which were associated to a particular system of ‘public lodging’ in private residences, whereby notable guests on State visit to the Republic were hosted in one of these palaces on behalf of the State.
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Palazzo Reale Galleria degli Specchi Genova.png
The Mirror Gallery, Palace Stefano Balbi or Royal Palace, via Balbi, Genoa
LocationGenoa, Liguria, Italy
CriteriaCultural: (ii)(iv)
Inscription2006 (30th session)
Area15.777 ha (38.99 acres)
Buffer zone113 ha (280 acres)
Coordinates44°24′44″N 8°55′52″E / 44.41222°N 8.93111°E / 44.41222; 8.93111Coordinates: 44°24′44″N 8°55′52″E / 44.41222°N 8.93111°E / 44.41222; 8.93111
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli is located in Liguria
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
Location of Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli in Liguria

On 13 July 13, 2006, forty-two of the 163 palaces originally included in one the five public list called "Rolli" (Italian for "lists") were selected as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO special committee meeting in Vilnius (Lithuania). The site includes an ensemble of Renaissance and Baroque palaces along the so-called ‘new streets’ (Strade Nuove), which offer an extraordinary variety of different solutions, achieving universal value in adapting to the particular characteristics of the site and to the requirements of a specific social and economic organization. They also offer an original example of a public network of private residences designated to host state visits.[1]

Palazzo Balbi Piovera Raggio (via Balbi (Genoa)).

On January 20, 2007, UNESCO unveiled a plaque in via Garibaldi, the former Strada Nuova, explaining the reasons for inclusion of the Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli within the World Heritage Sites:

The largest homes, various in shape and distribution, that were chosen at random in the lists (rolli) to host visits of state. The buildings, often built on sloping land, formed of a stepped atrium - courtyard - staircase - garden and rich interior decorations, express a singular social and economic identity and commencement of modern age urban architecture in Europe.

Some of the Palazzi dei Rolli are used today as public buildings, museums, offices and private residences. Among the palaces open to the public, Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria Tursi jointly constitute the Strada Nuova Museums located in via Garibaldi.[2]

The Rolli of GenoaEdit

The Rolli di Genova - or, more precisely, the Rolli degli alloggiamenti pubblici di Genova (Italian for "Lists of the public lodgings of Genoa") were the official lists at the time of the Republic of Genoa of the private palaces and mansions, belonging to the most distinguished Genoese families, which - if chosen through a public lottery - were obliged to host on behalf of the Government the most notable visitors during their State visit to the Republic.[1]

Later, these palaces hosted many famous visitors to Genoa during their Grand Tour, a cultural itinerary around Italy.

Today, Palazzi dei Rolli as a collective name represents the set of the most prestigious palaces of the historical center of Genoa, especially along the so-called Strade Nuove, the "New Streets" built by the Genoese aristocracy at the peak of Genoa's economic power in the 16th and 17th century (Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, formerly Strada Nuova or Via Aurea, Via Cairoli, formerly Strada Nuovissima, and via Balbi, now the home of the University of Genoa).[3]

The official Rolli of the Republic of Genoa


Between the first half of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century, the Genoese nobility started a careful town planning to transform the existing medieval city and initiate a sizeable urban expansion to the North. The move to expand the antique palaces and to build new sumptuous ones was driven by the extraordinary wealth that came into the city through prosperous financing activities towards several European powers. In particular, the Genoese aristocracy financed the expensive undertakings of the Spanish Crown, such as the mercenary army that Spain kept in Flanders from 1566 to the peace of Westphalia in 1648. The ruling class of Genoa, mixing nobility of blood with new mercantile wealth, sought to underpin their prestige by the construction of grand city palaces and suburban villas of unusual splendor.[4]

The Rolli - or, more precisely, the Rolli degli alloggiamenti pubblici di Genova (Italian for "Lists of the public lodgings of Genoa") were official lists established in 1576 by the Genoese Senate - an aristocratic institution which took prominence as a result of the oligarchic reforms of the Prince and Admiral Andrea Doria - to determine the palaces available to the Government to ensure that the Republic of Genoa could offer appropriate lodging to the most notable guests who routinely visited the city, such as princes, kings, diplomats or religious authorities. The fact that not one single palace was chosen, but many, was a sign that the authorities of the Republic of Genoa considered the whole city as a "republican royal palace".[5]

The Palazzi dei Rolli were subdivided on the basis of their prestige into three categories - with size, beauty and importance as main criteria for selecting whether each palace was suitable to accommodate cardinals, princes and viceroys, feudal lords, ambassadors or governors. Only three palaces ere deemed suitable to accommodate the highest dignitaries, such as Popes, Emperors, Kings and most important Cardinals and Princes: the Palazzo Doria Spinola in Salita Santa Caterina, the Palazzo Grimaldi Doria Tursi in today's via Garibaldi and the Palazzo Lercari Parodi, also in the current Via Garibaldi.[6]

The "Rolli" or "Lists" preserved to this day were five: 1576 (including 52 palaces); 1588 (111); 1599 (150); 1614 (96); and 1664 (95). In total, there were 162 palaces included at least once in one of the these official lists.[6]


  • Bring the letter to Mrs. Mojon, in via Balbi; this is one of the three names of one major street, which is also the most beautiful of Italy (Stendhal, Journal d'un vojage en Italie et en Suisse pendant l'annee 1828, 1828)
  • I tried to visit three galleries of famous paintings in via Balbi. As the owners have the good habit of living in the rooms where the paintings are located, one needs to call several times; and often the impatience generated in me by the arrogant refusals of the servants takes away the joy of seeing the paintings. The rich of Genoa live almost always on the third floor to be able to see the sea. The staircases are made of marble, but when - after climbing one hundred of those steps - a servant keeps you waiting for fifteen minutes then says: "His Excellency is still in his room, come back tomorrow", it is allowed to show a bout of ill temper, especially when one needs to leave in the evening (Stendhal, Memoires d'un touriste, 1837)

World Heritage SiteEdit

Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli became a World Heritage Site in 2006. The criteria for this selection were explained by the UNESCO as follows:

  • Criterion (ii): The ensemble of the Strade Nuove and the related palaces exhibit an important interchange of values on the development of architecture and town planning in the 16th and 17th centuries. Through the architectural treatises of the time, these examples were publicized making the Strade Nuove and the late-Renaissance palaces of Genoa a significant landmark in the development of Mannerist and Baroque architecture in Europe.[1]
  • Criterion (iv): The Strade Nuove in Genoa are an outstanding example of an urban ensemble consisting of aristocratic palaces of high architectural value, which illustrate the economy and politics of the mercantile city of Genoa at the height of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries. The project proposed a new and innovative spirit that characterized the Siglo de los Genoveses (1563 to 1640). In 1576, the Republic of Genoa established a legally based list of Rolli recognizing the most outstanding palaces for official lodging of distinguished guests.[1]
Map of the Strade Nuove and the Palazzi dei Rolli included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Palazzi dei Rolli included in the World Heritage SiteEdit

These are the forty-two palaces currently included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Site:[7][3]

No. Original Owner Location Current name of the Palace Photo
1 Antonio Doria Largo Lanfranco, 1, Genoa Palazzo Doria Spinola  
2 Clemente Della Rovere Piazza Della Rovere, 1, Genoa Palazzo Clemente Della Rovere  
3 Gio. Battista Spinola Salita Santa Caterina, 4, Genoa Palazzo Giorgio Spinola  
4 Tommaso Spinola Salita Santa Caterina, 3, Genoa Palazzo Tommaso Spinola  
5 Giacomo Spinola Piazza Fontane Marose, 6, Genoa Palazzo Giacomo Spinola "dei Marmi"  
6 Antonio Doria Piazza Fontane Marose, 3-4, Genoa Palazzo Ayrolo Negrone  
7 Paolo e Nicolò Interiano Piazza Fontane Marose, 2, Genoa Palazzo Interiano Pallavicini  
8 Agostino Pallavicini Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1, Genoa Palazzo Cambiaso Pallavicini  
9 Pantaleo Spinola Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 2, Genoa Palazzo Spinola Gambaro  
10 Franco Lercari Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 3, Genoa Palazzo Lercari-Parodi  
11 Tobia Pallavicini Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 4, Genoa Palazzo Carrega-Cataldi  
12 Angelo Giovanni Spinola Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 5, Genoa Palazzo Angelo Giovanni Spinola  
13 Andrea and Gio. Battista Spinola Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 6, Genoa Palazzo Doria (Genoa)  
14 Nicolosio Lomellino Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 7, Genoa Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino  
15 Lazzaro and Giacomo Spinola Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 8-10, Genoa Palazzo Cattaneo-Adorno  
16 Nicolò Grimaldi Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 9, Genoa Palazzo Doria Tursi (City Hall)  
17 Baldassarre Lomellini via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 12, Genoa Palazzo Campanella o di Baldassarre Lomellini  
18 Luca Grimaldi Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 11, Genoa Palazzo Bianco  
19 Rodolfo and Francesco Brignole Sale via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 18, Genoa Palazzo Rosso (Genoa)  
20 Gerolamo Grimaldi Salita San Francesco, 4, Genoa Palazzo della Meridiana  
21 Gio Carlo Brignole Piazza della Meridiana, 2, Genoa Palazzo Durazzo Brignole  
22 Bartolomeo Lomellino Largo Della Zecca, 4, Genoa Palazzo Rostan Reggio  
23 Stefano Lomellini Via Cairoli, 18, Genoa Palazzo Lomellini Doria Lamba  
24 Giacomo Lomellini and Cattaneo De Marini Largo della Zecca, 2, Genoa Palazzo Lomellini Patrone  
25 Antoniotto Cattaneo Piazza della Nunziata, 2, Genoa Palazzo Cattaneo Belimbau  
26 Gio. Agostino Balbi Via Balbi, 1, Genoa Palazzo Durazzo Pallavicini  
27 Gio Francesco Balbi Via Balbi, 2, Genoa Palazzo Balbi Cattaneo  
28 Giacomo and Pantaleo Balbi Via Balbi, 4, Genoa Palazzo Balbi Senarega  
29 Francesco Balbi Piovera Via Balbi, 6, Genoa Palazzo Balbi Piovera Raggio  
30 Stefano Balbi Via Balbi, 10, Genoa Royal Palace of Genoa  
31 Cosma Centurione Via Lomellini, 8, Genoa Palazzo Cosma Centurione  
32 Giorgio Centurione Via Lomellini, 5, Genoa Palazzo Centurione Durazzo Pallavicini  
33 Gio. Battista Centurione Via del Campo, 1, Genoa Palazzo Gio Battista Centurione  
34 Cipriano Pallavicini Piazza Fossatello, 2, Genoa Palazzo Pallavicini  
35 Nicolò Spinola Via San Luca, 14, Genoa Palazzo Nicolò Spinola  
36 Francesco Grimaldi Piazza di Pellicceria, 1, Genoa Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria  
37 Gio. Battista Grimaldi Vico S. Luca, 4, Genoa Palazzo Gio Battista Grimaldi (Vico San Luca)  
38 Gio. Battista Grimaldi Piazza San Luca, 2, Genoa Palazzo Gio. Battista Grimaldi (Piazza San Luca)  
39 Stefano De Mari Via San Luca, 5, Genoa Palazzo Stefano De Mari  
40 Ambrogio Di Negro via San Luca, 2, Genoa Palazzo Ambrogio Di Negro  
41 Emanuele Filiberto Di Negro Via al Ponte Reale, 2, Genoa Palazzo Emanuele Filiberto Di Negro  
42 De Marini Piazza De Marini, 1, Genoa Palazzo De Marini Croce  

The Palazzi dei Rolli not included in the UNESCO listEdit

The following Palazzi dei Rolli are still preserved but, due to partitioning or altered use, have not been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site:[8]

Owner Location Palace Image
1 Ottavio Imperiale Piazza Campetto, 2, Genoa Palazzo Ottavio Imperiale  
2 Gio. Vincenzo Imperiale Piazza Campetto 8A Palazzo Gio Vincenzo Imperiale  
3 Largo G. A. Sanguineti 11 Palazzo Senarega-Zoagli  
4 Piazza Cattaneo 26 Palazzo Cattaneo Della Volta  
5 Giulio Pallavicini Piazza De Ferrari 2 Palazzo Giulio Pallavicini  
6 Agostino Spinola Piazza De Ferrari 3 Palazzo Agostino Spinola  
7 Pietro Durazzo Piazza De Marini 4 Palazzo Pietro Durazzo  
8 Nicolò Lomellini Piazza della Nunziata 5 Palazzo Nicolò Lomellini  
9 Cristoforo Spinola Piazza della Nunziata 6 Palazzo Cristoforo Spinola  
10 Bernardo e Giuseppe De Franchi Piazza della Posta Vecchia 2 Palazzo Bernardo e Giuseppe De Franchi  
11 Agostino De Franchi Piazza della Posta Vecchia 3 Palazzo Agostino De Franchi  
12 Domenico Grillo Piazza delle Vigne 4 Palazzo Domenico Grillo  
13 Piazza delle Vigne 6 Palazzo Agostino Doria  
14 Pietro Spinola Piazza di Pellicceria 3 Palazzo Pietro Spinola di San Luca  
15 Giulio Sale Piazza Embriaci 5 Palazzo Giulio Sale  
16 Piazza Fontane Marose 1 Palazzo Spinola di Luccoli-Balestrino  
17 Marc'Antonio Giustiniani Piazza Giustiniani 6 Palazzo Marcantonio Giustiniani  
18 Lorenzo Cattaneo Piazza Grillo Cattaneo 1 Palazzo Lorenzo Cattaneo  
19 Lazzaro Grimaldi Piazza Inferiore di Pellicceria 1 Palazzo Lazzaro Grimaldi  
20 Piazza Luccoli 2 Palazzo De Mari  
21 Piazza Pinelli 2 Palazzo Pinelli-Parodi  
22 Agostino e Giacomo Salvago Piazza San Bernardo 26 Palazzo Agostino e Giacomo Salvago  
23 Paolo De Benedetti Piazza San Donato 21 Palazzo Paolo De Benedetti  
24 Piazza San Giorgio 32 Palazzo Basadonne  
25 Giorgio Doria Piazza San Matteo 14 Palazzo Giorgio Doria  
26 Marc'Aurelio Rebuffo Piazza Santa Sabina 2 Palazzo Marc'Aurelio Rebuffo  
27 Antonio Sauli Piazza Sauli 3 Palazzo Antonio Sauli  
28 Gio. Batta Senarega Piazza Senarega 1 Palazzo Gio Batta Senarega
29 Salita di San Matteo 19 Palazzo Doria-Danovaro  
30 Salita di Santa Caterina 1 Palazzo Spinola di Luccoli-Cervetto  
31 Luciano Spinola Salita di Santa Caterina 2 Palazzo Luciano Spinola di Luccoli  
32 Salita di Santa Caterina 5 Palazzo Spinola-Celesia  
33 Agostino e Benedetto Viale Salita Pollaioli 12 Palazzo Agostino e Benedetto Viale  
34 Via A. Gramsci 3 Palazzo Lomellini-Serra  
35 Via al Ponte Calvi 3 Palazzo Pallavicini-Fabiani  
36 Via al Ponte Reale 1 Palazzo Adorno  
37 Gio. Andrea Cicala Via Canneto il Lungo 17 Palazzo Gio Andrea Cicala  
38 Agostino Calvi Saluzzo Via Canneto il Lungo 21 Palazzo Agostino Calvi Saluzzo  
39 Via Canneto il Lungo 27 Palazzo Fieschi-Crosa di Vergagni  
40 Via Canneto il Lungo 6 Palazzo De Franchi-Pittaluga  
41 Gio. Battista Saluzzo Via Chiabrera 7 Palazzo Gio Battista Saluzzo  
42 Via David Chiossone 14 Palazzo Doria-Serra  
43 Via David Chiossone 4 Palazzo Grimaldi  
44 Via degli Orefici 7 Palazzo Lercari-Spinola  
45 Vincenzo Giustiniani Banca Via dei Giustiniani 11 Palazzo Vincenzo Giustiniani Banca  
46 Gaspare Basadonne Via dei Giustiniani 3 Palazzo Gaspare Basadonne  
47 Bartolomeo Invrea Via del Campo 10 Palazzo Bartolomeo Invrea  
48 Via del Campo 12 Palazzo Durazzo-Cattaneo Adorno  
49 Antonio Doria Invrea Via del Campo 9 Palazzo Antonio Doria Invrea  
50 Francesco Borsotto Via della Maddalena 29 Palazzo Francesco Borsotto  
51 Jacopo Spinola Via della Posta Vecchia 16 Palazzo Jacopo Spinola  
52 Via Luccoli 22 Palazzo Tommaso Franzone
53 Daniele Spinola Via Luccoli 23 Palazzo Spinola Franzoni
54 Filippo Lomellini Via Paolo Emilio Bensa 1 Palazzo Filippo Lomellini  
55 Marc'Antonio Sauli Via San Bernardo 19 Palazzo Marcantonio Sauli  
56 Via San Bernardo 21 Palazzo Alessandro Giustiniani  
57 Bendinelli Sauli Via San Lorenzo 12 Palazzo Bendinelli Sauli  
58 Sinibaldo Fieschi Via San Lorenzo 17 Palazzo Sinibaldo Fieschi  
59 Orazio e G. De Franceschi Via San Lorenzo 19 Palazzo Orazio e Gio Francesco De Franceschi  
60 Giovanni Battista Centurione Via San Lorenzo 5 Palazzo Centurione-Gavotti  
61 Via San Lorenzo 8 Palazzo Durazzo-Zoagli  
62 Via San Luca 4 Palazzo Spinola di San Luca-Gentile
63 Via San Luca 6 Palazzo Spinola di San Luca
64 Gerolamo Pallavicini Via XXV Aprile 12 Palazzo Gerolamo Pallavicini  
65 Giovanni Garibaldi Vico Carmagnola 7 Palazzo Giovanni Garibaldi  
66 Vico dei Ragazzi 6 Palazzo Sauli  
67 Vico del Fieno 2 Palazzo Chiavari-Calcagno  
68 Brancaleone Grillo Vico Delle Mele 6 Palazzo Brancaleone Grillo  
69 Vico Falamonica 1 Palazzo Doria-Centurione
70 Nicola Grimaldi Vico San Luca 2 Palazzo Nicola Grimaldi  
71 Vico Scuole Pie 1 Palazzo Cicala-Raggio  
72 Via Lomellini 15 Palazzo Lomellini-Dodero  

Rolli DaysEdit

In 2009, after the Palazzi dei Rolli were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Municipality of Genoa started the so-called Rolli Days, dedicated to the free visit of both public and private buildings. Each time a different itinerary is proposed, with art students, architects and professional guides offering guided tours, almost all of them for free.

The Rolli Days happen twice a year, normally during a weekend in May and one in September. An exception to this rule was made to mark the 10th anniversary of UNESCO's recognition in 2016, when three weekends were dedicated to the Rolli Days in April, May and October.

The number of notable buildings open to the public during the Rolli Days has been increasing over time. More recently, also palaces not originally belonging to the Rolli system (as an example, some historical buildings of the University of Genoa), suburban villas and churches have been added to the tour offerings.

Palazzo Grillo seat of the De André FoundationEdit

One of the Rolli palaces - Palazzo Grillo in Piazza delle Vigne[9] - was intended by the property to host the Foundation named after Fabrizio De André, famous songwriter from Genoa. Given the time required for the restoration of the building, the inauguration of the facility is scheduled for 2019, the tenth anniversary of his death in 2009.[10]

Inside the home, located in the centre of Genoa, will be a café and / or a restaurant, an auditorium, public rooms (classrooms and information) devoted to the study of the Genoese school of singer-songwriters, the top floor of the residence could be a meeting place between guests.

FAI is in the process of completing the rehabilitation and restoration of Villa Saluzzo Bombrini, in the Albaro quarter, known as Il Paradiso and inhabited in his youth by De André.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli". UNESCO.
  2. ^ "Strada Nuova Museum".
  3. ^ a b Quercioli, Mario (2008). I Palazzi dei Rolli Genova. Roma: Libreria dello Stato, Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato. ISBN 9788824011433.
  4. ^ Le Strade Nuove. Genova: SAGEP Editrice. 1986. p. 5.
  5. ^ Ennio Poleggi (1998), Una reggia repubblicana. Atlante dei palazzi di Genova 1576-1664. Torino
  6. ^ a b Pomella, Gioconda (2007). Guida Completa ai Palazzi dei Rolli. Genova: De Ferrari. p. 6. ISBN 9788871728155.
  7. ^ "UNESCO WHS Genoa". UNESCO WHS.
  8. ^ Fonte:
  9. ^ External links: Insight
  10. ^ Source: Il Secolo XIX, 21 January 2006


  • Fiorella Caraceni (1992), Una strada rinascimentale: via Garibaldi a Genova, Genova, SAGEP
  • Giorgio Doria (1995), Nobiltà e investimenti a Genova in Età moderna, Genova
  • Gioconda Pomella (2007), Guida Completa ai Palazzi dei Rolli Genova, Genova, De Ferrari Editore(ISBN 9788871728155)
  • Mauro Quercioli (2008), I Palazzi dei Rolli di Genova, Roma, Libreria dello Stato (ISBN 9788824011433)
  • Fiorella Caraceni Poleggi (2001), Palazzi Antichi e Moderni di Genova raccolti e disegnati da Pietro Paolo Rubens (1652), Genova, Tormena Editore (ISBN 9788884801302)
  • Mario Labò (2003), I palazzi di Genova di P.P. Rubens, Genova, Nuova Editrice Genovese

External linksEdit