Palazzi dei Rolli

Three masterpieces from the Region of Liguria are enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa, Beigua Geopark located between Genoa and Savona, and Portovenere, Cinque Terre and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) in the province of La Spezia. Three unique places which fully represent the region with its one-of-a-kind mix of nature, history and human endeavour.

Via Aurea, Strada Nuova, via Nuovissima. These street names are still synonymous with modern times. But the streets of the Palazzi dei Rolli represent just a slice of the Republic of Genoa’s glorious past. A walk among these sumptuous residences takes the visitor back to the atmosphere of the 16th and 17th centuries and is also a unique way to experience works of impressive historic and architectural value that are still an integral part of the city’s urban fabric, now the homes of common citizens.

The Genoa of the 17th century is the first European example of an integrated architectural and urbanistic project planned by the government to provide residences and hospitality. In the Republic founded by Andrea Doria between the 16th and 17th centuries there was a system to offer hospitality to illustrious guests and visitors on state business who would be granted lodging in the residences of the most important aristocratic families. This came about through the “Rolli of public lodging”, lists (in various editions and updated versions) containing the names of the palaces that would host notable guests visiting the city.

The assignment of the residence was drawn by chance: each “Rollo” was subdivided into three “bussoli” based on the class level of the guest. The first bussolo was for cardinals, princes and viceroys, the second one for feudal lords and governors, and the third one for princes and ambassadors. The owners of the palaces were obliged to offer their residences to the guests, however, the entire community benefited from the image that was projected, spreading a culture of hospitality and a cultural and architectural model that has remained to this day and has recently been enlisted by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site”. The ideal tour to visit the Palazzi dei Rolli starts in via Balbi, then divides into two possibilities: the first, particularly rich and regal, passes down the ancient via Aurea, today called via Garibaldi, the second, no less scenic route is quite lively, passing down via Lomellini and via San Luca, just steps away from the “carruggi”.

Source: I Like Italy
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