Rolli Days - UNESCO Palaces - October 2020

From 09.10.2020 (All day) to 11.10.2020 (All day)
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After the successful experience with Rolli Days Digital Week in May, Rolli Days October 2020 returns to offer visitors the chance to physically enter the Palazzi dei Rolli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006, where they can admire, in person, the cycles of frescos, the collections of paintings, and the impressive sculptures created between the late Renaissance and the Baroque periods.

The need to meet current anti COVID-19 regulations, while allowing visitors to peacefully and safely enjoy their encounter with Genoa’s history, culture, and beauty, makes the experience of this edition of Rolli Days particularly valuable and exclusive.

It is, in fact, necessary to make an online reservation for entry to each site, which will therefore be accessible at specific times with each visit lasting approximately 30 minutes for groups of a limited size. This will make it possible to avoid the risk of mass gatherings and to eliminate the time spent waiting in a queue. 

This means that visits to each building or site will need to be pre-booked. Therefore it is recommended that visitors carefully plan their itineraries, keeping in mind the duration of the visits and the distance between buildings in order to evaluate which and how many buildings to visit.  

In order to allow as many visits as possible, many of the sites which will be open for Rolli Days October 2020 will be accessible starting in the afternoon and evening of Friday 9 October.




Palazzo Antonio Doria - Prefecture, Largo Lanfranco 1

Palazzo Tobia Pallavicino (Chamber of Commerce), Via Garibaldi 4

Palazzo Angelo Giovanni Spinola, Via Garibaldi 5

Palazzo Gio Battista Spinola, Via Garibaldi 6

Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino, Via Garibaldi 7 – entry fee

Palazzo Nicolò Grimaldi- Palazzo Tursi, Museums of Strada Nuova, Via Garibaldi 9

Palazzo Luca Grimaldi - Palazzo Bianco, Museums of Strada Nuova, Via Garibaldi 11

Palazzo Gerolamo Grimaldi - della Meridiana, Salita San Francesco 4 – entry fee

Palazzo Stefano Balbi, Royal Palace Museum, Via Balbi 10

Palazzo Giacomo and Pantaleo Balbi – Balbi Senarega, Via Balbi 4

Palazzo Gio. Francesco Balbi, Via Balbi 2, Numner UNESCO 27

Palazzo Cesare Durazzo, Via del Campo 12

Palazzo Francesco Grimaldi – National Gallery of Palazzo Spinola, Piazza Pellicceria 1

Palazzo Ambrogio di Negro, Via San Luca 2


The following sites will also be open to visitors:


Villa del Principe, Piazza del Principe 4

Albergo dei Poveri, Piazzale Emanuele Brignole 2

Teatro Carlo Felice, Passo Eugenio Montale 4

Offices of Banca Carige and part of its collections, Via Cassa di Risparmio 15

State Archive of Genoa, with exposition of the original documents of the Palazzi dei Rolli, Piazza Santa Maria in Via Lata 7  




This Spring’s Rolli Days Digital Week centred on the creation of high quality digital video material, which met with great approval on the part of the general public. October will once again include several digital tours of new sites or sites within which it would be difficult – or impossible – for visitors to enter, making an ever greater familiarity with this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the city of Genoa possible by integrating digital and physical experiences, thus making the event accessible to an even broader public.

The sites that will be accessible through these exciting digital tours are:

- Palazzo Agostino Ayrolo, today Negrone, with a focus on the extraordinary gallery, one of 17th century Genoa’s most noteworthy and evocative. Painted by Giovanni Battista Carlone in the mid 17th century, just a few years before he began working on the Doge’s chapel, it depicts very specific episodes from the Myth of Aeneas which were connected to the family’s history. This unique space was then enhanced later in the 17th century with works by Cornelis De Wael and Bartolomeo Guidobono.


- Palazzo Ottavio Imperiale, then Sauli and De Mari, also called “del melograno”: built in the 1680s for Ottavio Imperiale and included by Rubens in his volume on the Buildings of Genoa (published in Anversa in 1622), the building boasts important frescos by Domenico Piola and Guidobono, as well as several prestigious Baroque sculptures, such as Hercules with the Apples of Hesperides by Filippo Parodi. At the start of the 17th century, when the Sauli family lived here, Orazio Gentileschi painted several canvases. His Danae, painted for Genoa, was purchased just a few years ago for $30 million by the Getty in Los Angeles.


- Abbey of San Nicolò del Boschetto: This monastery complex, constructed in the 14th century in a strategic location high in the Val Polcevera, has, over the centuries, seen many families of the Genoese aristocracy contribute to its decorations: from the Grimaldis to the Spinolas and from the Dorias to the Lercaris, in general also owners of Palazzi dei Rolli. The relationship between the Genoese aristocracy and this location (today peripheral, but at the time considered central to the economy and to the city’s road system), in which some of the most valuable testaments of 15th century Genoese sculpture are still preserved, will be retraced through historical events and through exploration of some of the most significant artistic figures who left their mark on it.


The Genoa of the Rolli and Columbus’s Journey

The fall edition will celebrate, one day early, the anniversary of Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus’s arrival on American soil, which took place on 12 October 1492. A pivotal event in European history, that created the conditions for the emergence of Spain’s power, to which the political and economic exploits of the 16th century Genoese aristocracy are largely connected.

Who was Columbus? What do we know about his story, about his life as a Genoan, about his education and his travels? What motivated him and what were – for better or worse – his actions before and after the journey that forever revolutionised the history of the world? These topics will be explored via all-new digital content, created specifically for the occasion and visible on the Municipality of Genoa’s channels, in order to put the figure of Columbus in perspective, thanks to historical documents and research. The video will also be an opportunity to discover the city’s most “Columbian” locations, including the early 17th century Palazzi dei Rolli as well as more recent memories.

Furthermore, the portrait of Christopher Columbus on wood, attributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio, will be on display on Via Garibaldi, on the main floor of Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino Centurione Podestà. Painted in 1520, and therefore several years after Columbus’s death, it is probably the most famous image of the explorer.

The painting will be on display below the “Columbian” themed frescos by painter Bernardo Strozzi. The frescos were completed at the start of the 17th century for the Centurione family, who were probably among Columbus’s financial backers. Long thought to be lost, they were rediscovered at the start of the millennium thanks to a restoration project.

An exceptional event, organised thanks to the collaboration of the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape for the metropolitan city of Genoa, the Galata maritime museum, and the Palazzo Lomellino Association. 


Dance in the Palazzi dei Rolli

Jacopo Bellussi, Genoese dancer and primo ballerino with the Hamburg Ballet, has given his city a choreographed piece dedicated to the Palazzi dei Rolli.

Together with Yun Su Park, also a ballerina with the Hamburg Ballet, he has created a magical event, telling a profound story through dance in the spaces of the Palazzi dei Rolli: from the rooms of Palazzo Angelo Giovanni Spinola to the Golden Gallery of Palazzo Tobia Pallavicino, from the atrium of Palazzo Spinola Doria to the garden of Palazzo Lomellino and the courtyard of Tursi.

More high quality and emotionally charged content that will enrich the digital portion of the October 2020 edition of Rolli Days Genova.


The Challenge of Scientific Communicators

Even on occasion of an edition as innovative and unique as this one, combining both the physical presence of visitors and digital content, the Rolli Days position themselves as an educational and professional training tool. Visitors will be guided through the sites, once again, by the Rolli Days’ Scientific Communicators, individuals trained specifically for this event and selected in order to provide the general public with the best compromise between scientific research and a communication style that is suitable to all.





For updates regarding the calendar, how to make a reservation, and collateral events, please stay tuned to the website and consult the Palazzi dei Rolli Genova app (available from the Apple Store and the Google Play Store)

The event will be promoted on Facebook via the Visit Genoa and Genovamorethanthis pages and on the @Genovamorethanthis Instagram channel.

Official hashtags: #RolliDays and #Genovamorethanthis



Rolli Days Genova October 2020 is an event promoted and organised by the Municipality of Genoa, in collaboration with the Palazzo Ducale Cultural Foundation, the Genoa Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities – Regional Secretariat of Liguria, the Associazione dei Rolli della Repubblica Genovese, and the University of Genoa.


 Radio Monte Carlo  is the city of Genoa's Media partner

Radio Monte Carlo has selected an exclusive and poignant playlist in order to make the virtual tours of the Rolli residences even more evocative. It can be heard at:


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