Museums and Exposition Sites
Genoa has always been a place of multiple facets, a melting pot of cultures where travellers, emigrants, writers and artists have exchanged goods, visions and experiences.
The city’s museums, often located in sumptuous palaces that constitute part of the founding fabric of its historic centre, offers a way to experience the cultural richness of the city through the centuries and allows the visitor to discover its fascinating artistic and cultural heritage.
It is an intricate heritage as its alleys, difficult to grasp and often hidden within its narrow spaces, all to be discovered, where sea, art, culture from around the world, science and nature, history and archaeology intertwine revealing, glimpses of its many different souls: from great queen of trade & navigation to superb treasure chest of ancient and contemporary art.
With more than thirty exhibition venues located within a 10 km radius of the city centre, the Museums of Genoa offer a vast wealth that illustrates the cultural richness of Genoa through the centuries and allows visitors to discover its fascinating cultural and artistic heritage.
Genoa's Museums, characterised by the extraordinary buildings that they occupy, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are divided into five areas: art, world cultures, nature science and navigation, history and memory, music and entertainment, offering visitors a heritage of extraordinary richness and variety.
All the Museums and Exhibition Centres adhere to the new health and social distancing requirements, to ensure access to visitors in total safety. Schedules are subject to change, while prices and access arrangements can be found on the official websites and social media and are regularly updated.
STRADA NUOVA MUSEUMS - PALAZZO BIANCO
In the extraordinary setting of Via Garibaldi, the magnificent Renaissance and Baroque 'Strada Nuova’, designed in the mid-16th century and site of the homes of many of the city’s rich and powerful aristocracy, this unique museum itinerary connects three palaces in order to present the most important museum of antique art in the city.
Palazzo Rosso is a "house” museum where the charm of the seventeenth-century residence is preserved through the rich art collections and historical furnishings of the Brignole-Sale family in rooms sumptuously decorated with frescoes and stuccos.
Palazzo Bianco is the main art gallery of the region, offering a rich and varied cross-section of the Ligurian school of painting from the sixteenth century, along with exceptional Flemish, Spanish and Italian works. The link between Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Tursi crosses the site where the church of the (now demolished) monastery of San Francesco di Castelletto once stood, remnants of which can be seen in a suggestive and absolutely unique context.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/strada-nuova-museums
Residence of the Doge since 1339, Genova Palazzo Ducale is today the location of exhibitions, conferences, meetings, festivals, shows and educational activities, and represents one of the main cultural centers of the city.
How to access: read info on https://palazzoducale.genova.it/en/
GALATA, MARITIME MUSEUM
The Galata, a few steps from the Genoa’s Aquarium, was created at the end of the 1990s based on a bold project of historical and environmental redevelopment of the area of the ancient Darsena and the remnants of the Arsenale della Repubblica: an entire area now rendered visible and which adds charm to the whole area.
The visit passes between the “museum” part in the main building and an open air park area where the archaeological-port is located and which now constitutes the waterfront of the museum, it is here that the submarine the “Nazario Sauro” is moored, the only one in Italy that can be visited “at sea”.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/galata-maritime-museum
In the beautiful setting of this 19th-century villa, surrounded by a large park in the residential district of Carignano and overlooking the sea, sits Contemporary Art Museum Villa Croce. When it was inaugurated on February 2, 1985, it was the second most important museum of its kind in Italy and it immediately became a reference point for contemporary art in Genoa.
The museum's collections consist of over 4,000 works - paintings, drawings, sculptures - which document modern and contemporary art from the 1930s onwards. Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Bruno Munari, Osvaldo Licini, Ben Vautier are just some of the leading figures present in the collection. The collection is largely held in storage and displayed periodically as part of the Museum’s exhibition programmes.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/contemporary-art-museum-villa-croce
D'ALBERTIS CASTEL, MUSEUM OF WORLD CULTURE
This unique house-museum offers an extraordinary opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of its creator, the Captain Enrico Alberto D’Albertis, who generously gifted it to the City of Genoa upon his death in 1932. Through his adventures across land and sea between the 19th and the 20th centuries, the Captain gathered stories and artefacts and brought them back to be housed in this romantic frame inspired by ‘curiosity cabinets’ and the colonial trophies commonly collected at the time. As documented by numerous construction drawings, the castle itself, built in the neo-gothic style, encapsulates the Captain’s deep love for the sea, his curiosity for the unknown and the unexplored, his fascination for the unfamiliar worlds he visited and, underneath it all, his deeply Genoese soul.
The museum’s collections, presented in a sequence of evocative alcoves furnished according to the “revival” style of the time, are composed of ethnographic and archaeological materials gathered by the Captain across five continents; to these are added those collected by the Captain’s cousin Luigi Maria, the first to explore the Fly river in New Guinea
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/dalbertis-castle-museum-world-cultures
NATURE HISTORY MUSEUM G. DORIA
Founded in 1867, the Natural History museum is the oldest museum in the city and has an enormously rich scientific collection made up of 4.5 million artefacts and specimens from all over the world: animals, fossils, plants and minerals. 6,000 items are on display, distributed over 23 rooms on two floors. A visit is a journey into the biodiversity of the planet and is ideal for children, teenagers, families and for all nature lovers.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/natural-history-museum-giacomo-doria
The Lanterna of Genoa is the symbol of the city, the highest lighthouse in the Mediterranean, second in Europe.
It has been a tower of signaling and armed guard over the centuries, a stage for tightrope walkers, prison. It was built in its present form in 1543, after the destruction of the old lighthouse in 1514. The first stone of the Lanterna wall was placed in 1626. This 20-km-long wall was completed in 1639, thus becoming the longest city wall in Europe and second in the world, in length, only to the Chinese Wall.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/museum-lighthouse-la-lanterna
ORIENTAL MUSEUM E. CHIOSSONE
In the city centre, in the 19th-century park of Villetta Di Negro overlooking one of Genoa’s most elegant squares, Piazza Corvetto, there is a space dedicated to the Far East. Facing the sea, stands a building in perfect rationalist style, specifically designed by Mario Labò to house the collection donated to the city of Genoa by Edoardo Chiossone. Founded in 1905 the Museum, which is named after him, was the first museum dedicated to Japanese art to be founded in Europe, and houses the largest, most precious and most varied collection of Japanese art in Italy and one of the most important in Europe.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/oriental-museum-e-chiossone
ROYAL PALACE MUSEUM
Genoa’s Royal Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings in Italy. An extraordinary construction which has preserved its interiors intact, complete with original furniture, superb furnishings, the finest works of art. The visit to the interiors - with its collections of sculptures, paintings, marbles and precious fabrics, gilded wood and crystal chandeliers - and of the exteriors - the hanging garden and terraces - the visitor lives both grand or more intimate atmospheres and enjoys unforgettable views of the port.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/royal-palace-museum
NATIONAL GALLERIES PALAZZO SPINOLA
An aristocratic palazzo in the heart of the city’s historic centre which was included in the Rolli System at the end of the 16th century. This is Palazzo Spinola, visitors will discover its luxurious 16th and 18th-century rooms, embellished with frescoes and oriental furnishings, fabrics and porcelain: a succession of spaces in which are exhibited one of the most important historical picture collections in the city, the scope of which allows you to immerse yourself in that refined and precious atmosphere that characterised the taste of the nobility of the Superba.
The visit is varied by the unusual possibility of discovering some characteristic spaces, such as the 19th-century kitchens or the famous Gallery of Mirrors.
How to access: read info on https://www.museidigenova.it/en/national-galleries-palazzo-spinola
PALAZZO NICOLOSIO LOMELLINO
At Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino, a privately-owned “jewel” in Via Garibaldi 7, one of the most fascinating Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa, you can visit the “Giardino Segreto” (the Secret Garden), an enchanting Italian-style garden that allows you to admire some scenic views, including the route of the Galleria dei Cesari, with its unique view of the “Grotta di Adone che caccia il cinghiale” (Cave of Adonis hunting the wild boar).