LE STRADE NUOVE AND THE SYSTEM OF PALAZZI DEI ROLLI (UNESCO – WORLD HERITAGE SITE SINCE 2006)
Genoa has recently rediscovered its tourist vocation, which has roots in a distant past: from the Middle Ages and the 16th century – el siglo de oro – to the 20th century. It was a step-by-step rediscovery: from the Expo in 1992, with the reclamation of Porto Antico area and of the Aquarium; to the G8 Summit in 2001and Genoa – European Capital of Culture in 2004;and to the inscription on the Unesco – World Heritage List of 42 out of 150 existing Genoese “Rolli” in 2006.
Since the Middle-Ages, the aristocratic families of merchants and sailors used to settle in Genoa’s ancient downtown, living in lots which were strictly controlled by the families themselves. In the 16th century, those families decided to build new streets and palaces, and they created that extraordinary urban heritage known as Strada Nuova: an elite district characterized by a modem public allotment system and a series of houses aligned along a 250meters long straight stretch of street The houses became real “republican palaces” where rich Genoese merchants, bankers, and financial experts hosted emperors, kings, and ambassadors.
A very innovative system was created. Today, it could be called the “chateaux relais” system, and it meant that important guests were accommodated in private buildings, according to what was envisaged by a XVI century decree by the Senate of the Republic of Genoa that established the “Rolli degli Alloggiamenti pubblici” (or lists of buildings for public accommodation, after which the site is named). The aristocratic families who owned the buildings were to welcome and accommodate the guests of the Republic of Genoa and were to bear all expenses.
This innovative system based on widespread accommodation is now being rediscovered by tourists visiting Genoa; tour guides show people around the Rolli and spectacular events are organized, e.g. the Rom Days#. In addition to the Rolli, the 30 certified “Historical shops” are also being visited and rediscovered.
1 Visit to the historic city center of Genoa
2 Tour to the town of Genoa. Short walk to the XVI century Strada Nuova – which is now known as via Garibaldi – and visit a few of the 42 Palazzi dei Rolli: the Tobia Pallavicino and Lomellio buildings, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso, the Giacomo and Pantaleo Balbi buildings, the Grimaldi Spinola di Pellicceria building, which is the only one that still has its original furniture, and the Palazzo Reale Museum and its Sala del Trono, Salone da Ballo and Galleria degli Specchi (throne room, ballroom and hall of mirrors).
3 Guided tour of the Palazzo del Principe: this is the largest and most magnificent aristocratic building in Genoa. Later you can visit the Acquario di Genova and the new Cetaceans Pavilion designed by Renzo Piano. After leaving the Acquario, a guided tour will show you around the 32 Genoa’s certified historical shops, a real architectural and cultural treasure, and you’ll also be able to buy excellent typical products sold in quality shops along the Medieval “caruggi” (typical Genoa’s alleys).
The eastern part of Ligurian Riviera is characterized by fascinating villages such as Portofino, S. Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Camogli, Sestri Levante and Chiavari, and enchanting places, such as Paradiso and Tigullio Gulfs and the Promontory of Portofino. Just behind the city and the Riviera, the Partes of Antola, Aveto and Beigua.
HOW TO GET HERE
Cristoforo Colombo International Airport
Motorways: A12 along the eastern Riviera towards Livorno, AlO along the western Riviera towards France, connected to the routes Genoa-Milan (A7) and Turin-Aosta (A26, motorway “of the Tunnels).
Railway connections with La Spezia, Imperia, Milan and Turin.
Ferry-boats to Sardinia, Sicily, Spain, Marocco.