This photograph provides a sense of the height and bulk of the palazzi. The entrance with the lions and shield (right) belongs to the Palazzo Doria Spinola (Via Garibaldi 6), designed by the brothers G. B. and Andrea Spinola in 1563; although its paintings are now gone, the frescoes by Cambiaso and Semino remain. The Herculean giants guarding the other entraneway belong to the Palazzo Lercari Parodi, Via Garibaldi 3 (begun after 1571 by Franco Lercari).
Most of old Genoa's palaces are in a triangular section of the town developed during the Renaissance, in particular that section bounded by the Via Luca, Via Luccoli, and Via Garbaldi. The Strada Nuova or "New Street," developed between 1550 and 1575, was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site on 13 July 2006. Dickens's "Street of the Palaces" contains the chief of these magnificent edifices, the dozen owned chiefly by bankers, ship-builders, and the Spanish crown. These "palazzi" follow the sequence of atrium, courtyard, grand staircase, and garden. In 1558 the three-block stretch was named the Via Maggiore or Aurea, but in 1882 was renamed for the Liberator of Italy, Garibaldi.
Photograph and text by Philip V. Allingham.
[This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]