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Genoa is certainly one of the most fascinating Italian cities to visit as it offers a wide variety of beautiful landscapes and cultural and artistic attractions.

Among the latter, I must point out Palazzo Rosso, a building in the historic center of Genoa which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

If you are planning to spend a holiday in Genoa, my advice is to plan a visit to this building.

I’ll give you some useful information below.

red palace genoa

Tickets for Genoa City Pass

What is the Palazzo Rosso?

palazzo rosso genoa

As I mentioned, Palazzo Rosso, whose full name is Palazzo Rodolfo and Gio Francesco Brignole Sale, is a building located in Genoa at number 18 Via Garibaldi, in the heart of the historic center.

Together with Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria-Tursi, it is part of the first section of the Strada Nuova Museums, which mainly house works of art by the Brignole-Sale family and which are located in rooms that have maintained their original furnishings and layout and which are now part of the so-called Palazzi dei Rolli.

The history of Palazzo Rosso

The palace was built between 1671 and 1677 at the request of the brothers Rodolfo and Gio Francesco Brignole Sale, who made use of a project carried out by the architect Corradi.

Unlike most of the palaces of the time, two noble apartments were not built on the same floor but on two different floors, each of which was intended for one of the brothers.

Over the years, the building was the subject of several decorative interventions that further embellished the building, making it refined and elegant.

Even in the eighteenth century other decorative interventions that concerned mainly the facade were made, which I will tell you about shortly when we talk about the origin of the name of the palace.

In 1874 the palace was given to the city by the last heir of the family in order to increase the prestige of Genoa, the palace suffered serious damage as a result of the bombing of the city during the Second World War, losing part of the artistic heritage, but was restructured during the fifties.

After these works, it was decided to make it one of the main museums in the city with an exhibition of the works of the greatest Italian artists.

In the same year, the last heir of the Brignole Sale family also donated the beautiful picture gallery of the family, which is characterized by the presence of Flemish portraits and painters Guido Reni, Guercino, Mattia Preti and many others.

Why is it called by this name?

If you’re wondering why the Palazzo Brignole Sale became known as the Palazzo Rosso within a short span of time, you’re not the only one.

The name, in fact, depends on the particular color of the plaster that covers the outer facade, which was very unusual for the period in which it was built.

What are the works inside the Palace?

Palazzo Rosso is well-organized in regards to the exhibition of the various works of art that are present within it.

When you get to the first floor of the building, you will find yourself in a picture gallery where there are several paintings dating back to the period between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, both by Genoese painters and Italian and international artists.

Among the first ones, I point out Luca Cambiaso with his Deposition and Bernardo Strozzi of whom instead we find different works such as the Madonna with the child and San Giovannino, The cook, the Piper, the Christian Charity and San Francesco in adoration of the Crucifix.

In the second category, we find artists such as Palma il Vecchio, Perin Del Vaga, Veronese, Guido Reni, il Guercino, Albrecht Dührer and Rogier Van Der Weyden.

I will summarize, respectively, for each author, the main works on display:

the Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist and Magdalene

  • The Madonna and Child, St. Joseph and St. John
  • Judith and oleferne
  • San Sebastiano
  • The suicide of Cato, the dying Cleopatra, the Madonna and Child, St. John and St. John the Evangelist and St. Bartholomew
  • The portrait of a young Venetian

Equally interesting is a visit to the second floor of the building where you can admire the typical Baroque style; the different rooms are rich in inlaid marble and full of color and frescoed walls with vaulted ceilings where you will be amazed by the allegorical paintings such as those of gods and heroes, virtues, the four seasons and so on.

What are the exhibitions and events of 2019/2020?

Since it is a very suggestive location, it is obvious that during the year several exhibitions and events are organized inside it.

On the occasion of the All Saints’ Day of November 1, Palazzo Rosso will be open from 9:00 until 18:30 so as to give you the opportunity to visit and admire the different works contained within it.

Moreover, from October 20 to November 7, the exhibition Digital Collage Art: the surreality between yesterday and today is underway. Reasoned Art presents H3c and Marcos Guinoza.

The mirador of Palazzo Rosso

One of the peculiarities of this building is its terrace, which ensures a panoramic view of almost 360 degrees over the entire city and which is called Mirador of Palazzo Rosso.

To publicize this beautiful view, the tourist board of the city has created special brochures explaining how to reach the terrace to admire the city from above.

red palace genoa

Tickets for Genoa City Pass

How to get to Palazzo Rosso

You will have no difficulty in reaching the Palazzo Rosso from the centre of Genoa as the alternatives available are different.

I recommend that you opt to use public transport to get to your destination as the connections are really efficient.

The bus, for example, has different lines to get to Palazzo Rosso such as lines 18 and 35.

A good alternative is also the subway or the train with line 3 offering a good connection, getting you to your destination in about 15 minutes.

Alternatively, Palazzo Rosso can be reached on foot in a few minutes from any area of the centre of Genoa.

Hotels near Palazzo Rosso

where to sleep in genoa italy

So if you have decided to spend a short stay in Genoa to go to Palazzo Rosso, you will obviously want to know where to sleep.

In the direct vicinity of this building, there are several accommodation facilities that will allow you to find the one that best suits your needs without any difficulty.

Hotel Palazzo Grillo

First of all, I would like to point out the Hotel Palazzo Grillo, located in a 16th century building, where you will find rooms furnished with every comfort, guarantees taste and refinement.

Hotel Acquario

If, on the other hand, you need to have a good quality/price ratio, you can book a room at the Hotel Acquario, which is located near the Palazzo Rosso and has simple but extremely practical rooms.

Best Western Hotel Porto Antico

Another solution that can fully satisfy your need for accommodation near Palazzo Rosso is the Best Western Hotel Porto Antico, which offers simple and comfortable rooms, with breakfast and wifi included: it is a perfect solution for those traveling with their family.

Genoa Suite Art

An excellent choice for families is also the B&B Genova Suite Art that allows you to easily reach the various clubs and restaurants in the vicinity.

Restaurants near Palazzo Rosso

pasta with pesto

After a day of admiring the artistic beauties of Palazzo Rosso and a further tour to see the different attractions of Genoa, you will surely have to sit at the table of a good restaurant to enjoy the different gastronomic delights of Genoa or even to drink an aperitif in the beautiful setting of Palazzo Rosso.

So here are some restaurants that are located near Palazzo Rosso.

Trattoria Rosmarino

The first stop you will have to make is definitely Trattoria Rosmarino, a cozy and well-organized place where you can enjoy the traditional dishes of Genoa. The brandacujun, which is a real delicacy for gourmets, is an absolute must.

Mentelocale Bar Bistrot

Literally attached to the Palazzo Rosso is the Mentelocale Bar Bristot, a place that allows you to sip an excellent aperitif in Genoa in the courtyard of the Palazzo Rosso, great location to spend a few hours of carefree chatting with friends.


Pesciolino is also an excellent choice for a dinner near Palazzo Rosso or to eat a good traditional Ligurian dish; the location is absolutely unique and ensures both a quick stop and the chance to sit comfortably at the table for a more substantial meal.

Pizza Ferro e Fuoco Garibaldi

If you want to eat a good pizza, I recommend Ferro e Fuoco Garibaldi, a good restaurant that is located in Via Garibaldi and that will surprise you for the excellence of its culinary proposals.

Other Palaces in Genoa

palazzo reale genoa

When you stay for a few days in Genoa, Palazzo Rosso will not be the only destination of your leisure trip as there are other buildings in the direct vicinity of it that deserve to be visited in the same way.

Palazzo Bianco

The first one that in my humble opinion deserves your attention is Palazzo Bianco, which can be considered at the same time the oldest and most modern of the so-called Strada Nuova, that is the street where the palaces of the Genoese aristocracy were built.

The origin of the palace can be rightly placed between 1530 and 1540 with the aim of becoming the home of Luca Grimaldi, one of the most illustrious exponents of the noble Genoese families.

Today it is one of the most important museums of the city and inside there is a very rich collection of works of the best Genoese, Italian and international painters, in the period between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Royal Palace Genoa

A visit to the  Palazzo Reale is also a must. In fact, it is an ancient patrician building that was built during the 1600s and that has been embellished and decorated several times, first by the Balbi family from Genoa, then by the Durazzo family and later by the Savoy family.

When you enter the Palazzo Reale you will immediately notice that you are inside a building that has kept intact its architecture, with rooms that have decorations and frescoes from the time of construction.

Obviously, the palace is a real museum in which more than 100 works of the greatest painters of the period between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries such as Bassano, Tintoretto, Luca Giordano, Anton Van Dyck, Ferdinand Voet and Guercino are on display.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a guided tour that will allow you to admire the inner courtyard, the noble garden and the refined noble apartment on the second floor.

Palazzo Tursi

To complete the tour of the main buildings, now used as museums in Genoa, you must pass through Palazzo Tursi.

Today this building, in addition to housing the Mayor’s reception rooms, is also distinguished by the extension of the gallery of Palazzo Bianco.

The museum here houses a rich collection of ancient coins, as well as weights and measures of Genoa from the period of the Maritime Republics and numerous art objects such as the Guarnieri di Gesù, the violin that belonged to Paganini.

red palace genoa

Tickets for Genoa City Pass

Timetables and contact information


Here we are at the end of this post on the Palazzo Rosso in Genoa. Did you find all the info you needed?

If you are looking for more information or some advice, leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to help.


Andrea Semonella

Hey! I'm Andrea and I am a little bit obsessed with exploring the world and meeting people on the road. I'm in love with my city, and I'm happy to share with you all the best place and most incredible secrets of Genoa, Italy.

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