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3 reasons to visit Villa del Principe in Genoa

Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, better known as Villa del Principe, was built in the first half of the 16th century at the behest of Andrea Doria, an important figure in Genoese circles, as well as an admiral, politician and Italian nobleman of the Republic of Genoa. However, its construction was not completed until a century later by his heir Giovanni Andrea Doria.

The history of Villa del Principe, which could even be compared to a palace because of its size, was rather turbulent, with periods of abandonment and damage caused by bombing during World War II. Towards the end of the 1800s it was even subdivided into apartments to be rented out to tourists, including the figure of Giuseppe Verdi, who stayed here until shortly before his death.

Today the building houses an important museum, which can be visited daily by purchasing a ticket to visit the interior rooms only, or by including a visit to the garden.

The scenic Italian garden

The outdoor space of Villa del Principe is a perfect example of an Italian garden, directly overlooking what was once Andrea Doria's private harbor. Today, unfortunately, the shoreline has been moved to make room for the road, but this fortunately has not detracted from the Villa's charm.

The garden has recently been restored to the plan of the 16th-century design. At present it looks like a labyrinth of paths and flower beds that, also passing under a beautiful pergola, converge at two beautiful fountains: the Dolphin Fountain and the Neptune Fountain.

Villa del Principe's italian garden
Villa del Principe's italian garden

The artworks and antique furniture

Inside the impressive halls of the villa, one can admire numerous works of art tracing the history of the building and the events that took place in Genoa over the centuries.

Inside the hall of the Fall of the Giants, frescoed by Perin del Vaga, a pupil of Raphael who was also responsible for the garden design, it is still possible to admire the throne of Emperor Charles V.

Don't miss the precious Flemish tapestries from the second half of the 15th century, as well as the antique furnishings that are still perfectly preserved.

One of the interior rooms of the Prince's Palace
One of the interior rooms of the Prince's Palace

The marvelous frescoes

Inside the many rooms that make up the tour of Villa del Principe one can admire numerous frescoes painted in various periods to adorn the ceilings of the rooms.

Upon entering, one is immediately welcomed inside the Loggia degli Eroi, which directly overlooks the panoramic terrace, stupendously frescoed by Perin Del Vaga, who here depicted the figures of the illustrious ancestors of the Doria family.

The works also follow one another in the subsequent rooms, except for those parts of the building damaged during the bombing.


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