The symbol of Genoa’s splendour between the 16th and 17th centuries
The Palazzi dei Rolli still stand tall today, representing the period of great splendour enjoyed by Genoa between the 16th and 17th centuries. This group of noble buildings was built to house the most powerful aristocratic families of the Republic of Genoa while also displaying to the world the greatness achieved by the city.
Each building was registered in the city records, which were known as the “rolli”, hence their name. From these records, lots were drawn to determine in which building newcomers to the city should stay.
The construction of the first Palazzi dei Rolli buildings is linked to a significant reconfiguration of the street system in the city’s historic centre. Here the so-called Strade Nuove (New Streets) were created, and over the years elegant residences were built alongside them. Today, you can walk around admiring this ancient splendour between Via Garibaldi, Via Cairoli, Via Bensa and Via Balbi.
There are over 150 Palazzi dei Rolli buildings in the historic centre of Genoa, but only 42 of these, including the Strade Nuove system, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.