Like all the Palazzo dei Rolli in Genoa, the Palazzo Gio Battista Grimaldi in the Vico San Luca is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palazzo is not to be confused with another building of that name on the other side of the San Luca Church.
Palazzo Gio Battista Grimaldi Genoa (Vico San Luca, 4)
History and description
Construction of the palace was commissioned in 1610, by Battista Grimaldi. Before its construction the site was taken up by four 13th century buildings and a portico. The locals used to call this portico the “Grimaldi vaults”. In order to construct the building, the Vico San Luca needed to be adapted. The architect may have been Andrea Ceresola, aka Il Vannone.
Later owners of the building were the Pratolongo, Brignole and Cattaneo di Belforte families.
In 1885, Marquis Niccolò Brignole bought the palace. He commissioned major renovations of the staircase, the two piani nobili and the upper Belvedere.
The Palazzo Gio Battista Grimaldi was included in Rubens‘ famous book of sketches of the most beautiful buildings of Genoa.
What to see
Like most Rolli, the main characteristic of the interior is the atrium with a monumental staircase leading to the piano nobile.
Luca Grimaldi, Doge of Genoa from 1728, had several halls of this piano nobile frescoed by Lorenzo De Ferrari (1680-1744). Lorenzo‘s father Gregorio was also a local painter, while his mother Margherita was the daughter of Domenico Piola, another famous artist.
The best known fresco is painted on the vault of the Hall of Diana. The myth of Aurora and Cephalus takes up the central part. Aurora was the Roman goddess of dawn, who fell in love with the mortal Cephalus and carried him off with her to the Olympus. She asked Jupiter to give Cephalus immortality. Her wish was granted, but she had forgotten to also ask for eternal youth and Cephalus ended up eternally old. In het grief, Aurora changed him into a cicada.
On the sides, Diana encourages her servants to go an a bear hunt.
Address: Vico di San Luca, 4. The building can only be visited on special occasions.