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Pocket Guide: Porto Antico Palazzo di San Giorgio Hotels

Stay near Palazzo di San Giorgio

Set on the waterfront square of Piazza Caricamento, Palazzo di San Giorgio is an architectural gem that dates back to 1260 and its opulent facade is covered with frescoes painted by Genoan artist Lorenzo Tavarone.

In a great location next to the old port, Palazzo di San Giorgio is a top spot to base yourself while staying in Genoa. Find a hotel in either Pre or Maddalena near to the palace to be within walking distance of the port's family-friendly attractions, such as the aquarium and the maritime museum. You’ll also be near the many restaurants, bars and gelaterias around Palazzo di San Giorgio. The palace is also within easy reach of the historic old town, with its narrow cobbled streets, lined with restaurants and pavement cafes.

History of Palazzo di San Giorgio

Steeped in history, the majestic Palazzo di San Giorgio was constructed in 1260 by Guglielmo Boccanegra, uncle of Simone Boccanegra, the first Doge (chief magistrate) of Genoa. The city's first-ever public building, it was initially used as the political headquarters of the Republic of Genoa. Boccanegra was deposed and exiled in 1262, and the building was then used as a jail and a bank.

Venetian traveller Marco Polo was famously held as an inmate in Palazzo di San Giorgio in 1298, telling his fascinating tales of his travels through Asia to fellow prisoner, the Rustichello of Pisa. These stories were eventually turned into the famous travelogue, The Travels of Marco Polo.

At the end of the 19th century, the building was renovated after falling into disrepair. Also known as the Palace of St George, this beautifully frescoed building is now the headquarters of Genoa's port authority, its main entrance festooned with Gothic-style gargoyles. Open to the public at no charge, Palazzo di San Giorgio has a tranquil courtyard to stroll through and debating chambers, gloriously decked out with statues, frescoes and paintings to look at.

If you'd like to stay close to the Palazzo di San Giorgio, you can expect to find an excellent range of accommodation options nearby, from budget motels to luxury hotels.