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Palazzo Ducale

Inspect the fabulous frescoes and chandeliers and climb the tower to see the former secret jail that detained renowned inmates.

The Palazzo Ducale is a focal point of Genoa, where many of the city’s exhibits and cultural events unfold. As the former home of The Doges of Genoa, who were the regional rulers, the structure has two spectacular neoclassical façades and an opulent interior. Make your way through the building for a glimpse into the lavish excesses of the 18th-century Genoan aristocracy. 

The palace was constructed at the end of the 13th century, before being rebuilt in the 16th and 18th centuries, and restored in the 1930s and 1990s. Snap photos of the gorgeous façades that overlook both the Piazza Matteotti and the Piazza de Ferrari. 

The building puts on a great range of events. It famously hosted the 2001 G8 Summit. Stroll through the main halls of the Maggior and Minor Consiglio and visit the traveling art exhibitions that are often installed here. Examine the impressive frescoes adorning the walls. Attend one of the free concerts in the two courtyards. Ascend the main staircase to the upper floor and marvel at the chandeliers and more frescoes in the conference rooms. 

Learn about the fascinating history of the palace, whose tower served as a secret jail for famous prisoners such as the Saracen pirate Dragut. Several well-known painters, such as Ansaldo, Borzone and Fiasella, were incarcerated here in the 17th century. Spot frescoes on the wall created by some of the imprisoned painters. 

The palace opens daily from morning until late afternoon, but is closed on Monday mornings. Purchase a ticket to gain access to the building. 

The Palazzo Ducale is on the northwestern side of the Piazza de Ferrari in the Old Town district of central Genoa. Ride the bus or metro system to the De Ferrari stop, which is also on its namesake piazza. Make sure to see other sights here, including the Teatro Carlo Felice (theater), the Abbazia di San Matteo (abbey) and the Torre Maruffo (tower).


Guide to Exploring Palazzo Ducale


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Bristol Palace Hotel £125
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    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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    NH Collection Genova Marina £113
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    Molo Ponte Calvi, 5, Genoa, GE
       
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      Located in the heart of Genoa, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Palazzo di San Giorgio, Aquarium of Genoa and Old Port. Genoa Port Center and Luigi Ferraris Stadium are also within 2 miles (3 km). Genoa Piazza Principe Station is 11 minutes by foot and Genoa Genova Brignole Station is 24 minutes.

      Hotel Continental Genova £88
      Hotel Continental Genova

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      Via Arsenale di Terra 1, Genoa, GE
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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        Grand Hotel Savoia £117
        Grand Hotel Savoia

        Grand Hotel Savoia

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          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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          Hotel Palazzo Grillo £96
          Hotel Palazzo Grillo

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            Melia Genova £132
            Melia Genova

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              Best Western Hotel Porto Antico £76
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                NH Genova Centro £83
                NH Genova Centro

                NH Genova Centro

                Via Martin Piaggio, 11, Genoa, GE
                   
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