The Ligurian coast is home to Italy’s largest seaport as well as some of the country’s tiniest fishing villages. Take in both these extremes by spending a day in bustling Genoa, then heading out along the coastline to explore picturesque Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Here's how.
Built in the 1530s for the Grimaldi family, Palazzo Bianco stands in the historical heart of Genoa. The mansion later came into the possession of the wealthy Brignole-Sale family, owners of nearby Palazzo Rosso. Today both homes are part of the Strada Nuova Museums, with Palazzo Bianco featuring European paintings from the 12th to 18th century.
Via Garibaldi, 11, Genoa, Italy, 16124
Maria Brignole-Sale, the Duchess of Galliera and final Brignole-Sale descendant, left the Palazzo Bianco to the city of Genoa in 1899 for use as a gallery. Today visitors to
the converted mansion can peruse works by Flemish, Italian, Dutch, French, and Spanish artists including van Dyck and Rubens, as well as paintings by Genoese masters from the 17th and 18th century, such as Domenico Piola and Valerio Castello.
In addition to its art collection, the 16th-century mansion offers a glimpse into the lives of the Genoese aristocracy, with ornate period furnishings and decor. Admission tickets to Palazzo Bianco also include entry to nearby Palazzo Rosso, another mansion featuring European paintings collected by the Brignole-Sale family, and Palazzo Tursi, which contains decorative arts as well as Paganini’s violin.
Things to Know Before You Go
Palazzo Bianco is a must-visit for Italian history buffs and art lovers.
Audio guides are available in Italian, French, and English.
The museum is wheelchair accessible, with elevators between the three floors.
How to Get There
Palazzo Bianco is located at Via Garibaldi 11, in the heart of Genoa’s historical core and within the city’s Strada Nuova UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many visitors will get to the museum on foot while exploring the old town. To reach the palazzo by public transit, take the metro to Darsena or San Giorgio, each a 10-minute walk from the museum.
When to Get There
Most visitors spend about 2.5 hours exploring the Strada Nuova museums. The museums are at their busiest in the early and late afternoon, so it is best to visit in the morning before the crowds.
Famous Masterpieces of the Palazzo Bianco
The museum features famous works from a number of prominent artists from Italy and all over Europe. Highlights includes van Dyck’s Vertumno e Pomona, depicting scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses; the mournful sculptureMaddalena Penitente (Penitent Magdalene), by Canova; and Genoese master Luca Cambiaso’s intimate 1575 paintingLa Madonna della candela (Our Lady of the Candle).
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- Palazzo Rosso
- Palazzi dei Rolli
- Spianata Castelletto
- Genoa Via Garibaldi (Via Giuseppe Garibaldi)
- Piazza Caricamento
- Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art (Museo d'Arte Orientale Edoardo Chiossone)
- Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato
- Via San Lorenzo
- Aquarium of Genoa
- Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
- Piazza de Ferrari
- Galata Maritime Museum (Galata Museo del Mare)
- La Biosfera