Palazzo Reale in Genoa is a Royal palace from Genoa’s Golden Age, when aristocratic families like the Balbi family, who constructed the palace, enjoyed tremendous wealth. In fact, Palazzo Reale is found on the via Balbi; in the early 1600s the family petitioned the Senate for permission to build their street and the many palazzi you still see along it today.
Designed to be a family residence called Palazzo della Corona, the construction in the early 15th century was supervised by Stefano Balbi and Gio Francesco Balbi II. In 1677 the Balbis sold the palace in 1677 to the Durazzo family, who enlarged it. In 1930 the Royal Palace passed to the Ministero della Publica Instruzione, who turned it into the State Museum it remains today.
Inside you’ll see frescoes, paintings, vases, clocks, tapestries, sculpture and furniture from Genoa’s era of sea exploration.
The museum is a bargain at a standard entrance price of €4. But for the cash-strapped tourist, a walk down the Via Balbi with a short stop at the Palazzo Reale to see the inner courtyard pictured on the upper right is a pleasure you can enjoy for free. The black and white pebble mosaic you see in the foreground of the picture represents a Ligurian tradition. Turn around and you’ll get an elevated view of Genoa’s port.
Museo di Palazo Reale Visitor Information
Address: Via Balbi, 10, 16126 Genova
Tuesday and Wednesday 9.00-13.30 (last entrance at 13:00)
Thursday through Sunday 9.00-19.00 (last entrance at 18:30)
Ticket: € 4, free if you can prove you’re under 18 or over 65 years of age.
The Museo di Palazzo Reale is part of the Museums of Genoa Card
Where to Stay in Genoa
The Balbi Family Hotel is highly rated, inexpensive, and located at Via Balbi 21.
Hostels in Genoa? Hostelbookers offers Hostels and Inexpensive B&Bs in Genoa