Villa del Principe in Genoa: the works to see

Villa del Principe - Interni

Villa del Principe – Interni


Villa del Principe is a treasure chest in the heart of Genoa and a must see if you decide to discover the marvels of this city.

In this post you’ll find a list of the unmissable works at Villa del Principe.

READ ALSO: Things to see in Genoa.

Villa del Principe | giardino

Villa del Principe – giardino

The history of Villa del Principe began in 1527, when Andrea Doria, Admiral of Charles V’s fleet, commissioned the works of the dwelling.
To carry out this project he hired Perin del Vaga from Rome, who was one of Raphael’s pupils, who planned the first Renaissance-style house in Genoa.

The building overlooks an Italian-style garden and faces the sea, in that part of the port where the galleys of the Doria fleet were docked (now partly covered by the streets of the city!).

Perin del Vaga worked not only on the decoration of the piano nobile (main floor), for which he created a series of paintings inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses aimed at celebrating the Admiral and his family.
Andrea Doria’s successors continued to embellish the villa and its gardens, until they opened it to the public.
The villa is still their residence at certain times of the year.

READ ALSO: The Spinola Palace in Genoa.


1. The Loggia of the Heroes – 12 heroes dressed as ancient Romans, painted on the walls of the Loggia, can be recognized as members of the Doria family.
From Ansaldo, admiral who fought against the Moors in Spain in 1100 to Lamba, who defeated the Venetians in 1298, there are all the protagonists of the heroic deeds in which the Doria family stood out.
To paint the Heroes Perin del Vaga drew inspiration from Michelangelo’s statues of the dukes in the Medici Chapels in Florence.

2. The Hall of the Giants – this was the room where most of the reception functions were held and where the throne of Charles V was placed when he visited Genoa in 1533.
The vault of the room is decorated with a fresco by Perin del Vaga representing “Zeus that hurls thunderbolts on the rebellious Giants”, and is an allegory of the Emperor Charles V who defeats his enemies.

3. The Golden Gallery – commissioned by Giovanni Andrea I Doria the gallery was built between 1594 and 1599 and was inaugurated for the visit of Queen Margaret of Austria who stopped in Genoa while was travelling to Spain.
It’s a space evoking the style of architecture of the major noble dwellings, where a place where to stroll and admire works of art and precious objects couldn’t be missing.

4. The Shipwreck Room – Perin del Vaga began decorating Villa del Principe starting from this room, and on the vault you can admire the painting “Neptune pacifying the storm after Aeneas’s shipwreck”.
He didn’t use the fresco technique, but he used the technique of oil painting on the wall, and that caused a rapid deterioration of the work. Now you can admire the parts recovered after a long restoration which needs a constant control.

READ ALSO: Genoa’s historic shops.

Villa del Principe | fontana

Villa del Principe – fontana


Tickets: € 9 for museum and the garden.


READ ALSO: The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno in Geona.

Villa del Principe | decorazioni

Villa del Principe – Interni


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