Genoa can claim to have welcomed every type of traveller: sovereigns, princes, artists, cardinals and popes. All these people have been charmed by the warmth of the city and they reported the Genoa’s magnificence to the whole world.
The tradition used to assign the best and most elegantly furnished buildings to international celebrities: these palaces were called 'I Rolli', historic aristocratic residences, have been nominated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.
The meaning of the name
Between the Renaissance and the Baroque period, the Genoese nobility had finely decorated palaces designed along the 'Strada Nuova' (today's Via Garibaldi), as well as renovating their old residences that already existed in the historic centre. This work of embellishment might seem to be a pure exercise in style, but it concealed within it a much more concrete and profound intention: the republic of Genoa wanted to build a list of luxury lodgings which could host, in turn, the best European public figures. A cunning move to expand Genoa's fame everywhere.
In fact the word "rolli” is nothing more than the italian ancient way of calling the "lists" where these historical palaces were catalogued by the Republic of Genoa.
The drawing up of the "rolli"
Kept in the State Archives of Genoa, the buildings were catalogued according to their beauty and then assigned to visiting travellers according to their importance and social class. This stratagem created a virtuous circuit for the whole city of Genoa:
the wealthy noble families had a lot of interest in building new or renovating their residences in the best possible way in order to be able to subsequently host the most important personalities, whether for personal lustre or for business purposes.
wealthy travellers had the opportunity to stay in the best palaces in the city.
the city of Genoa saw its economy grow and prosper thanks to this circuit of "interested hospitality".
The Rolli Days 2021
From 4 to 10 October 2021 Genoa will host an entire week dedicated to the Rolli:
4 - 8 October, Rolli Shipping Week, days where the palaces will host cultural events and official conferences, opening up to the maritime community, to the Genoese public but also to distant visitors, thanks to the possibility of experiencing the events digitally through the APP "Palazzi dei Rolli Genova".
9 - 10 October, Rolli Days Live & Digital, live and totally safe visits of Genoa's marvellous historical residences, available only upon reservation. The visits will also be available in digital mode through the APP "Palazzi dei Rolli Genova".
A real journey through the Unesco heritage palaces, fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Genoa by staying at the Hotel Bristol Palace and find out more about our rooms.