INTRODUCING PALAZZO DURAZZO, GENOA – a magnificent noble palace reimagined as a luxury hotel
January 2024: Located in the ancient Old Town, next to the Via del Campo, a road dotted with aristocratic palaces and directly overlooking Genoa’s Old Port, Palazzo Durazzo has brought a new wave of luxury to the understated Italian city of Genoa since opening in summer 2023. Under the loving ownership of the current generation of the same Genovese family who commissioned the building four centuries ago, the palazzo has undergone a seven-year restoration to bring this noble building back to life. Twelve suites, each unique in design, have been created within the Palazzo, along with an impressive double-height lounge and a frescoed breakfast room offering views over the city’s bustling harbour.
RESTORING A 17TH CENTURY MASTERPIECE
Marking 400 years this year, the Palazzo was created in 1624 by the powerful Durazzo family to serve as an official guest house of the Genoese state, designed to host important visiting guests. Four centuries later and following decades of use as a university campus, the family has returned the building to its original use, with the Palazzo once again welcoming guests to this intriguing city. Under the guidance of architect Emanuela Brignone Cattaneo – the palazzo being one of several historic properties belonging to the family of her husband, Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno – and artistic director Cesare Barro, the restoration of the seventeenth century palace is set to transform Genoa’s hospitality offering.
As an experienced architect, Brignone has been integral to the restoration of Genoa’s Palazzi dei Rolli – together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and has brought her three decades of knowledge and expertise to transforming her family’s own palazzo. It is Brignone’s strong creative vision, coupled with her insider knowledge and love for the city, that has allowed the transition of Palazzo Durazzo into the most exciting opening in Genoa in a generation. Respecting the palazzo’s heritage was paramount to the project, with original architectural features such as the lavishly decorated facade, elegant salons, refined frescoes and terrazzo floors being preserved, while bringing the building into the 21st century.
‘Having been in my husband’s family for over 400 years, this noble palace has welcomed the most prominent figures to have visited Genoa over the centuries; from cardinals and princes to governors and statesmen, and it seemed entirely fitting to us that the restoration of this storied building should return it to its original use. What our guests experience today is the result of seven years of careful restoration to preserve the palazzo’s rich heritage, offering what we hope will be a new opportunity to experience life at the heart of the rich tapestry of life in this often overlooked city’. Emanuela Brignone Cattaneo, architect and owner, Palazzo Durazzo
EXPERIENCE LIFE IN A RENAISSANCE PALACE
Each uniquely designed suite at Palazzo Durazzo cleverly pairs historic features and hand-selected antiques with contemporary Italian design and sleek, elegant bathrooms. Guests seeking a true taste of the Baroque era can opt for the expansive Il Doge Suite – with marina views and frescoed ceiling celebrating the glory of the building’s original owner; Stefano Durazzo – the La Capella Suite – with its stylish canopied bed and own gilded chapel – or L’Oriente, which unites Chinoiserie wall coverings with spectacular 17th-century tritons sculpted by Domenico Parodi. A master of his era, Parodi painted for the leading families in the city and was in charge of one of the most important studios active in Genoa, coordinating the work of sculptors, draughtsmen and painters. The Durazzo family’s maritime links continue in the Le Conchiglie Suite, which features a remarkable seashell mosaic ceiling to evoke the enchanting tradition of shell-encrusted grottos. For those desiring a more contemporary space, the cocooning all-white interiors of the La Cupola Suite, and the muted palate of the I Costumi and Le Ceramiche suites provide a peaceful sanctuary for guests to retire to after a day exploring the city.
THE GLORY OF GENOA
Offering both splendour and soul coupled with an undiluted sense of history, Genoa – once the wealthiest city in the world and maritime powerhouse in Mediterranean trade during The Middle Ages – is often overlooked by tourists in favour of Milan, Turin or Bologna in Northern Italy. Yet, its old-world charm and fascinating history makes it the perfect under-the-radar destination for those in search of an unvarnished and authentic city break. Largely free of tourist crowds, its Medieval streets are littered with centuries-old palaces, grandiose art galleries and elegant baroque churches; legacies of its former wealth. Perfectly situated near the Via Garibaldi, Genoa’s medieval harbour and the Rolli Palaces, Palazzo Durazzo invites guests to get under the skin of this multicultural port city, while those looking to explore the hotspots of the Ligurian coast can charter the hotel’s boat to visit the glamorous Portofino or the colourful seaside villages of Cinque Terre.