Palazzi dei Rolli of Genoa - Italy - World Heritage List

Via Garibaldi 5 - Angelo Giovanni Spinola


Via Garibaldi 5 - Angelo Giovanni Spinola

Via Garibaldi 5
( See the map )
FounderAngelo Giovanni Spinola
Locality Strade Nuove
Roll 1576Level 1 Titular q. Angelo Giovanni Spinola
Roll 1588Level 2 Titular Giulio Spinola
Roll 1599Level 1 Titular Giulio Spinola
Roll 1614Level 1 Titular q. Giulio Spinola
Roll 1664Level 1 Titular Filippo Spinola q. Giulio

Begun in 1558 for Angelo Giovanni Spinola, Ambassador to Spain and Emperor Charles the Fifth's banker, the building was completed in 1576 under his son Giulio's direction. It was thanks to him that the hill behind the building was leveled, around 1580, thus allowing the courtyard and garden to be amplified. The project's designer was the architect Giovanni Ponzello. Since the beginning of the 1900s it has housed bank office spaces.
The frescoes by the Calvi brothers, to which perhaps Lazzaro Tavarone also contributed, are scarcely visible on the building's facade.
Both the building's facade and its frescoes in the atrium are intended to honor the building's patrons. Thus, the various members of the noble family appear dressed as Roman condottieri, clearly alluding to the dynasty's value and prestige.
After having reached the upper level by means of a large staircase frescoed with grotesques, one may view frescoes by Andrea Semino, Bernardo Castello and Lazzaro Tavarone. In particular, a fresco by Andrea Semino has immortalized the valuable image of the building's original appearance, as seen from the side facing the mountains. Thanks to this fresco, one may understand the original method the Strada Nuova's architects used to "erect buildings on uneven ground."
In order for these buildings to be erected, obstacles had to be overcome given the uneven terrain and the hill's steep drop towards the valley. The construction of monumental staircases indoors and spectacular terraced gardens outdoors, allowed these problems to be brilliantly and innovatively solved.