Villa del Principe

This Renaissance Villa del Principe was built for Andrea Doria, the great admiral of Charles V, at the beginning of the 16th century. The villa, built in the area of Fassolo, just outside the city walls to the west, was seat of the only true “court” of the Genoese Republic.

It is still the property of his descendants who have decided to use the monumental parts as a museum. The visit, through a succession of richly decorated and furnished rooms, allows you to relive the glories of both the Doria family and of the Republic itself.

The large sixteenth-century building is surrounded by a large scenic Italian garden overlooking the sea which once directly connected to the port.

The museum's rooms hold wonderful works of art, resulting from commissions by members of the family who lived for centuries in this superb 16th-century Villa.

Andrea Doria established a kind of Renaissance court which included such first-rate artists as Girolamo da Treviso, il Beccafumi, Silvio Corsini. To Perin del Vaga, a pupil of Raffaello and a leading figure of the art scene in Rome in the years preceding the Sack of Rome (1527), was commissioned the decoration of some interiors.

Andrea's heir, Giovanni Andrea I Doria, added new works of art to the Palazzo, which was extended to twice its original size. The Villa was subsequently home for nearly five centuries to successive generations of the Doria Pamphilj family, who amassed paintings, tapestries and fine furniture within its splendid sixteenth-century rooms.

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The masterpieces preserved at the Villa del Principe include both works of art and the buildings interior and exterior decoration.

Among the interior decoration are frescoes by Perin del Vaga, pupil of Raffaello, which represent one of the most important cycles of Renaissance painting in northern Italy, including his masterpiece the Fall of the Giants.

The beautiful Italian garden is dominated by the monumental Fountain of Neptune, work of the great Florentine Renaissance sculptor Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli.

Among the works on display, the Portrait of Andrea Doria painted by Sebastiano del Piombo and many tapestries, which include two exceptional 15th-century works featuring Stories of Alexander the Great and the series of the Battle of Lepanto.