The second noble floor, fitted out from its origins for official functions, was opened to the public in 1922.
After having climbed the staircase of honour to reach the vestibule, the visit begins in the Sala delle Battaglie (Battle Room), notable for its two important early eighteenth-century paintings of naval battles.
Next is the Salone del Tempo (Room of Time), which owes its name to the subject of the vault fresco depicting The Truth Unveiled by Time, by Domenico Parodi, painted between the 1830s and 1840s. On the walls, there are 23 paintings, hung with harmonious symmetry and including works by Bassano, Tintoretto and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (known as “il Grechetto”).
After walking through the Salotto della Pace (Room of Peace) you get to the Sala del Veronese (Veronese Room), after the painting of the Feast of Christ in the house of Simon the Pharisee, one of the most famous masterpieces of the Venetian master. In 1837, by the will of King Carlo Alberto, the original canvas was taken to Turin, where it is still preserved (in the Galleria Sabauda). Here it was replaced here by a seventeenth-century copy that the palace already held. The swirls of the refined stucco decoration, in perfect “Genoese baroque”, bloom in roses and leaves from the bright gilding, the precious framed garden of the original painting.
The visit reaches one of the palaces most famous rooms, the Galleria degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors), a symbol of the entire complex, decorated in the 1720s and 1730s. This iconic setting, with its refined decorative solutions, is the work of Domenico Parodi and is based on seventeenth and eighteenth-century Roman halls, as well as the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles (1679-1686). The pictorial language suggests the egotistic and moralistic doctrine of the Durazzos, the owners of the Genoese palazzo who ordered the building of the Hall. This splendid venue was, before its eighteenth-century conversion, the gallery of Giovan Battista Balbi, son of the palazzo’s first owner. It was the official dining room for the most important gala occasions, including those in honour of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, during his visit to Genoa in 1784, and Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805.
Following the visit to the west wing, we reach the Galleria della Cappella (Chapel Gallery), dedicated to the Passion of Christ, which preserves a magnificent Cristo alla Colonna (Christ by the Column) by Filippo Parodi in the Bernini style.
The collection in the east wing of the palace begins in the Sala del Trono (Throne Room), with two large canvases by Luca Giordano on the walls. The nineteenth-century décor is the result of the Savoy renovations mostly carried out under the reign of Carlo Alberto, starting from 1847.
Then comes the Sala delle Udienze (Audience Chamber) – where Van Dyck’s portrait of Caterina Balbi Durazzo hangs – followed by the (apartments) of the King and Queen.
Once past the appartamenti (apartments), the Sala degli Arazzi (Tapestry Room) awaits, where the central pieces are undoubtedly the two large tapestries, woven in Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century; splendid period specimens of French and Flemish manufacture.