The Doge's Palace was once the home of the Doges of Genoa. It is now a museum and a centre for cultural events and arts exhibitions. It is situated in the heart of the city, with two different entrances and façades, the main one on Piazza Matteotti, and the second one on Piazza De Ferrari.
The first parts of the Palace were built between 1251 and 1275, during the flourishing period of the Republican history of Genoa, while the Torre Grimaldina (also named 'Torre del Popolo') was completed in 1539.
The palace originated from the acquisition by the commune of Genoa of houses of the Doria between San Matteo and San Lorenzo churches (1291), after which the construction of an annexed new building was started. To this, in 1294, a tower of the Fieschi family was added. The palace was restored in the 1590s by Andrea Ceresola. Around 1655, the Ducal Chapel was frescoed by Giovanni Battista Carlone and Domenico Fiasella. In 1777, it was subject to a fire, and was subsequently rebuilt in Neoclassicist style by Simone Cantoni.
On the main floor, the so-called Piano Nobile, are the frescoed halls of the Maggior and Minor Consiglio, where many public events take place.References:
Soave castle was built in 934 to protect the area against the Hungarian invasions. It was remodelled by Cansignorio of the Scaliger family in the mid-1300s. in 1365 Cansignorio had the town walls erected and the Town hall was built in the same year.
The castle underwent various vicissitudes until, having lost its strategic importance, it was sold on the private market in 1596. In 1830 it was inherited by Giulio Camuzzoni who restored the manor and in particular the surroundings walls (with is twenty-four towers), the battlements and living-quarters.
Soave castle is a typical medieval military edifice, commanding the neighbourhood of the city from the Tenda Hill. It comprises a mastio (donjon) and three lines of walls forming three courts of different size. The outer line, with a gate and a draw bridge, is the most recent, built by the Venetians in the 15th century. It houses the remains of a small church from the 10th century.
The second and larger court, the first of the original castle, is called della Madonna for a fresco portraying St. Mary (1321). Another fresco is visible after the door leading to the inner court, and portrays a Scaliger soldier. The mastio is the most impressive feature of the castle. Bones found within showed it was used also as prison and place of torture.
The House called del Capitano (the Scaliger commander) houses Roman coins, weapons parts, medals and other ancient remains found during the most recent restoration. Adjacent is a bedroom with a 13th-century fresco with St. Mary and Madeleine and a dining room with medieval kitchenware. Another room houses the portraits of the most famous Scaliger figures: Mastino I, Cangrande, Cansignorio and Taddea da Carrara, wife of Mastino II; the portrait of Dante Alighieri testify an alleged sojourn of the poet in the castle.