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Genoa has dozens of historic city palaces, one more opulent than the next, but none that rival the Palazzo Reale. This palatial villa from 1643 was home to the 3 most powerful families in the city. Today, the Palazzo Reale is a famous museum with an impressive collection of 17th- and 18th-century furniture and art.
The Palazzo Reale stands on the Via Balbi, a seemingly inconspicuous street in the old city centre, wedged between the university and the harbour. But step inside number 10 and a whole other world opens up. The sober facade hides an impressive courtyard and an exotic garden with a fountain and palm trees. For centuries, this mansion hosted aristocrats, diplomats and royalty. If only the walls of the 23 rooms in this palace could talk...