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Rossetti Underground: a dive into art and history

In the heart of Genoa, beneath the foundations of a historic palazzo inscribed in the Rolli di Genova, a unique and fascinating space is located: the Rossetti Underground. This exhibition space is part of Rossetti Arte Contemporanea, a gallery that focuses on its selection of contemporary art that embraces both emerging talent and established artists.

Opening in March 2021, the Rossetti Underground reveals itself as an environment where the past and present of art come together in a continuous and inspiring dialogue. The ancient vestiges, carefully restored to maintain the integrity of the original structures, provide a historic and evocative backdrop for contemporary artworks.

Palazzo Saluzzo

We are at Palazzo Saluzzo, a historic building included in the famous list of palaces inscribed in the Rolli of Genoa (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

The Gio Battista Saluzzo Palace, located on Via Chiabrera in Genoa, is a prominent historic building included in the famous Rolli of Genoa, a list of aristocratic residences that hosted distinguished visitors during the Republic of Genoa. The Saluzzo family, after whom the palace is named, was ascribed to the Calvi hotel in 1528, and shortly afterward, Gio. Batta Saluzzo, a prominent member of the family, had the palace built. He held important positions as governor of Savona and ambassador to the kings of Spain and France, as well as being senator of the Republic of Genoa several times.

The palace itself is remarkable for its solid facades and two noble floors, accessible through a sober portal leading to a large atrium decorated with columns and a nymphaeum. A prominent feature is the monumental loggiased staircase leading to the frescoed apartments, which partially survived the bombing damage of World War II. Among the frescoes still visible are works by Domenico Piola and Gregorio De Ferrari, depicting Mercury with Fame and Eternity, Aurora, Neptune and Amphitrite.

This palace is one of the most distinguished examples of the Palazzi dei Rolli, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2006, testifying to the historical and architectural importance of these buildings in the culture and history of Genoa. These palaces represented not only prestigious residences but also symbols of the power and wealth of Genoese aristocratic families, who invested in magnificent palaces and contributed to the exceptional urban renewal of the city between the 16th and 17th centuries.

Let us enter! Indeed: let us descend, into history!

Access to the Rossetti Underground is via a descent that metaphorically prepares the visitor to plunge into a unique experience. The slowness of the path allows one to savor every moment before reaching the exhibition area, similar to a “dive into the deep.” Architectural structures such as capitals, cross vaults, arches and pillars not only testify to the engineering mastery of the past, but also create intricate pathways that guide visitors through the exploration of the artworks.

The contrast between the ancient and the modern is palpable and becomes a strength of Rossetti Underground. The works on display vary between installations, painting, sculpture, and digital media, offering a variety that reflects the gallery’s philosophy of promoting continuous evolution in art. The artists represented are chosen not only for their quality, but also for their ability to dialogue with the historical space in which their works are placed.

In addition to serving as an exhibition space, Rossetti Underground is also a venue for cultural events and artistic gatherings, consolidating its role as a landmark in Genoa’s cultural scene. The gallery actively coordinates Genoa Design Week and at other city events, emphasizing its vocation as a center of culture and innovation.

From the past, a space for the future of art

Rossetti Underground represents a real-life example of how historic spaces can be transformed and adapted for new functions, particularly those that promote contemporary art and culture. The care taken in the restoration and the careful selection of works on display reflect Rossetti Arte Contemporanea’s commitment to creating an environment where the art of the past and present coexist in harmony, enriching the cultural experience of every visitor.

Ultimately, Rossetti Underground is not just a place to visit, but an experience to live, leaving a lasting impression in the hearts of those who appreciate both the beauty of contemporary art and the timeless charm of historic spaces.