Today, the Villa del Principe is a museum and residence: it preserves the presence of the Doria family, and the splendid furnishings which make it an atmospheric “theatre of memories” offers visitors the chance of experiencing history through a direct encounter with objects.
Among the numerous sixteenth- and eighteenth-century furnishings, a series of gilded wooden sculptures and wall tables traceable to the hand of Filippo Parodi, the greatest Genoese Baroque sculptor, deserve mention. The bases of two splendid tables made of semi-precious stone are attributable to the sculptor’s apprentices. The older one has a decorative spiral border and plant motifs that surround an alabaster centre with inlaid images of animals.
The exquisite furnishings of the house were placed in the refined settings of wall hangings. Some evidence of this remains today: the Perseus Room still has chiselled red velvet on its southern wall with a motif of a vase with thistle flowers and carnations, surmounted by a crown. The two upholstered panels in the Galleria Aurea date from the second half of the seventeenth century. They have a yellow damask background and different coloured embroidered velvet in the centre with the Doria family coat of arms.
Of exceptional rarity is the seventeenth-century Isfahan rug woven near the Royal Palace of Isfahan under the direct supervision of the Persian court, and called a “Polonaise” carpet since a specimen of this kind was exhibited in the Polish pavilion at the Paris Exposition of 1866.