Card: Place - Type: Buildings

Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali

Facade of the Generali Insurance Building, on Largo Castello

Quite Venetian in character, Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali (the Assicurazioni Generali Building) was erected at the corner of Corso Giovecca and Via Borgo dei Leoni between 1925 and 1926. It was commissioned by Assicurazioni Generali of Venice, based on the design by engineer and architect Ferdinando Forlati and engineer Augusto Berlese.


Build: 1925 - 1926


  • Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali | Ferdinando Forlati | Augusto Berlese

Building history

This area was mainly occupied by the ‘Canton della Campana’ (the Bell District), named after a tower whose bells were rung at midday. The top was dominated by three full-length terracotta statues and a half-figure of God the Father, once placed above the Foro dei Veneziani-Palazzo del Visdomino in Venice, destroyed to make way for the new Palazzo Arcivescovile (

The area was bought by the Assicurazioni Generali insurance agency of Venice, which wanted to extend its business to the city, entrusting the construction of the building to architect Ferdinando Forlati and engineer Augusto Berlese (both from Padua). Because the two men had come up with a building that was distinctively Venetian in appearance, in May 1926 the Savonuzzi brothers (of the Ferrara Public Works Office) asked that its construction be suspended, citing a lack of coherence with local architecture. Their request, however, was denied.

Building description

Clearly Venetian in style, the building is clad on the lower level by ashlar masonry in limestone from Vicenza, with Neo-Palladian arches and windows and three-dimensional decorations surrounding the lion of St. Mark (the symbol of both Venice and the company) below the balcony facing the intersection. The interior of this eclectic building was given a more modern, almost Art Deco style, exemplified by the wrought iron staircase. The building looks out over the start of Via Giovecca, which continues with the Neoclassical refurbishment of the Ospedale di S. Anna (St. Anne Hospital), made famous as the place of imprisonment of poet Torquato Tasso. The ground floor is home to various shops, such as the famous Taddei stationery boutique.

Context and surroundings

The building is 1.5 km from the railway station and about 80 m from Castello Estense.


The building in tourist itineraries

Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali is part of the ‘Middle Ages to Rationalism: the 20th century in 1 km and 4 years’ itinerary.


Card text by Mattia Bergamini, Patrizia Carletti, Larissa Cunha, Andrea Zocco, 5B, academic year 2018/19, G.B. Aleotti Institute


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Compiling entity

  • Assessorato alla Cultura e al Turismo, Comune di Ferrara


  • Mattia Bergamini, Patrizia Carletti, Larissa Cunha, Andrea Zocco, 5B, a.s. 2018/19, Istituto "G.B. Aleotti"