Genova has always been a passageway between the Mediterranean and Europe. Today, the port of Genova is the largest in the Mediterranean basin. It houses a large number of commercial vessels, and a large number of cruise ships as well. In the port is also the famous Aquarium of Genova, the largest in Europe, and the "Bigo", where you can enjoy very nice views all around.
Undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions of Genoa, so it was impossible to stay six months in this city and not visit the largest aquarium in Europe. At least 10000 animals, 800 different species. You can eat there. Entry is 14 euros for adults and 8.50 children of 12 years and under.
This square is one of the most important ones in Genova and is in the heart of the city. Many Genovese meet here both in the morning and afternoon to speak, read, or go have a drink or snack. It has a beautiful fountain in the center and from the square you will also see the Via XX Settembre, where there are shops of all the important brands.
Via Garibaldi it is one of the most impressive streets in Genova. Formerly known as Strada Nuova, it was built in the sixteenth century and is an outstanding example of urban planning. You can admire palaces including the Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Tursi. Today, these houses have been converted into museums or entrusted to private institutions to share and protect this heritage.
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, and still preserved are the remains of his birthplace, although it is in poor condition because unfortunately it was destroyed in 1684 by the bombing of the French. Next to the house there are two interesting elements: The remains of the church of San Andrea (which are only the cloister arches, and a central well), and the Medieval Gates, or Porta di Sant Andrea, one of the ancient gateways to the city that were a part of the wall of the Barbarossa, that was constructed in 1155.
The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is situated in the Plaza de San Lorenzo, near the Palazzo Ducale. The outside of the cathedral is all original, with stripes of white and gray marble, and its interior is sumptuous. Inside you can visit "il treasure museum" which can be accessed through its sacristy, but to enter is not free (it costs about 5.50 euros).
Via XX Settembre is the basis of Genoa and the main shopping street of the city. This street is perfect for shoppers because there are lots of clothes stores such as H&M, Zara, Coin and Intimissimi as well as jewelry shops like Rolex or Cartier. There are also book stores and lots more.
This is the Galion that fell in the halcyon days of the port of Genova ... This is the famous ship in which Polanski recorded "Pirates". Obviously it is possible to visit this boat and have a fun time and it is suitable for both small and large groups! We discovered how pirates lived, and participated in the game!
The Majestic Arc de Triomphe is located in one of the focal points of the city centre of Genoa, Victory Square, which is just a few steps from the railway station Genova Brignole. The arch is dedicated to the Genoese who fell during the First World War and was inaugurated on 31 May, 1931. It's a work by the architect Marcello Piacentini and the sculptor Arturo Dazzi. Definitely worth taking a look when you're in the historic centre.
What comes out in the picture is the Piazza della Vittoria, at the end of XX Settembre. Piazza Corvetto is another square, at the end of Via Roma, but in the downtown area of the city. I suggest visiting both of them, but especially the vantage point of the photo (which is the Piazza della Vittoria.)
This is a small fishing village with colorful houses, building networks and unequal buildings. The houses are on the rocks overlooking the sea, and this is where the old fishermen came before reaching Genoa. Today, the site is now a tourist attraction more than an actual fishing port.
In my early days in the city, I went with some academic colleagues to visit this monumental complex. This cemetery is located a bit far from downtown, so you have to get there by bus. It was summer, but the cemetery had a solemn atmosphere, with the silence of the old graves. I've never seen anything like it in my life, and I fully recommend a visit, although of course you must be respectful. Each sculpture is like a message, and it's impossible to be unmoved by them. They say that to know a place you must visit its monuments and its market. And to that I'd add a visit to the cemetery. Do not miss it!
This view of the city is fascinating, and one of the most significant. It joins the old part of the city, Genova vecchia, which is one of the largest in Europe. Streets or "carrugi" as they are referred to by the Genoese people, go to the harbor area, where you will find a lot of different types of people. Students, workers in suits and ties, peddlers and different cultures can be found on these streets. It is the real heart of the city.
This palace is located in the Caricamento Square, near the harbour. It's impossible to overlook the frescoes, which date back to 1260. This building has been the headquarters of the Port Authority since 1903. It's one of the most important and famous buildings in the city.
Universities in Italy are true historical monuments dating from the 15th century! This is the case of the University of Genoa, in Via Balbi, with substantial buildings, columns, moldings and fresh color inside classes! It is a true wonder and joy to study here! It makes a change from certain French universities.
I spent two weeks studying Italian in Genoa, and took advantage of the chance to explore the city every afternoon after classes finished. My school was very close to the historic centre, so I loved getting lost among the narrow alleys. You don't know which way to turn: at any moment, you might find priceless fragments of art, and of course, the deeper you go, the more you find. What better way to get to know a city than by getting lost?
Also called Church of San Ambrosio and Andrea, its an architectural jewel at the gates of Ducal Palace. The original building was sixth century, promoted by the Bishop of Milan, the current one is from the sixteenth century, and work of the Jesuits. The interior is Baroque style with authentic masterpieces, two by Rubens, and the Ascension of Guido Reni.
If you are in Genoa and seeks a quiet beach to walk, you can go to the district of Genova Nervi and take "Passegiata Garibaldi", which is the ideal place to breathe the sea air! The water is blue and clear. A very relaxing and accessible place from Genoa Brignole Station, just 10 minutes by train. You will enjoy your visit if you go.
There is a wealth things to see in Genoa thanks to the city's long cultural, architectural and natural heritage, so if you're only visiting for a short while, you'll need to properly prioritize your list of things to do in Genoa.
The historic center of the city is home to many of the most important places to visit in Genoa and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Piazza De Ferrari, with the Opera the Ducal Palace, as well as the Piazza Dante, where the home of Christopher Columbus is located, and among the top attractions in Genoa.
The Via Garibaldi, another World Heritage site, is one of the liveliest and most beautiful streets in the Old Town and definitely done of the most important Genoa attractions. The street is also home to spectacular palaces like the Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, and the Palazzo Spinola.
Finally one of the best Genoa activities is exploring the area around the Porto Antico, or Old Port. In addition of cafes, bars, and restaurants, you'll also find great stuff to do in Genoa with kids like the Aquarium of Genoa, the second largest in Europe. For more ideas about what to do in Genoa, have a look at all the recommendations and travel tips from real travelers in the minube community and find all the best things to do in Genoa.