Kissed by the sea and sheltered by the mountains, Genoa is a unique city that offers picturesque views and breathtaking panoramas, art, culture and entertainment.
Book a flight to Genoa and lose yourself in its wonderful old town, characterised by the 'caruggi' (narrow medieval streets), and visit its romantic squares, sumptuous stately palaces and ancient churches. It is a city to be experienced in all its shades of glory, rich with a unique charm that has enchanted writers, poets and singer-songwriters who with their works have captured its beauty and the restless spirit of an ancient maritime republic with a glorious past. Genoa has an ancient relationship with the sea, one that is close to its heart and on full display to tourists with attractions such as the Aquarium of Genoa, the largest aquarium in Italy and the second largest in Europe after Valencia, and the Galata Maritime Museum. There is a wide array of things to do and see during a trip to Genoa. Here are just a few of them.
Thanks to its countless evocative locations, the old town is unquestionably the most charming part of Genoa. Characterised by its narrow 'caruggi', or narrow streets, the medieval centre of the city also bears witness to the various cultures that have at different times taken root in the city and made their mark. Here you can visit aristocratic palaces, churches, monuments and squares. Do not miss Piazza Banchi, with its Loggia della Mercanzia, a medieval building where merchants and bankers carried out their trade.
THE LIGHTHOUSE OF GENOA
This ancient lighthouse is the symbol of Genoa. Seventy-seven meters high and situated on a hill 40 meters above sea level, it was rebuilt in 1543, though its origins are thought to date back to the 12th century. The first olive oil lantern was installed in 1326 and produced a concentrated light beam thanks to crystals produced by master craftsmen from Liguria and Venice. Initially used as a watchtower to announce the arrival of enemy boats, it was later employed as a lighthouse to signal the access route to sailors, though the tower also functioned as a prison in the 15th century.
At the time of the full greatness of the 'Superba', as the glorious maritime republic was nicknamed, the famous 'rolli' (lists) of Genoa described the various residences of the nobles that served to host dignitaries passing through the city. Among these prestigious buildings, which are located in the city's old town, Palazzo Stefano Balbi is a must. It contains the Royal Palace Museum, one of the most important art galleries in the city, with works by Van Dyke and Tintoretto, as well as Genoa artefacts from the 17th and 18th centuries.
THE PORTO ANTICO
This port was once the city's ancient centre of trade, though it was transformed into a major cultural centre in 1992 after restyling work from Renzo Piano. The area also contains three of Genoa's most popular tourist attractions: the Genoa Aquarium, which is the second largest in Europe, with 1,200 specimens and 600 different species, the Galata Maritime Museum, dedicated to the history of sailing and navigation, and the Biosphere, a bubble of steel and float glass that contains tropical birds and butterflies.
Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, you can book your flight to Genoa for any time of the year. The best months for enjoying the city are from April to October, when the climate is also ideal for visiting the rest of the Liguria region, such as the famous resort of Portofino or the splendid Cinque Terre, the five ancient sailing villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
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