Genoa Mini Guide
Genoa is an ancient maritime capital which is now a port city with a maze of medieval passages. It is a seaport in the north west about 120 km (75 miles) south east of Turin
. Genoa's tall narrow shuttered buildings painted orange, yellow and tomato red are squeezed into the hillsides next to palaces, churches and crumbling remains.
From the main shopping streets you descend down to the old medieval town of Genoa where you will be reminded of the back-stabbing dramas and intrigues in the dark pedestrian alley ways. Genoa is a coastal city in Italy which was the European Union Capital of Culture in 2004. As well as amazing food and art it has a beautifully preserved old city. See it all with car hire Genoa airport
At the base of the old town is the historic port of Genoa and the newer built dockside areas where you will see wonderful yachts, power boats and the big cruise liners. Christopher Columbus is the most famous son of Genoa and it is heralded as his birthplace although some dispute this and believe he was born in Calvi on the island of Corsica. Genoa stretches along the coast for approximately 30 kilometres and is served by fifteen different train stations.
The Piazza de Ferrari is a splashing fountain which is the centre piece of Genoa's main square and is surrounded by magnificent buildings among which is the Art Nouveau Palazzo della Borsa which is closed to the public. There are lots of museums in Genoa and it is best to purchase a card musei which gives you access to approximately 20 different museums, this can be bought at several locations including the tourist booths. Throughout the year the museums host interesting exhibitions ranging from art to scientific and some just very unique ones!
There are boat trips around the port and also serving further destinations. Springtime provides whale watching expeditions in a 96,000 square kilometre protected zone which is situated between France
and there is an estimated whale population of 2000 with eight different species. There are also open top bus tours around the city with commentary being provided via headphones which are available in several different languages.
Foodies will not be disappointed. The famous sauce made from basil and garlic - Pesto Genovese, is available in all of the restaurants along with parmesan and pine nuts which appear on nearly all the menus. Another speciality is Focaccia topped with cheese, farinata which is a thin pancake made from chick pea flour and torta pasqualina which is a spinach, ricotta cheese and egg tart. The refurbished area of Porto Antico is filled with bars including sophisticated establishments and old time favourites along with numerous cafes where you can sit and sip coffee watching the world go by.
Genoa is a large modern city, part of the industrial heart of Northern Italy but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its softer side. There is great architectural beauty in the buildings of Renaissance Genoa but its history goes back millennia before this.
Many of the modern hotels are in the suburbs of the city so take a hire car into the UNESCO accredited old town and walk the city walls, the longest in Europe at over 20kms. And if you get weary of life in the city, there’s the beautiful coastline to explore in each direction.