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The Best of Winter in Genoa

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While most people think of Italy as a summertime destination, there are wonders to be found in this northern port city any time of year—especially winter! With hardly any tourists in these cooler (and slightly wetter) months, the city is quiet and calm and opens its doors to some incredible art exhibits, live operas, and wintertime flavors.
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Vico del Campanile delle Vigne, 5, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Named Basilica delle Vigne (or Basilica of the Vines) in honor of the grape vines that the 10th century monks so gracefully tended in the abbey's courtyard, the church today houses extravagant works of art in place of the ancient vines. But at...
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Calata Molo Vecchio, 15, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
Lace up your skates and enjoy a spin around the ice in the middle of the ancient harbor. Surrounded by luxury yachts and the occasional shadow of a cruise ship, this is truly a gorgeously positioned outdoor ice skating rink - even though they are...
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Via del Portello, 2r, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Winter allows for all the delicious pre-Easter treats - including these 'ravioli' for Carnival. Made of almond paste, and stuffed with a dollop of chocolate/hazelnut spread, these raw 'cookies' are topped with a smear of strawberry jam and dusted...
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Via della Maddalena, 2, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
If you are in Genoa during the Christmas season (which in Italy runs from about December 8 - January 6), you must stop by Butteghetta Magica to gaze at (and purchase!) their incredible, and often mechanical, creche pieces. With a display that...
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Vico Falamonica, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
For some reason, cappuccino just tastes better on those cool, wet, drizzly mornings. Fortunately, we have quite a lot of those mornings here in Genoa, especially in the winter and early spring. At A Vedova Romanengo, find a corner table tucked...
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Ponte Spinola, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
Although it touts itself as one of the largest aquariums in Europe, personally I find the aquarium to be incredibly overpriced by Genoa standards (at 23 euro for an adult ticket, I was expecting greatness), and more importantly, quite sad. With...
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Via XX Settembre, 75r, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
The Genovese (among most Italians) really appreciate fresh food - apples that don't come wrapped in plastic, fish that isn't sealed in styrofoam containers. And so they shop daily for produce that's in season, and fish that has come off a boat...
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Via Brigata Liguria, 9, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
If you are willing to brave leaving the ancient city, the Museo Storia Naturale (located just a 10 minute walk out of the Porto Soprana gate) is a great indoor winter option. While all the exhibits are quite interesting, the dinosaur/paleontology...
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Calata de Mari, 1, 16126 Genova GE, Italy
If you love 'experiential learning', the Galata museum is a great winter option for exploring the maritime history of the port of Genoa. With great 'hands-on' exhibits, and a beautiful roof top observation deck, this museum is one of the best in...