What to Do in Genoa
Collected by Tommy Alexander, AFAR Staff
Vico del Campanile delle Vigne, 5, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
One of the most highly decorated churches in Genoa, Santa Maria della Vigne is hauntingly beautiful. Originating in the 10th century (when monks tended wine-producing grapevines in the courtyard, hence the name), the Basilica was not completed...
Via Garibaldi, 11, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Nestled among the stunning palaces of the UNESCO World Heritage Palazzi Dei Rolli, Palazzo Bianco was built in the late 16th century by the Grimaldi family, one of the 28 'albergi' families that ruled Genoa for centuries. Today, the gorgeous...
Via Tommaso Reggio, 20r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Step inside the Museo Diocesano and be taken back to the Romanesque abbey of the monks of San Lorenzo Cathedral, originally built in the early 600s. Inside her recently renovated walls, explore many of the glories of the Catholic Church of Genoa....
Mura delle Chiappe, 50, 16136 Genova GE, Italy
The winding streets of ancient Genoa all lead in one direction—straight up. Lace up your tennis shoes and keep climbing. Eventually you will reach a small park at the edge of the city, the entrance to one of the many fortresses that speckled its...
Piazza San Lorenzo, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Easter (or Pasqua, in Italian) is a gorgeous time to visit Genova. Enjoy the delicious breads and cakes made especially for this season, tour the beautiful 14th century Cathedral of St Lorenzo, and enjoy a spring time boat ride to the neighboring...
Via di Porta Soprana, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Just remember that these towers have been standing since 1163. They probably won't fall today! But even if you have a fear of heights, do pay the 2 euro to walk up the beautiful interior circular staircases in these ancient towers of the...
16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Getting to Portofino from Genoa is quite easy. Take the train from Genoa's Brignole Station to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then catch the 82 bus to Portofino (a 12-minute trip around the bay). While I'm not a huge bus person, this is one of the...
Via degli Orefici, n. 7, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Located just steps from the ancient harbor, and perched above a small series of shops (that have been used for centuries as 'rental income' for the church itself), San Pietro in Banchi has an air of 'incompletion' - especially the exterior. But...
Calata Cattaneo, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
Built in 1992 for the Columbian Celebrations, the Bigo was designed to stylistically resemble the cranes that have been used for centuries to load and unload goods in the Genovese harbor. At a cost of only 4 euros, a trip up this'rotating glass...
Piazzale Giuseppe Mazzini, 16122 Genova GE, Italy
Genoa is not a city with a thriving public park scene, unfortunately, so the Villetta Di Negro is a lovely green oasis in the heart of the city. Climb past the towering statue to Mazzini, and head all the way to the top of the park past quaint...
Piazza di Pellicceria, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
The top two floors of the Palazzo Spinola were tragically destroyed by fire, thus destroying their historical treasures. Instead of just closing the space completely, the decision was made to renovate the floors into the National Gallery - and...
16039 Sestri Levante, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Along the northern coastline of Italy there is a place where the mountains touch the sea. A place where the palm trees, pine trees and cacti grow together in the mild climate. A place where the aroma of the food is so robust that the Italians call...
16032 San Fruttuoso GE, Italy
The tiny Abbey of San Fruttuoso is nestled in a cove between Camogli and Portofino, and accessible solely by foot or boat. If you want to hike it, find the trail at the far end of Camogli, and be ready for a steep, but gorgeous, two hour hike up...
Piazzale Giuseppe Mazzini, 4, 16122 Genova GE, Italy
Completely different from any other museum in Genova, the Museo D'Arte Orientale showcases pieces from the private collection of Edward Chiossone - a Genovese engraver and portrait artist employed by the Japanese government in the late 1800's....
Piazza di Pellicceria, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Tucked deep in the heart of the ancient city, this is an easy Palazzo to miss—but don't miss it. My favorite of the Genovese museums, five floors of this massive palace are dedicated to the history and splendor of Genoa—the first three being the...
Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 9, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Set in front of the beautiful fountain in Piazza Ferrari, the first pieces of the Palazzo Ducale were built in the mid 1250's. Buried deep under the original flooring, massive receptacles still remain that originally stored water, oil, and hay -...
Via Garibaldi, 18, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Built in the mid-1670's, Palazzo Rosso was the private home of the Brignole Sale family until 1874, when Maria (disenchanted with her only remaining son) donated it to the City of Genoa on her deathbed. Although devastatingly damaged during the...
Vico di Campopisano, 15R, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
An oasis from the bustle of the highly trafficked alleys of ancient Genoa, Campopisano rests near the ocean's edge of town. Towering 15th-century homes (originally built as outposts to watch for potential invaders approaching by sea) shade a small...
Boccadasse, Genoa, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
If you have a gorgeously sunny afternoon, walk the Corso Italia to the small fishing village of Boccadasse, still considered to be part of Genoa. About an hour's walk from central town, this seaside stroll will take you past black stone beaches,...
Belvedere Luigi Montaldo, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Pack a few slices of focaccia (and a half bottle of prosecco) and head up to Castelletto at sunset for a beautiful view of the lights coming on over the harbor. If you want to walk it (I warn you, it is steep!), take the staircase at the end of...
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