Genoa (Italian: Genova, Ligurian: Zena) is a historic port city in northern Italy, the capital of the Liguria region. As a tourist attraction, is often overshadowed by cities such as Rome or Venice, even though it has a long history as a rich and powerful trade centre. However, with its multitude of hidden gems behind cozy alleyways, excellent cuisine (notably fish and seafood), renovated old port, beautiful sights (including one of Europe’s biggest aquariums), and its position as the European Capital of Culture in 2004, the birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus is an enticing place which is gradually becoming more included in the touristic market. With unusual typical slate-roofed houses, artistic churches, lovely seaside villas, and several luxurious boutiques, Genoa is a must-see if you want to experience the “quintessential” Italy.
- For other places with the same name, see Genoa (disambiguation).
When visiting northwestern Italy (Milan, Turin) it is absolutely worth staying for a couple of days or a weekend in Genoa. The city is a good base to explore the Italian Riviera and world-famous places like Portofino and the Cinque Terre.
Paolo Coelho wrote: “Among the marvels of Italy, it will take some digging to find the beauties of Genova, but it is worth visiting it. I remember walking there with a friend, when she suddenly said: “Let’s stop for a bit. I can’t stand this orange color!””
Genoa is a place where you discover daily new surprises, even if you stay for years.
The city may be less known by major tourist operators, but its splendor is often hidden inside the narrow streets of the historical center, called “vicoli”.
Genoa is a sort of decayed glorious port town, whose decay, however, is what makes it so interesting and pretty. The façades of grand palaces are hidden in scruffy, yet enticing alleyways, and there are really curious treats for anyone in virtually every alley. The city is your “typical” Italian one – quite sunny (during summer), with Mediterranean-looking houses topped by slate roofs, filled to the brim with outdoor cafes and bars, with lots of tiny and quirky alleyways, elegant designer shops, and restaurants. Today, also, the old port has been renovated, and has some funky avant-garde modern architecture, a delightful marina, and several seaside bars and shops.