Genoa is an ancient seaport on northeast coast of Italy. It was an independent city-state and the richest city in the western Mediterranean in the medieval times.
The trading with European and Arab merchants over many centuries brought prosperity to Genoa.
As ideas were also exchanged along with goods, the prosperous Genoese were able to make their city look beautiful, incorporating novel architectural elements and lifestyles from other countries.
Genoa creates the illusion of rising from the Mediterranean in magnificent grandeur. It’s a charming place. Its charms will surface when you start exploring it right from the very heart of the city’s Old Town.
The labyrinth of narrow cobblestone alleyways will lead you to the most recognizable landmark, the 9th century San Lorenzo Cathedral, with its characteristic zebra-striped façade. There are several other churches, museums and palaces in the vicinity with examples of superb medieval architecture.
The Old Town is listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Genoa was made the European Union Capital of culture in 2004 because of its splendid cultural heritage.
The hub of Genoa is Piazza De Ferrari, located between the old and the modern parts of the city. This large public square with a magnificent fountain is close to many tourist attractions.
The wharfs along the old harbor, known as Antico, tell the story of this ancient port’s transformation into a bustling city, full of cafes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops.
Stroll along the palm-lined boulevards and head towards the Galata Musea del Mare, a maritime museum with grand view of the waterfront. Look through one of the strategically-placed viewfinders and identify the tourist attractions that you want to visit.
Modern Genoa is a large metropolis, full of tempting shops, fashionable boutiques, swanky restaurants, gorgeous hotels, lively bars and noisy discotheques. Many medieval palaces have been converted into museums and art galleries. Delicious food shops and designer boutiques now adorn the porticos of many gothic palaces.
Genoa is a gourmet’s paradise. Best place to dine is Mua on Via San Sebastian. It is where the city’s glitterati like to be seen. Get stunned by its décor even before you touch a morsel of what is served on the table.
Its luminous white walls, high-backed luxurious brown leather chairs, tables with slender legs like Marlene Dietrich in the film Blue Angel. Tesstaroli, a kind of local pasta, is their specialty. Try some of their fine wines.
Head towards Piazza delle Erbe for sampling Genoa’s nightlife where you will find a few bars and fast-food joints amidst the labyrinthine alleyways in the old part of the city. It’s not a place where a desperate sailor would love to spend an evening. The place is modest and good. Wine bars are all over the city. Enjoy your wine with salami and fresh fish.
Genoa abounds with several wonderful hotels. Some of these are: The Golden Tulip, Star President, Miramare and Jolly Plaza within walking distance of shops and popular attractions. Tariff ranges between $85 and 300.
Come to Genoa, a port city that the discoverer of the Americas adored.