Genoa, the capital city of Liguria in Italy, houses Europe’s most thriving seaport, Gothic architectural structures, and ancient art and culture. It has borne the harsh impacts of many battles and wars, including World War II. Genoa, also known as Genova, is the sixth largest city in Italy; it has a 30 km long coast at the Ligurian sea and covers 243 square kilometres up to the Apennine Mountain range. Though this ancient city offers several beautiful sights for every kind of tourist, it is not known to many around the world. The underrated city of Genoa is a gem that one must definitely add to their list when visiting Italy.
During ancient times, Genoa witnessed conflicts and battles, especially the port which suffered huge losses. It was under the reigns of the Romans, Carthaginians, Carolingians, and Flavius Belisarius among others since the 4th Century and finally gained independence during the 11th Century. And ever since, the city has only flourished through all the hardships and miseries.
The primary industry in Genoa is shipbuilding; others produce iron and steel, petroleum, locomotives, textiles, sugar, paper, cement, fertilisers, chemicals, electrical railway and marine equipment. Shipbuilding is also an important business worldwide. Genoa is a significant hub for banking and commerce. The port, which is the principal source of revenue for the city, has the highest volume of both passenger and freight traffic among all Italian ports. It mainly handles grain, imports crude oil, olive oil, coal, cotton and silk textiles; and exports fine wine.
Genoa offers a bunch of tourist attractions that the world doesn't know about. The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Santi Ambrogio e Andrea and Piazza Matteotti, the Via Garibaldi palaces, and the Port of Genoa proudly stand to depict the history of Genoa. A visit to the Acquario di Genova Aquarium, The Museum of the Sea- Galata Maritime Museum, and the Royal Palace Museum will simply take up most of the day. Genoese food is what makes the city even more lively! Creamy Pesto, a variety of fresh seafood, Focaccia, Farinata, and Vegetable Pies, are all lip-smacking dishes which are a treat to the taste buds.
The city is full of historical monuments, seaports, ships and boats, its lanes boast restaurants and cafes that serve delicious Genoese food and the people here are equally welcoming.
Click by BIG ALBERT from Flickr
National Gallery in Palazzo Spinola
Nestled in the narrow streets of the sailor's quarter is the magnificent National Gallery of Palazzo Spinola. The mosaic floors, beautiful hand-carved marble pieces, lavish rooms, and painted ceilings of Palazzo Spinola give hints of the royal history of Genoa. The lower floor of the gallery has a massive painting by Ruben and the original 15th Century costumes of the wise old Genoese people.
Click by Kate Hopkins from Flickr
Genoa doesn't actually have any "beaches" yet it is nestled between two of the Italian Riviera's most popular beach areas. The old and endearing fishing village of Boccadasse, a small beach, is now a part of Genoa. A stroll on this beach is what every tourist in Genoa must experience. The sun shines pretty in the evenings giving the shore a beautiful golden colour.
Click by in_ar23 from Flickr
The Spianata di Castelletto which offers one of the most outstanding views of the city is located in Castelletto, a hilltop community. On weekends, locals gather here to have some gelato while relaxing on a bench and taking in the stunning views of the city, hills, and sea. Book a taxi ride from the city centre and easily reach this beautiful site.
Click by Marco Verch Professional from Flickr
Aquarium of Genoa
It is the biggest aquarium and one of the largest in Europe. It sits on the waterfront 'Edutainment.' The aquarium displays a variety of marine biodiversity; it homes more than 70 various tanks, totalling 1.6 million gallons of water and 12,000 animals. Visitors can witness a variety of animals, including seals, jellyfish, sharks, penguins, manatees, and dolphins.
Click by Tom Lee from Flickr
Port of Genoa
The port of Genoa is the most important seaport in Italy, hence, it also makes it to the top in list of Genoa famous places. It is the second busiest port (with a trading volume of 51.6 million tonnes) after the port of Trieste in the Mediterranean sea. The port is also known as the 'Ancient Port of Genoa' aptly because it was the first port activity of Genoa that was established. A stroll across the port also offers splendid views of other significant buildings like aquariums, museums, botanical gardens, and fountains. Tourists can enjoy a 30 to 70 minute long boat ride along the port and enjoy the beautiful waters of Genoa.
Click by Daniel Jacobs from Flickr
Piazza De Ferrari
Piazza De Ferrari is situated in the heart of the old town, the Molo district. It offers a bunch of views to enjoy around the centre of the city. The main attraction of the place is the ornate fountain that sits in the centre; it has multiple water jets that spray in a central basin making beautiful intricate patterns. The Carlo Felice Theatre, the Palace of the Doges, the Palace of the Duke of Galleria, and the Genoa stock exchange are important buildings that surround the Piazza De Ferrari fountain.
Click by gnuckx from Flickr
Via Garibaldi Palaces
The Via Garibaldi Palaces are hemmed to both sides of the Via Garibaldi lane. These palaces were the dwelling of the richest and most powerful families in Genoa. The palaces' grand gates, courtyards, verandahs, grand arcades and loggias, frescoes, life-size paintings, and rich carvings depict the royal life that ancient Genoese families lived. The lane was admitted to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, because of its glamour and grandeur.
Click by Nicolas Vigier from Flickr
This city is located at a distance of 69 kilometres from Ravenna and is known for its famous dish, which is locally known as ragú. You will be able to find everything in Bologna. From good architectural sites to the oldest university in the western world, Bologna has everything in store. People who visit Ravenna love to explore the nearby cities and Bologna is one of them. One can easily reach this city by taxi and your taxi booking procedure can be made easy through Rydeu.
Click by Daniel Thornton from Flickr
Verona is known for its rich antiquities that belong to the times of the Roman Era and is most popular for the love story of Romeo and Juliet. Verona is one of the sites listed by UNESCO, which implies that the city has a rich cultural heritage and, if you wish to visit the city, then a period of three days would be more than enough to cover the whole town. Verona can be easily accessed from Ravenna via a taxi or a train. So, if you're visiting Ravenna, make sure that you pay a visit to the incredible city of Verona.
Click by Fredrik Rubensson from Flickr
The distance between Nervi and Genoa is 8 kilometres. It is the closest tourist attraction to Genoa. In the 20th century, Europeans and Russian intellectuals enjoyed visiting this charming beach resort close to Genoa because of its pleasant temperature. A stroll down Nervi's gorgeous seafront "Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi" is probably the best way to spend the evenings in Nervi.
Click by Jukka from Flickr
Just 34 kilometres is the tiny village of Portofino. A beautiful bay that sits on the Italian riverfront is home to some mesmerising sites like Brown Castle, San Martino Church, Paraggi Beach, and Parks’ Museum. To reach Portofino from Genoa, trains and buses are the public transport that helps. Apart from that, a taxi ride or taxi transfer from Genoa to Portofino is a widely chosen medium to travel inter-city. The main sights to visit in Portofino are- the Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, in Gothic style; Church of St. Martin (Divo Martino, 12th century); Statue of Christ of the Abyss, Castellow Brown, and Church of St. George, housing some saints' relics. A taxi trip from Genoa to Portofino is the easiest way to reach the beautiful city.
Click by Chris Yunker from Flickr
Santa Margherita Ligure
Located as near as 35 kilometres to the southeast of Genoa is Santa Margherita Ligure. It is a comune or municipality in the metropolitan city of Genoa and is also included in the Regional Natural Park of Portofino. The main sight here is the Castello di San Margherita Ligure. The Republic of Genoa built the fortress in 1550 as security against the rising number of attacks by North African pirates. It was created by the same architect that worked on Rapallo Castle. It was restored and granted to the Italian wartime casualties after World War I. Other famous attractions include the Basilica of St. Margaret of Antiochia, a church that was built on the remains of another ancient church. Abbazia della Cervara, an ancient abbey on Portofino street. And villa Durazzo complex, these are two beautifully built villas in the 16th and 17th Centuries.
Click by Paul Barker Hemings from Flickr
Camogli is one of the largest areas in the Regional Natural Park of Portofino. This city is a comune in the Metropolitan City of Genoa. Many tourists, holidaying in Genoa make sure that they spend a couple of days in Camogli too because of the places and culture it offers. The main reason for Camogli's popularity is its port life. The port of Camogli is always bustling with tourists experiencing boat life for the first time. It is believed that the name of the town was the result of a dispute in ancient times. Its origin is the shortened Casa de Moglie. The town was well renowned for the fact that when the ship captains sailed, they placed their wives (mogli) in a sort of home for all of them (casa). The city is nearest from Genoa airport, hence, a taxi ride from Genoa airport to Camogli will not take much time to reach.