Genoa, the Pearl of the Italian Riviera
It’s not the most famous city of Italy, but certainly it’s one of the most beautiful. Genoa is the capital city of the Region of Liguria and a must-see destination if you get in the north-western part of Italy.
Genoa is the most important city on the Italian Riviera and probably the best starting point in exploring the breathtaking shores in the region. It’s just a couple of hours away from famous destinations like Portofino or Cinque Terre. But there are plenty to see and to do in Genoa, so if you’re planning to see most of the Riviera, make sure you book at least 3-4 days for this amazing city.
The city has many things to be proud of: its history stretches far before the Roman Empire, it was the European Capital of Culture in 2004, you can find here the oldest European Lighthouse, it has the biggest Old Town in Europe, it hosts the largest Aquarium on the continent and it is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
It’s a must to walk through the narrow streets (vicoli) of the famous Old Town, one of the best preserved in the world. You can start your itinerary in Piazza Dante, at the natal house of Christopher Columbus, pass under the Soprana Gate (part of the old fortification), see the amazing Fontana di Ferrari and Palazzo Ducale and then get in the Centro Storico (Old Town).
Wander the streets of Centro Storico and try the best traditional restaurants. You can find here some of the best dishes in the city. Don’t miss Via Balbi and Via Garibaldi for some of the greatest palaces, ancient Renaissance buildings, once the property of the powerful families of traders.
The Old Harbour (Porto Antico) can be the best spot for admiring a beautiful sunset over the Ligurian Sea after a couple of hours of exploring the aquatic world at Aquario di Genova (The Aquarium of Genoa). And if this view isn’t enough for you, try to see the city from Spianata Castelletto, a nice spot for seeing the city and the harbor that can be reached from Piazza della Nunziata.