Things to Do in Genoa, Italy

Biosfera - part of Acquariovillage
Il Galeone
Il Galeone, anchored in Porto Antico, Genoa.

The ancient city of Genoa (Genova), Italy is located in the northern part of the country, enjoying a warm Mediterranean climate. Although its glory days during the Middle Ages and Renaissance era are long gone, the city that is home for over 600,000 inhabitants still hosts numerous museums and monuments, cultural and historical sites (the vast majority of them dating many hundreds of years back) and was named European Cultural Capital in 2004.

The port of Genoa is the largest port that connects the islands of Sardinia and Corsica to the continent. The local airport connects with several European cities, while the closest large airport linking with major cities of the continent is Milan Malpensa Airport, located about 40 km from Milan.

Porto Antico, walkways and palms
Porto Antico, walkways and palms

Genoa is part of the Italian Riviera – famous for its outstanding landscapes and numerous tourist attractions – and is also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but two things that make it very special today are the delicious traditional food that can be tasted here and the well-preserved old streets and houses, reminiscent of the medieval times.

In the city center, at the intersection between the historical and the modern city, you will find Piazza de Ferrari, the location of some significant institutions, companies, banks and shops. The fountain in the center of the square is today a well-known city landmark, a meeting place for residents and a tourist attraction not be missed.
Near this square lies another important landmark of the city: Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). The former house of the Doges is today a museum hosting outstanding pieces of art and objects of historical value, exhibitions and important events. Its construction began in 1251 and the palace was renovated in 1992, when Genoa celebrated 500 years since the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

Other notable art museums are Palazzo Bianco (built in the 16th century) and Palazzo Rosso (built in the 17th century), named after the colors of their walls. Both museums accommodate art galleries and paintings of internationally renowned artists.

Il Galeone, close up
Il Galeone, close up

If you want to learn more about local history you should visit Galata Museo del Mare (Galata Sea Museum) and Museo Navale di Pegli (Naval Museum). The two museums will reveal interesting aspects about the life of fishermen and sailors, as these were the main activities of the inhabitants of Genoa in the past.

In the city port lies the largest aquarium in Italy (and also said to be the second largest in Europe) that harbors various marine species: Acquario di Genova, built as well in 1992, the year that Genoa celebrated five centuries since the great discovery made by one of its most illustrious native sons, Christopher Columbus – the discovery of America.

Biosfera - part of Acquariovillage
Biosfera is a miniature botanical garden - part of Acquariovillage (located in the Porto Antico di Genova) which includes Acquario di Genova.

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