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Genoa, "La Superba", is a city that makes a profound impression. Sandwiched between the sea and the Ligurian hills, Genoa spreads upwards from the port, a jumble of a city with a long and chequered history. The European Capital of Culture in 2004, Genoa has dozens of museums and galleries, a renowned theatre, and the largest aquarium in Europe. The city has good shopping, the best nightlife in Liguria and excellent restaurants. Day excursions along the stunning Ligurian coast are highly recommended.
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Do and see
Fine restaurants and chic bars are hidden in the dark, narrow alleys. Genoa is made for exploring and getting lost in the medieval quarter – one of Europe’s largest – and is all part of the experience.
Museums of the ’Strada Nuova’
Made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2006, Via Garibaldi is lined with Renaissance palaces, built by Genova’s wealthiest families in the 16th and 17th centuries. Palazzo Bianco houses a huge collection of Italian and Flemish art including works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Caveraggio. Palazzo Rosso houses an incredible collection put together over two centuries by the Brignole-Sale family.
Palazzo Spinola
This is the National Gallery, housed in a 16th-century palace and donated to the state by the Spinola family. Here you will find many famous work, such as Rubens portrait of Gio Carlo Doria on the white stallion.
Galata Sea Museum
Galata Sea Museum is the biggest museum of its kind in the Mediterranean and a must for anyone wanting to understand more of Genoa’s sea-faring past.
This is a fabulous aquarium – the biggest in Europe at over 10,000 square metres – and dedicated to conservation and education! it is a beautiful visit.
Bigo Elevator
Bigo Elevator is a huge spider-like contraption with a viewing cabin that shoots you up 40 metres for a fabulous view. Do you dare?
San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo is Genoa’s cathedral and has a fabulous stripy marble facade. Dating to the 12th century, it has a beautiful interior, complete with an unexploded bomb from World War II. Check out the cathedral’s Treasury!
Medieval Quarter
The Medieval Quarter is one of Europe’s largest, the tiny carrugi (alleys) thread their way up, down and across the centre of city. The buildings can reach six storeys, the alleys – in places no wider than a couple of metres – hiding great restaurants, bars and shops. Getting lost is inevitable and always fascinating.
Piazza San Matteo
Piazza San Matteo is a very small and beautiful piazza and home to the powerful Doria family for 500 years. See the 12th-century church of San Matteo, with its beautiful 14th-century cloister.
Aerporto di Genova
International airport of Genova Sestri, Cristoforo Colombo, is located about 6 km from the center of Genoa. The airport shuttle bus runs every 30 minutes to the railway station and the journey takes around 30 minutes. Buy a ticket on board which is valid for the day on all city buses. The bus tickets are also valid on subway, elevators and on the metropolitan trains.
Public Transport
Walking is the only form of transport possible in the historic centre of Genoa – the streets are too narrow for cars. The bus system is extensive and is valid for 90 minutes. You can buy your tickets at newsstands (chiosco). Genoa has a new subway system, indicated by a red M. Currently with seven stops. Automatic ticket machines in all the stations, valid for 90 minutes or the whole day. In addition to the funicular, Genoa also has elevators for locals who live uphill. There are a number of these around the city, and the standard AMT tickets are valid.
Official taxis, Radio Taxi, have a white and yellow badge on their doors.
Post Office
The central post office is located at Via Dante 4, near Piazza De Ferrari. If you need to buy stamps, you will find them at a tabacchi – a tobacco store, recognisable by the sign with a large T.
Farmacia Europa Corso Europa 676 +39 10 380 239 Farmacia Pescetto Via Balbi 185r +39 010 261609
230v, 50Hz
Country code Italy: +39 Area code, within and outside of Genoa: 010
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