Tucked away in Northwest Italy and enjoying a beautiful crescent coastline, Genoa is a historic port city that played a central role in Italy’s maritime trade for centuries. Today, it remains a strong economic centre but has also become somewhat of a tourist attraction with its stunning piazzas, historic bronze fountain and towering opera house. Its portside location makes it easily accessible by ship, and it is one of the many stops you can make on an MSC cruise.
It also has plenty for nature lovers. Thanks to the beautiful undulating hills which provide a dramatic backdrop to the city, hikers and bikers can hit the trails amongst the olive groves and return in time for an authentic Italian feast in the evening. The best thing about Genoa is that there’s something for everyone.
To learn a bit more about Genoa’s fascinating history, begin at the Palazzo Ducale, the city’s beating pulse. Once you’ve wandered around a bit and enjoyed a coffee and pastry, you’ll begin to understand the square’s political and historical significance. Surrounding the square are celestial buildings that belonged to centuries past. You can even take a look around the opulent rooms and courtyards that were enjoyed by royalty and high society.
Then it’s time for the old town and historic district where you’ll find Medieval architecture, old chapels tucked away up cobbled streets and ancient markets that are still in use today.
Genoa is alive with culture that can fill an entire weekend’s itinerary. Home to one of the most impressive aquariums in the world, Genoa Aquarium is one of the largest and most biodiverse in Europe, meaning that you can see more species than you could ever hope for.
And Italy isn’t Italy without art. The Palazzo Rosso is where you’ll find one of the biggest collections of Renaissance and Baroque pieces, each one grander than the last. Finally, Mercato Orientale is one for the pleasure seekers; a festival of delicious smells, bright colours and old traditions, this is an authentic look into Genoa’s cultural heart.
Those who are on the lookout for an adventure holiday, spellbinding trails are only a short ride away from the city centre. The surrounding hills offer exquisite panoramas, the like of which you won’t get in the city, that overlook the ocean and the historic city.
If you don’t want to venture too far from the centre, head to Parco delle Mura which is built on the ancient city walls and offers an escape from the city’s noise.