What to see and do in Genoa

Genova (or Genoa in English) was the third stop on my Easter travels through Italy. I wasn’t expecting much from Genoa. I thought that a day and a half would be enough time and it was to see Genoa, but I would have loved to spend more time to explore and soak up the city. You don’t hear people chatter about how Genoa is a must see in Italy, they normally mention Rome, Florence, Venice and Pisa. They really should mention Genoa more, it has that perfect Italian charm without the hundreds of tourists.

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Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region. You may do what we did and have a stopover in Genoa on your way to Cinque Terre because it makes sense and you need to rest before exploring Cinque Terre.  Or you may not give Genoa a second thought. However, I ask you to take a few minutes to consider what gems you may find in Genoa, you may even fall in love with it!

The question is, what should you see in Genova (Genoa)?

What to see and do in Genoa

You need to see the absolutely gorgeous Via Garibaldi, previously named Strada Nuova and Via Aurea (golden street) because of its incredible palazzi (palaces) from the 16th century. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site and the buildings are used as offices, galleries and museums.


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The palazzi are open to the public, even the offices. We were gazing in at one of them though the door and the security guard told us we were allowed to come in and look around. He even opened up some rooms for us. Take your time walking along this street and look inside of the palazzi. They are stunning and you will soon see why it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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You can’t miss the San Lorenzo cathedral. It was built in a gothic style with black and white stone stripes. It reminded me a lot of the duomo in Florence. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there so we never got to see the inside. However, the outside was beautiful enough for me to decide that I really liked the design.



Of course you can’t go to Genova without seeing the main Square of the city, Piazza De Ferrari. In the centre of the square there is a big fountain, when we were there it was dyed pink/purple.  


In case you didn’t know Genova is the hometown of Christopher Columbus. There are the remains of the house where he was supposedly born. Take a walk down to see it and you might be treated to cute piazzas and winding streets.

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Christopher’s house

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Genoa is a thriving port city. The Porto Antico (old port) was renovated and it blends old and new. It is lined with interesting museums and sculptures. Don’t forget the pretty boats and the picturesque Genoa in the background.



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I hope I have convinced you that Genoa is worth a visit.

Have you been to Genoa? Are you planning a visit? 




One response to “What to see and do in Genoa

  1. Pingback: Monthly Roundup: August | sunshine and Lorena·

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