Italy is a big weakness of mine, and I would go back for a thousand times no matter the city. Some time ago this time of the year we visited the gorgeous city of Genoa. I really felt I could spend a great deal of time there, I could live there! The city has some things that reminded me of Barcelona (in a smaller version) such as big avenues with shops, mountain and sea, sea walks, crowded streets, historic architecture...
Genoa it's the 6th largest city in Italy, and has the largest seaport in the country. Part of the old town has been recognized as UNESCO heritage and once you walk around it you can understand: you are surrounded by art, music and architecture!
So, apart from falling in love with the food and the locals, what to do once you are there?
Town Centre: You can find yourself lost in narrow streets and squares full of cafés and gelatterie (not going in is a SIN), medieval atmosphere as well as Baroque remindings (via Garibaldi). Via Garibaldi has gorgeous buidings that are/were palaces from the richest and most important families in the city: Palazzo Rosso (now a museum), Palazo Bianco, Palazo Grimaldi and Palazo Reale.
The Lanterna (lighthouse) is a symbol of the city, and the Piazza Ferrari too (loved it!), which has the Opera and the Palace of the Dodges buildings.
The district of Boccadesse is quite visited too due to its colorful scenery thanks to the boats around.
The Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta can be seen from any part of the city, since it is on top of the hill of Carignano.
San Lorenzo: the city cathedral, in the centre of Genoa.
The Old Harbour: it is the old part of the city, which was rebuilt by Renzo Piano and made it accessible to everyone coming from the centre of the city.
Fortress: The city was once protected by walls from which there are still some remainings today.The main ones are known as Ninth century walls, Barbarossa walls, Fourtheenth century walls, Sixteenth century walls and New Walls.
Parks: There are beautiful parks in the city centre and outside of it. Villetta Di Negro is in the center but others are Parks of Nervi, gardens of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini, among others.
Italy is known for its wonderful cuisine and I couldn't agree more, they cook *heavens* good! The most known and traditional food from Genoa are pesto sauce (love it on a pasta dish!), focaccia, farinata, walnut sauce and stockfish. I remember ordering a dish of pasta with pesto sauce and telling everyone back home about how good it was and how fat I felt for continuing eating even though I was full- but it was sooo good....! Why didn't I take a picture of that?!
Remember aperitivo it's a must if you are in Italy and feel a bit hungry but not whale-hungry so.. don't think it twice!
Would you give Genoa a try?
Here are some posts on further things not-to-miss in the Capital of Liguria!Tips by locals: favourite corners10 things to do in Genoa5Places to eat and drink in Genoa