Genoa is one of the largest cities around the Mediterranean and also one of the most important seaports in this area. Despite being one of Italy’s major economical centers, La Superba, as it is known, is also very rich in history and culture. After all, it is home to a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like Via Garibaldi and Plazzo dei Rolli.
If you are visiting this city for a short period of time and want to know the main attractions, or if you are just curious about what the city has to offer, than scroll bellow to see its main landmarks.
Acquario di Genova and Porto Antico
One of the largest in Europe, the Aquarium of Genoa, located in the Old Harbor (Porto Antico, in Italian), is home to 500+ species and welcomes more than 1.2 million visitors. If you love marine life, you will love this place. However, be prepared to spend a good amount of time here, as there is so much to see!
Built to celebrate the fourth centenary of the Discovery of America, Bigo is an amazing structure that offers a 360 degree view on Porto Antico and its surroundings. It’s also located on the Old Harbor, right next to the Aquarium.
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Situated near the city centre, this cathedral was built with a gothic style and completed in the 17th century. It is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, to whom it owns the name, and it is the seat of the Archbishop of Genoa.
Former residence of the Doges of Genoa, this palace is now a museum and receives temporary art exhibitions. It’s located in the city centre, very closely to Piazza de Ferrari.
Piazza de Ferrari
Named after the fountain (above), this piazza is the most emblematic square of Genoa. Surrounding it, there are many important buildings such as offices and headquarters of several companies, making this square the business center of Genoa.
Via XX Settembre
This street is one of the most noticeable in the city center. Here you can find stores like H&M, Caledonia; Swarovski, Vodafone… So, if you feel like doing a little bit of shopping, go here!
Porta Soprana and Casa di Cristoforo Colombo
This majestic gate was once the east entrance to Genoa for those who came by the old roman road. On it´s right side, there’s a small stone house that is considered by many as the Columbus House (although the interior is reconstructed) and some beautiful cloisters.
This street is definitely a must-see in Genoa. Here you can find most of Genoa’s best known palaces, such as Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Bianco, but also other amazing, but less known palaces, like Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino (above), making a total of 13 palaces considered World Heritage sites.
Just a few meters away from Via Garibaldi, there’s this belvedere that offers the perfect panoramic view of the city of Genoa. Unfortunately, I went there at midday because I was really short on time, but if you have the chance,try to go there at the sunset (or sunrise, if you are an early bird!), as everything looks more beautiful during the “Golden hour”.
Lastly, but not leastly, the Palazzo dei Rolli. Situated in Via Balbi, this palace, also an UNESCO World Heritage Site, was originally built for the Balbi family. However, in 1823, the palace was sold to the Royal House of Savoy, and from there the palace started to be known as the Royal Palace. Currently, it is used as a museum and its rooms are decorated with objects that once belonged to the Savoy family.
Now that you know the main highlights of Genoa, you are ready to visit the city! I know this “itinerary” is a bit long, but if you have a full day (and a fast pace!) you can definitely squeeze all of these places in less than 24h.
If you have ever been to Genoa and have more ideas about what places one should visit, than leave your opinion down below. I would love to know your suggestions!