Genoa is the capital city of the lovely Liguria region in the north-western area of Italy. Despite being one of the most underrated tourist destinations, overshadowed by the 5 lands nearby, Genoa is full of places to explore and countless anecdotes to discover. Since the XI Century, it was one of the most powerful maritime republics that kept its undisputed power until 1797, playing a key role in commercial trades in Italy and throughout Europe thanks to its Ancient Port, the biggest in Italy. That is no wonder why it has been nicknamed “The proud one” by the Italian poet Petrarca. Whatsmore, it benefits both from an uphill location over the seas, which offers incredible panoramic views to its visitors, and impressive highlights that witness its historical wealth. Since the XIX Century, Genoa has hosted one of the largest shipyards in Italy and many of its products can be admired in the maritime museum.
Today, Genoa still keeps its lively atmosphere, thanks to its inhabitants and to its ancient cultural and culinary traditions, which are more alive than ever, especially when you walk through the old town.
Part of its historical center is listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well: these places are Le Strade Nuove and the System of Palazzo dei Rolli.
What to see in Genoa in one day only
Although one day may not be enough to see all that Genoa has to offer, it is great to have a general overview of the city, whether you are on a cruise ship or traveling by car or train.
Most of its worth-seeing places are within walkable distance, close one to the other in the city center.
Start from Piazza de’ Ferrari, probably the symbol of Genoa. Here it is possible to admire its stunning circular bronze fountain built in 1936. The Square takes the name from the banker Luigi De’ Ferrari: today this place is still the most important for Genoa’s economy and it hosts unmissable events throughout the year.
Another memorable stop is certainly the Port area which is home to the renowned Acquario, the ideal stop to dive into the deep blue sea and discover all its animals such as dolphins and many other species: the acquario has about 70 tanks and 15.000 animals to gaze at. The port district is perfect for a lunch break as well: it is full of restaurants and bars where to taste local food.
The Royal Palace of Genoa, which is one of the historical buildings of the town and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, was built in 1618 for the wealthy Balbi family. Later in the XIX Century it became part of the Savoia’s belongings and it turned to be their official summer residence.
The Royal Palace was adorned with fine paintings, frescoes and sculptures by artists such as Il Guercino and Van Dyck.
Finally, stop at the Spianata Castelletto, an off the beaten path balcony from which you can appreciate a 360 degree view of Genoa and its coastline, including the Port.
Food tasting in Genoa: Cuttlefish with chards
No trip to Genoa can be complete without tasting local specialties. Cuttlefish with chards is surely a savory dish which shows Genoa’s territory and history.
This dish has both ingredients from the Sea and the land nearby. The Seppie in zimino are named after the arabic term “samīn”, meaning fatty, and it reflects the multiculturalism of the town.
To prepare it, it is important to slowly cook the cuttlefish stewed in a broth made of seasonal vegetables, usually spinach.
All in all, Italy has plenty of cities to visit and Genos is one of these. Are you looking for more guided tours in Italy?
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