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Genoa - Lively Seaport Metropolis at the Ligurian Sea

Genoa and its harbour have always been an important European shipping pier. The historical harbour has been one of the city's main attractions since 1992 (the year of Columbus) and a frequently visited location. Together with the magnificent villas and palaces as well as the Ligurian Sea and the Apennines, the metropolis offers everything holidaymakers could wish for.

View of Genoa

Geography - Between the Apennine Mountains and the Ligurian Sea

Genoa (Italian: Genova) is the capital of Liguria and lies in the north-west of Italy between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain range of the Apennines. The latter rises sharply towards the heartland, which is why most of the city is located near the sea. Genoa covers an area of 35 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast and divides the Italian Riviera into two parts (Riviera di Levante and Riviera di Ponente). The city's harbour is the greatest container handling facility at the Mediterranean Sea as well as an important shipping pier for cruisers and ferries. The climate in the city is humid to temperate and occasionally of Mediterranean nature.

Genoa's harbour

Culture - Christopher Columbus' place of birth

Genoa has always had a high significance in the sea trade. Due to its geographical position, the city was predestined to become an important seaport metropolis, which is why many tribes competed for the rule of the coastal city in the course of history. The successful sea trade caused envy and rivalry with other cities like Pisa and Venice but it also produced famous sailors like Christopher Columbus. He was born in Genoa in 1451 and it is said that he already put out to sea at the age of 14. His birthplace (Casa di Colombo) and a large marble monument at the Piazza Acquaverde commemorate the discoverer's achievements today. The city's two landmarks are the lighthouse Torre della Lanterna, which is 77 metres high, and the Piazza de Ferrari. The latter is the starting point of several of the metropolis' most important streets: Via Garibaldi, Via Balbi and Via Cairoli, which are referred to as "Le Strade Nuuove" and are part of the World Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO. You see impressive buildings (e.g. Palazzo Ducale, Teatro Carlo Felice) around the central Fontana. Many locals consider the square Genoa's heart and centre. Other sights are the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), the Aquario di Genova (Europe's second biggest aquarium) and the historical harbour (Porto Antico).

Central square in Genoa

Experience - Harbour atmosphere and pasta alla genovese

Genoa's lively seaport atmosphere captures visitors immediately. You can enjoy it by tasting local delicacies in one of the restaurants at the harbour, for example. Two of the city's well-known dishes are minestrone alla genovese and pasta alla genovese, whose main ingredient is the pesto alla genovese from Genoa. This pesto is made of basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and cheese. After a typical Italian meal, you can end the day in one of the many bars and discos. Numerous festivals and events take place in Genoa throughout the year. One of the most popular ones is the Confuego, a ceremony in honour of Christmas and the new year, which is one of the city's oldest traditions. A particularly great number of concerts and cultural events take place at Christmas. Special attractions are the Christmas tree on the Piazza De Ferrari, the cribs and the sweet bread pandolce natalizio genovese, which you should not miss out on.

Food from Genoa

Activities - A visit to the aquarium, a panoramic lift and a historical funicular

Genoa offers a great variety of leisure activities. Due to its geographical position at the Mediterranean Sea, holidaymakers can do all kinds of water sports here. Whether you want to go swimming, snorkelling, diving, sailing, surfing or sunbathing, the sandy beaches around the city (Bagni Vittoria, Bagni La Marina, Bagni Maddalena, Bagni Aldebaran) offer everything the heart desires. You can also go on a trip to Porto Antico, Genoa's historical harbour. Travellers find Europe's second biggest aquarium (Acquario di Genova), a biosphere glass ball and a panoramic lift (Bigo) here. Another leisure activity is a ride on the historical funicular Zecca-Righi or the rack railway Principe-Granarolo, which take their passengers to the higher situated districts, which offer a breathtaking view of the whole city.

Tourist harbour in Genoa


A particularly good time for a trip to Genoa is between May and October. Visitors who want to go hiking or explore the nature reserves in the city's surroundings best arrive in spring or autumn because it can get very hot in summer.

Genoa is visited by thousands of tourists every year, who are fascinated by the city's colourful mix of culture, beach, sun, sea and mountains. The lively harbour, the vibrant city centre and the idyllic surroundings cater for all tastes.

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