The Ligurian capital is a fascinating city, a maze of streets and alleys that climb from the sea to the mountains in an ups and downs made of colorful facades, clothes hanging, and breathtaking views.
The curious visitor will certainly have the opportunity to marvel at the contrasts of a port city sprinkled with ancient and rich noble palaces, a city made up of narrow streets, squares and wide spaces on the sea.
In this article we will tell you the 7 things to do in Genoa, Italy. Here you’ll find the experiences you shouldn’t miss at any cost, whether you’ve decided to visit the Ligurian capital in one day, or if you can stay a little longer.
1. Visit the Aquarium of Genoa
The first thing we suggest you do in Genoa is to visit the Aquarium. This is one of the largest in Europe and the route inside has always fascinated both adults and children.
The Aquarium of Genoa houses about 12,000 specimens of 600 different species. Among the most interesting stops along the way are the dolphin and shark tanks.
The visit may take a while, especially if you are in the company of children: calculate at least half a day for a complete visit!
2. Discover the Old Port
This used to be the central area of merchant activity in the city’s harbor. Today the Porto Antico di Genova, instead, is one of the favourite places of leisure for both inhabitants and visitors.
Thanks to the project for the revaluation of the area conceived by Renzo Piano on the occasion of the five hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America, since 1992 this area has been one of the most frequented by tourists. Here, in addition to the famous Aquarium, there are also a series of museums, restaurants, shops and bars capable of attracting many people in any season.
Among the attractions of the Old Port not to be missed we suggest you the following:
– the Bigo, the panoramic lift that will take you to admire one of the most beautiful views of the city;
– the Children’s City, a real museum – workshop dedicated to children up to the age of 12;
– the Galata Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the city and one of the reasons why we recommend you visit Genoa. Inside, you can feel the strong bond that the Ligurian capital has with the sea.
3. Getting lost among the caruggi
Among the things to do in Genoa you can’ t miss a walk through the caruggi, the famous alleys of the city.
The narrow streets of Genoa’s historic centre are now considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Walking and getting lost among these cobbled streets means breathing the true essence of the city: here you can still hear the notes of the melodies of the Genoese singer-songwriter De André, you are surrounded by the scent of focaccia coming out of the ovens run by generations of bakers or the fragrance of freshly baked farinata, here you can meet people from the furthest corners of the world.
The alleys of Genoa are a real experience to live!
4. Admire the Palazzi dei Rolli
After a walk among the caruggi you cannot miss the one in Via Garibaldi, also known as Strada Nuova. Here, stand some of the most famous buildings in Genoa: the Palazzi dei Rolli.
These are located all over the city centre, but it is here that some of the most surprising buildings are concentrated.
The Palazzi dei Rolli, at the time of the Republic, were the noble Genoese homes that could (and should) host illustrious guests visiting the city: from high officials to emperors!
In Via Garibaldi, inside Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Tursi, there is one of the most fascinating museums in Genoa: the Strada Nuova Museums.
Here you can admire wonderful works by Bernardo Strozzi, Caravaggio, Rubens and Van Dyck.
The route is quite long and if you want to visit it all and without hurry calculate at least 3 hours.
5. Taste the typical dishes of the city
During a visit to the Ligurian capital you will not miss the opportunity to taste some of the best typical dishes of Genoa.
We have already mentioned the goodness of focaccia and farinata, but of course there is no stay in the city without a dish of pasta with pesto! Only here, in fact, you can taste the real and authentic one.
What is the best way to taste the many delicacies of Genoa? Take part in a Food Tour!
We at Do Eat Better Experience offer you three of them:
– The Genoa Traditional Food Tour during which you will have the opportunity to discover the tastiest typical dishes of Genoa;
– The Genoa Gourmet Food Tour during which you will taste some dishes where innovation and tradition meet;
– The Genoa Street Food Tour designed for lovers of simplicity… delicious!
6. Get on the Lantern of Genoa
Another of the things to do in Genoa is to climb the Lantern, the symbol of the city.
This large lighthouse, about 77 meters high, is located on a small hill facing the sea: from here it dominates the Genoese port and has done so since 1128!
Attached to the Lantern there is also a small multimedia museum through which you can retrace the history of the lighthouse and the port of Genoa.
If you want to enjoy a magnificent view of the city defined “Superb” by the poet Petrarca, then you must “climb” to the top of his Lantern!
7. Go to Boccadasse
Finally here is our last piece of advice on things to do in Genoa absolutely: a walk in Boccadasse.
This small fishermen’s village has remained intact in its structure and its timeless atmosphere: although the city has grown and developed all around, here it seems to be light years away from the noise of the centre.
Among the colourful facades of its houses, sitting on the little beach in front of the sea, enjoy an ice cream and fill your lungs with the salty breeze!
We hope to have given you some useful advice to visit Genoa. We are waiting for you to accompany you to discover its delicacies!