Narrow between sea and mountains, Genoa has always been a crossroads of peoples and cultures. Its narrow streets, its majestic palaces and ancient churches have attracted poets, artists and songwriters who have celebrated it in immortal works.
The Ligurian capital is a destination often underestimated and there are those who still, unfortunately, visit it in haste to visit the small villages of the Cinque Terre. However, the traveller who stops in the city will have the privilege of of being amazed at real hidden treasures and suggestive corners that seem to come out of a picture.
Today we tell you the 5 reasons why you should absolutely visit Genoa!
1. Visit the Aquarium and grasp Genoa’s close link with the sea
Genoa has always had a very close link with the sea and its port is an example of this even today.
In order to really perceive this fundamental relationship for the history, life and economy of the city, there are two unmissable stages.
The first is certainly the Aquarium of Genoa, one of the largest in Europe. About 12,000 specimens of more than 600 different species live inside it! The route develops through an entertaining and exciting narrative that fascinates young and old alike. The Aquarium of Genoa is not only an attraction, but a real undertaking to raise awareness of fundamental issues such as climate change and pollution of the seas.
The second stop not to be missed to really grasp the link that Genoa has with the sea is the Galata Museum, one of the funniest museums in the city. The Galata allows you to make a real journey that starts from the dawn of the city’s port to get to the understanding of a complex phenomenon such as migration. Along the way you will be able to board galleys, transatlantic liners and… a real submarine, the Nazario Sauro!
2. Strolling among the caruggi
The real charm of Genoa lies in its caruggi, the narrow alleys of its historical centre.
The narrow streets that once served to confuse and “trap” the pirates, today have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here the popular houses blend in with the colourful facades of the ancient noble palaces, the names of the streets recall the artisans who once had their own shops in the area and the scent of freshly baked focaccia mixes with the scent of the spices of the latest generations of immigrants who have found their home in Genoa.
Whether you want to stay in the city for longer, or you only have one day to visit Genoa, the caruggi are a must-see: this is where you will find the soul of the city!
3. Discover the magnificence of the Palazzi dei Rolli
To really understand the history of the Ligurian capital and its historical importance there is still one thing to do: visit the Rolli, the ancient noble palaces of the city.
The palaces of the Rolli were the buildings belonging to the most important Genoese families who, during the period of the Republic, had the right (and the duty) to host the famous people visiting the city. In the rooms of these palaces were hosted princes, popes and even emperors!
Most of the palaces of the Rolli are located in Via Garibaldi, also known as Strada Nuova. Three of them are home to one of the most interesting and wonderful museums in Genoa: the Strada Nuova Museums. Inside these museums, you can admire not only the original furnishings of the period, but also magnificent works by Dürer, Van Dyck, Caravaggio and Rubens.
Well, what do you say? Are you really starting to understand why it’s really worthy to visit Genoa?
4. Immerse yourself in the local gastronomic tradition
If we haven’t convinced you yet, we’re sure we will now… by tempting your palate!
The Genoese gastronomic tradition is, indeed, one of the best in Italy.
Among the typical dishes to eat in Genoa there are real delicacies: you start with focaccia, continue with pasta with pesto, pansoti with walnut sauce, stuffed vegetables, savoury pies, farinata and many other delicacies.
The best way to discover Genoese cuisine? Take part in a food tour!
We offer you 3 food and wine tours in Genoa to satisfy all types of palates. You can take part in a traditional food tour, during which you will discover the secrets of the local cuisine. Or you can indulge in a gourmet food tour where innovation and tradition come together. Otherwise, you can choose a fun Genoa street food tour to discover the city’s most delicious (and fastest) dishes.
Only after having experienced the authentic cuisine of the Ligurian capital can you consider your visit to Genoa as completed!
5. Taste the real pesto
We have just finished saying that if you are going to visit Genoa, one of the things to do absolutely is to take some time to taste the local cuisine, but we want to stress this once again. In Genoa, in fact, you will have the chance to taste the real Genovese pesto!
Once you have tried it here, you will understand that what you have eaten until now was nothing more than a simple basil sauce. Pesto is something else!
Authentic pesto, in fact, is made with Genoese basil DOP, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Sardinian pecorino cheese, Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP of the Ligurian Riviera, coarse sea salt, pine nuts and Vessalico garlic.
So, take your time to immerse yourself in the true scent and taste of one of the most famous (but unfortunately most revisited) recipes in the world! This is an opportunity not to be missed!
So, have we convinced you to visit Genoa? We’re waiting for you!