What to do in Genoa in one day?
Former maritime republic, in recent years its beauty has been rediscovered and valued, making it a tourist, cultural, scientific and musical pole. Genoa is one of the metropolitan cities in Italy. It is part of an industrial triangle with Milan and Turin, its port is one of the largest in the country. To better explore the attractions of this gracious beach town, it is necessary to stay for a few days. However, one day can also be enough to get an unforgettable memory. Let’s see how to get around there and what to do in Genoa in one day. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Why visit Genoa?
Because it is a famous city, simple and full of interesting things to do and see. In addition to the prestigious Aquarium, the former maritime republic also houses incredible relics from its glorious past, as well as bold and modern works that have made Genoa a kind of capital of modern Italian architecture.
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What to see in Genoa?
Strolling through the city, we can observe old mansions and churches, tangled in the labyrinth of typical alleys, the narrow “lanes” of the center of the old city.
1) What to do in Genoa in one day? LIGHTHOUSE
There are at least eight things that we definitely cannot miss in Genoa. Let’s start with the visit to the city’s lighthouse, which is a witness to the maritime instinct, commonly called “La Lanterna” and means the symbol of the city. Built with the intention of signaling the entrance of the port to the ships, it also serves to supervise the movement of traffic from within the guardhouse. The historic tower is 77 meters high and is about 117 meters above sea level. Next to the tower is the Museo della Lanterna (“Lighthouse Museum”), a multimedia collection dedicated to the city and the entire state.
2) What to do in Genoa in one day? HISTORIC CENTER
At this point, we will head to the historic center of Genoa, which represents the center of the old city – a place full of history and splendor that, after years of neglect and decay, has finally been restored and returned to the city. To explore the charm of ancient Genoa, you have to walk on foot and enter the “lanes”, the picturesque medieval alleys and the typical creuze, streets surrounded by walls. It is not by chance that a large part of the historic center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Attractions in the Historic Center
Among the points of historical interest is Castri: the first urban center of the city, referring to the period of the Romans and Etruscans. Its heritage is of great architectural value, with the famous Spinola Palace and Doge’s Palace – two large complexes where the splendor of the old maritime republic is revived. In the historic center, several things stand out, because there are abundant options of inns where you can taste the typical dishes of the city, where are also the traditional coffee shops, ultra centenary emporiums that enchant and conquer with their retro charm.
3) What to do in Genoa in one day? AQUARIUM
Are you ready for Genoa’s main tourist attraction? Of course we are talking about the largest aquarium in Italy. The visit to the Aquarium is a fun and exciting experience, as it offers the opportunity to get to know the aquatic fauna “strolling” in the most fascinating seas and waters in the world. The route of the various Aquarium pavilions unfolds through more than seventy display tanks, where it is possible to observe sharks, seals, turtles and penguins. Now, we will pause in a traditional restaurant to try a typical dish and then we will get to know the city of Genoa again. Read also the post: The Fantastic Genoa Aquarium?
4) What to do in Genoa in one day? VIA GARIBALDI
We returned with the city tour passing through Via Garibaldi. Considered a UNESCO Heritage Site, this beautiful street is also known as “Via Aurea”, because of the pomp of the buildings in the region (these are very important buildings such as Doria Tursi Palace, Lercari Parodi Palace, Bianco Palace and Rosso Palace – where works of caliber artists such as Caravaggio, Veronese, Hans Memling, Rubens and Van Dyck are housed). Home to the extraordinary museum route dedicated to ancient art, which links the three municipal properties, are the palaces: Rosso, Bianco and Doria Tursi.
5) What to do in Genoa in one day? CATHEDRAL OF SAINT LAWRENCE
We leave via Garibaldi to visit the grand Cathedral of St Lawrence. The parish church shows the visitor a distinctive Gothic façade in the Genoese style (from the 13th century), with French influences – as shown by the layout of the doors and the central rose window. The beautiful Relics Museum, accessible from inside the church, houses sacred works of art – among them the Sacro Catino (whose legend is related to the Holy Grail), the Reliquary of the Ashes of St John Baptist and other objects related to the cult of the patron saint of City.
6) What to do in Genoa in one day? ROLLI
As we only have one day available, we can visit only the Rolli of Genoa and that’s it, for the other attractions we must plan another trip with more time. The Rolli of Genoa is nothing more than a complex of beautiful Genoese mansions that between the 16th and 17th centuries offered accommodation to the illustrious characters who passed through the city. More than one hundred houses belonged to the Republic of Genoa, intended for this purpose.
About the Rolli
These residences were classified in a list, called “Rolli degli Alloggiamenti Pubblici” (List of Public Housing), which was updated periodically. In addition, these mansions were divided into three categories based on architectural value and the level of sumptuousness. Each was equivalent to certain categories of guest: the first level was for cardinals, princes and viceroys; the second grade served feudal lords and rulers and the third grade served for lords and ambassadors. As of 2006, forty-two of these distinctive mansions have been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. To explore such historic residences of a rich past that have made hospitality a cultural model, just take a stroll through Balbi, Garibaldi, Lomellini and San Luca streets.
MAP OF THE ATTRACTIONS OF GENOA
Curiosities about Genoa…
Before finishing this post I could not fail to talk about some curiosities about Genoa.
The daily happy hour
Daily happy hour is an almost mandatory habit for Genoese and, therefore, bars are full just before lunch and just before dinner.
The Beaches of Genoa
Although it is a coastal city, Genoa does not have beautiful beaches, however, the city is just a few kilometers from the fantastic Cinque Terre.
The Genoese LOVE their soccer team, Genoa. The famous ‘Rossoblu’ team (red and blue) is one of the oldest teams in Italy and was created in 1893.
The Lotto game is the evolution of games that go back to ancient civilizations (such as Egyptians, Romans and Babylonians). What we know today was born in Genoa, at the Doge’s Palace (not in Naples, as many think) and derives from the so-called “Il Gioco del Seminario”, in which the names of the Genoese citizens who were candidates for public merit were bet.
The game consisted of betting on luck by playing twice a year, trying to guess the names that would be chosen. We try our luck playing twice a year, trying to guess the names of the five elect. The candidates for the elections were 120, then they were reduced to 90 and, finally, replaced by numbers. The historical traces of the lottery game date back to 1620.
What do Genoa and Buenos Aires have in common?
Boccadasse, now known as Boca. The Genoese immigrants who settled in Argentina created the neighborhood of Boca, and they were the ones who founded the Boca Juniors soccer team, whose nickname is Xeneizes.
How to get to Genoa?
Now we will list the options on how to get to the city of Genoa with all means of transport.
1) How to get to Genoa? BY AIRPLANE
Genoa is connected with the largest international stopovers, thanks to the Cristoforo Colombo Airport (located in Sestri Ponente, six kilometers from the historic center of Genoa). Countless airlines connect the city to the most important national and international stopovers. Once at the Cristoforo Colombo Airport in Genoa, it is possible to access the center by the shuttle service AMT 100 Vola bus.
Also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILANO?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER
2) How to get to Genoa? BY TRAIN
If you prefer to go to Genoa by train, be aware that the city has two railway stations: Genova Brignole and Genova Principe. The city is well connected via the Regionali, Intercity and Eurostar trains to the largest Italian and European cities. Check schedules and fares on the Internet. Also find out “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.
3) How to get to Genoa? BY CAR
If you choose to go by car, you can take several highways from all over Italy, they are: A12, A26, A10 and A7.
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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What to do in Genoa in one day? Genoa, “splendid for its people and mansions”, as Petrarch defined it. Genoa never ceases to amaze. From the alleys to the squares, you can smell the history and tradition of skilled sailors and smart traders from the Mediterranean. You can walk around the charming “lanes”, the narrow streets paired with the huge walls of the houses, without ever getting tired. Each wall, each alley, each mansion, each village, each park and each fortress retains the charm of the former Genoese maritime republic.
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