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Genova (Genoa)


"... You will see a royal city, leans against a mountainous hill, superb for men and for walls, whose only appearance indicates the lady of the sea ..."

by Francesco Petrarca, 1358, shortly Itinerarium de Ianua ad Ierusalem

About Genova

Basic Information:


Genova (Genoa) is the capital center of Liguria. It is located in a small narrow and long piece of earth between the Mountains and the Ligurian Sea.

Genova has always have an important meaning for Italy since the antic time. It has always been an important port and everybody hearth about the battles between two biggest ports on the North of Italy: Genova and Venezia.

Genova is rich of history and birthplace of many notable people of the city as Christopher Columbus. It is a destination for summer tourism and a center of many cultural events. In 2004 Genova was an European Capital of Culture. In 2006 a part of the historical city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In our days Genova is the third one biggest city in the North Italy that close the industrial ring Milano-Torino-Genova. Today the port of Genova is the most important port in Italy. Genova is a live center of tourism, culture, scientific researches, technology, music, academic studies, sport, fashion and cinema.


Curiosity - The Flag of Genova

flag-genovaThe flag of Genova is made from a red cross on white and it is also called the cross of San Giorgio (St. George). In the antiquity it was a symbol of the pilgrims who came from the holy places of Christianity and that after 1095, the year of the conquest of Jerusalem by part of the Seljuk Turks, driven in large part (at first) from sincere spirit of mission, who were decided to take up the cross and take up arms to liberate the land where Jesus Christ was born and lived. In a response to repeated attacks suffered by the Turks they decided to overwhelmed the Arabs and to go to the conquest of the Byzantine empire.

The symbols of the true cross - such as Jacopo de Varagine pointed to the cross of St. George - determinate in the modern times, for the armed pilgrims, appellation of crusaders.

The use of the flag appears to date from the Genoas in the distant past when the Byzantine army stationed in the garrison city and the banner (a red cross on a white field) was taken as a tribute to the small church of San Giorgio, overlooking the 'old Market Square, of Roman origin.


What to see in Genova?

For sure going to Genova you should not miss and to see its symbols:

The Lighthouse of Genova (Faro di Genova or Lanterna), that easy visible 30 km far from the city in the sea when the weather is good.

Piazza de Ferrari with the beautiful fountains recently restored and could be seen colored with the colors of the flag of Italy.

Here you can fond also the historical Palazzo Ducale, well known also as Pâxo. Once Palazzo Ducale was the residence of the dodges, now it is a center of the cultural events of Genova.

Once you reach the center of the city you should go and visit its historical center that is one of the oldest and widest in Europe, in its most antic part it is articulated in a maze of narrow alleyways and squares. A part of the antic walls of the city you can find nearby the Cathedral of San Lorenzo.


Just outside the main center and not so far you wile reach Nervi - the picturesque quarter of Genova where starts the natural gateway to the Riviera Ligure Levante and Pegli - natural gateway to the Riviera Ligure Ponente.

Another one interesting project realized in our days was the Aquarium at the old port - the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Its Marina can accommodate hundreds of pleasure boats. All this within the restored area prepared for the celebrations Columbian Expo of 1992.

The Aquarium of Genova and the Kinder City nearby to it is the right place where you can go with your children and to make them to have an unforgettable day.


Cathedral, Basilica and Churches of Genova

  • The Cathedral of San Lorenzo
  • Basilica di Nostra Signora Assunta
  • Nostra Signora del Monte
  • San Francesco da Paola
  • Santa Maria Assunta di Carignano
  • Santa Maria delle Vigne
  • Santa Maria Immacolata
  • Santissima Annunziata del Vastato
  • San Siro
  • Abbey of San Giuliano
  • Abbey of San Nicolò del Boschetto
  • Monastero di Santa Chiara

There is a long list of all Churches in Genova in all quarters of Genova. Take a look at it to find what you wish.


Natural Parks and Areas

  • Natural Regional Park Beigua
  • The Urban Park of Walls of Genova
  • Peralto Park with Sperone Fortress
  • The Nervi Parks
  • The Anita Garibaldi promenade


Villas of Genova

  • Villa Gropallo
  • Villa Serra-Saluzzo
  • Villa Grimaldi-Fassio
  • Castello D'Albertis
  • Villa Croce
  • Villa Duchessa di Galliera
  • Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini
  • Villa Gambaro
  • Villa Carrara


Fortress of Genova

  • Sperone Fortress
  • Castellaccio Fortress
  • Begato Fortress
  • Tenaglia Fortress
  • San Bernardino Fortress
  • Diamante Fortress
  • Belvedere Fortress


Typical food of Genova

Probably you have already tried the world famous Pesto Genovese - a sauce for Italian pasta but when you go there don't miss to try the real Italian Pasta with Pesto Genovese.

Take a look How to prepare Pesto Genovese?

The other popular foods of Genova are Focaccia, Farinata, Farinata con Cipollotti, Stoccafisso (Stockfish) and Salsa di Noci (Walnut Sauce).

Another one popular light dish is Minestrone (a vegetable soup), made of several vegetables and legumes, such as potatoes, beans, green beans, cabbages, pumpkins and zucchini. In the supermarkets in Italy you can find already frozen soups of all vegetable that is very easy and fast to prepare in a pot under pressure. The vegetables in Italy are closed under high pressure in the plastic backs and you can be sure they are without preservatives.

Other specialties are Ravioli al Sugo, Cappon Magro, Pandolce and Sacripantina.

Is also known for its cheese filled pizza crust - Focaccia al Formaggio, although it is mainly typical of Recco - a town in the eastern Riviera, not far from Genova.


How to go to Genova?

    • By Air

The Cristoforo Colombo Airport of Genova was built on an artificial peninsula at about 10 km far from the main center of the city. Genova has good connections with a few European cities. Check the nearest to airport to find the right fly to you for Genova.

For more information visit the Genova Airport - International Airport C. Colombo Genova


    • By Train

Genova has two big Train Stations, the central one - Genova Piazza Principe, and the other one - Genova Brignole. There are also 21 small train stations in Genova.

From Genova start five railway lines:

- railway Genova-Ventimiglia,

- railway Pisa-Genova,

- railway Asti-Genova,

- small railway to Giovi,

- historical railway to Turin (Torino).

For more information visit the Italian Railway web site.


    • By Car

Genova is very easy reachable from all parts of Italy although the Highway are rather narrow for the big traffic in the Ligurian sea area. There are four Highways that goes to Genova - A7, A10, A12 & A26. Use:

- A10 - if you from France, Savona and all west part of the Ligurian sea side,

- A12 - if you come from Pisa, Roma and all east part of the Ligurian sea side,

- A7 - if you come from Milano and other parts of North-East Europe,

- A26 - if you come from Valle d'Aosta and Switzerland via Lago Maggiore. This highway is a little less trafficked and it is advised if you come from Torino, Asti, Alessandria.


The traffic is a little terrible in Genova, especially during the summer and official holidays. There are few parking areas all around the port and Aquarium of Genova but although prepare yourself to be hard to find a free parking.


    • Go Around

Once being at Genova in the area of Aquarium or nearby the Historical center of the city you can make a quite round about by walking, observe the historical palaces and monuments and to enjoy fully the time there.

For moving in the city that is too long all around the sea you can use the urban trains or buses served by the local transport agency AMT. Check the lines on its site.

There is also Underground (Metropolitana di Genova). Check the lines on Metro Genova.


    • By Boat

Genova having the most important o of Italy gives you the good opportunity to go and visit the city by boat or ferry.

Several cruise and ferry lines serve the passenger terminals in the old port, with a traffic more of 3 millions passengers per year.

MSC Cruises chose Genova as one of its main home ports in competition with the Genovese company Costa Cruises, which moved its home port to Savona. The quays of the passenger terminals extend over an area of 250 thousand square meters, with 5 equipped berths for cruise vessels and 13 for ferries for an annual capacity of 4 million ferry passengers, 1.5 million cars and 250,000 trucks.

The historical maritime station of Ponte dei Mille is today a technologically advanced cruise terminal with facilities designed after the world's most modern airports.

A third cruise terminal is currently under construction in the redesigned area of Ponte Parodi, once a quay used for grain traffic.


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Map of Genova


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