Many of the most beautiful cities in Italy are not included on a tourist’s list due to their megawatt attractions like Venice, Florence, and Rome. Genoa, which was once a powerful maritime republic, is a great place to go if you are looking for an authentic, rich, and often unvarnished travel experience. The city offers both beauty and grit, as well as a rich history. It boasts notable architecture and art, and has a revitalized port that was designed by one the most prominent starchitects worldwide. Genoa is a hidden gem that remains largely undiscovered by tourists despite its many attractions, including some of the best food in Italy. Here are seven reasons to visit it.
1. The museums have great art and are not crowded. Van Dyck and Caravaggio are some of the works you will find. You can find Rubens and Durer in the Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso, and other Old World masterpieces at many landmarks like the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola and Palazzo Reale. The Palazzo Blanco also contains fine examples from the Genoese School, which was prominent in 1he 17th-century art.
2. Porto Antico is Genoa’s oldest port. Starchitect Renzo piano, a native son, transformed it by renovating old buildings and designing an aquarium. A Biosphere has a botanical garden, a Biosphere and the Bigo Crane. This iconic symbol of the port’s new age is now a landmark. The lift takes you up to 40m for stunning views of the city.
3. These are the magnificent palaces. The power and might of the Republic of Genoa’s ruling classes during the 16th- and 17th centuries can be seen in more than 100 palazzi. These glittery showcases, which were built along Le Strade Nuove (or New Streets), were designed to show the wealth of the city’s wealthy and aristocratic families and also serve as lodging for visiting dignitaries. The Republic tapped certain people to host their homes. 42 of these, the Palazzi dei Rolli, are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Palazzo Blanco (or Royal Palace), Palazzo Rosso (or Palazzo Stefano Balbi) are three of these magnificent structures. The Villa del Principe is another impressive residence worth mentioning. It was once Andrea Doria’s home. The villa was built outside of the city walls and overlooks the sea, allowing the admiral to watch his fleet.
4. It is home to one of Europe’s largest historical centers. Genoa’s medieval center is a network of narrow, often cobblestoned, caruggi streets. It has palazzi that showcase a variety of architectural styles, heritage shops and restaurants. You’ll find well-preserved palaces with black and white striped stone facades at the Piazza San Matteo, which is anchored by a Gothic Church. These palaces were once part of the Doria clan.
5. You will find amazing historic restaurants and artisan shops. These charming spots were established between the 17th and the first two-thirds of the 20th century. They include antique pharmacies, stationers, bookstores, restaurants, and pastry shops. The Antica Farmacia di Santa Anna (1650), which offers herbal tea, creams, lotions, and fragrances that incorporate ancient formulas, is one of the oldest. Pietro Romanengo Fu Stefano, a confectioner, is also one of the oldest. You can enjoy the delicious sweets at the Pasticceria Liquoreria Marescotti from breakfast through aperitivo. Both Romanengo as well as Marescotti were created in 1780.
6. It is home to some of the best food in Italy. Genoa is the capital of Liguria. There’s plenty of seafood and pesto. But the city’s cuisine goes beyond that. Enjoy pansotti alla salsa noci, a stuffed pasta (usually with Swiss Chard and Ricotta), topped with walnut sauce, fish stews such as buridda or ciuppin, and capponmagro (an elaborate seafood and vegetable salad that is typically prepared at Christmas). There are also wonderful sweets like pandolce, frisceu (apple fritters), and gobeletti (“jam tartlets”), considered to be the oldest dessert in Genoa.
7. The street food (or take-out), is also great. There are many options: focaccia with different toppings like onions or cheese, and snacks made from chickpea flour, such as farinata, a pancake-like snack; panissa Fritta, fritters seasoned and spiced with herbs; cuculli, a fritter flavored and flavored with marjoram; and panissa Fritta. These and many other items can be found at the city’s friggitorie and sciamadde, which are small shops that offer local specialties for snacking on the go.
8. The neighborhoods. You don’t need to travel far to enjoy a more intimate experience at the seaside, even though Genoa’s port is industrialized. You will reach the Genoa neighborhood, Boccadasse after about an hour of walking along the Corso Italia. This charming fishing village is also within the city. Nervi is a further fishing village located 7 kilometers east of Genoa. It has a beautiful seafront and a promenade by the water (Passeggiata Annita Garibaldi). Nervi is also part of Genoa. There are several museums to be found there.
9. Modern and contemporary art can be enjoyed in historical settings. The Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce is housed in a stunning neoclassical Villa. It features works by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, as well as photography, design, and video. There are many art museums in Nervi’s Genoa quartiere. The Galleria d’Arte Moderna is located in the Villa Saluzzo Serra. It features contemporary art as well as art from the 1800s. The Frugone Collections Museum in Villa Grimaldi Fassio focuses exclusively on Belle Epoque-era artwork. Wolfsoniana, which houses everything from paintings, furniture, decorative items, and industrial design, focuses on the major design movements of late 19th century and early 20th century.