Genoa’s historic center is well worth exploring. One of its main streets, Via Garibaldi, dates back to the 16th century and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The busy waterfront is a short walk from the historic center, which makes a day trip easy for visitors from the many cruise ships that stop in Genoa. Not to mention how nice it can be to cap off a day in the city center with a stroll along the waterfront promenade.
The city of Genoa, where Christopher Columbus was born, has historic ties to the water. This is evident in its iconic lighthouse (which you can climb) and aquarium (the second largest in Europe). If you’re familiar with the nearby towns of the Cinque Terre, you may already know about the popularity of seafood in Liguria - and the same goes for Genoa. Additionally, this is the city that gave the world pesto - you’ve probably seen it called “pesto Genovese” before.
Cruise ships certainly leave their mark on the city as they empty crowds into the historic streets, but aside from those day trippers (many of whom choose to head straight for Portofino or the Cinque Terre) there aren’t nearly as many visitors headed for Genoa as there are to other Italian cities. You may need to brush up on a little more Italian for a visit to Genoa, and you may not find world famous landmarks, but you’ll be rewarded with a genuine Italian city full of delightful shops, restaurants, and piazzas to explore. Why not conjure your inner Columbus and pretend you’ve discovered this hidden gem?
Review by Maria M, April 2013
Doing what: Genoa Shore Excursion: Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure Day Trip
Excellent driver, prompt and polite. He knew very much of the history and great places to stop along the way.
Review by Jim T, October 2012
Doing what: Genoa Shore Excursion: Genoa City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Wonderful way to see the city without walking excessively or paying for an esorted tour. Pickup point is very close to the Port so it ifs a doable tour for people with disabilities or other mobility issues. Cost of the tour if you purchase your ticket from the bus tour operator is $15 euros. The seating is comfortable and the open top level of the bus can be covered when it is raining. The audio describing the points of interest was great but not so good on a tour in Mallorca. Overall, great value.