One of the most dominant features of Genoa's enormous port is something that looks a bit like a space probe sticking out of the water. That multi-pronged white structure that resembles a many-armed crane is called the “Bigo,” and it's Genoa's “panoramic elevator.”
Bigo was designed by noted local architect Renzo Piano, the same man who designed Genoa's aquarium, in 1992 for the anniversary of Columbus' journey to the New World. From one of the arms, an elevator cabin can be raised, and then it rotates 360 degrees to give you a complete view overlooking the city. An audio-guide in the elevator cabin helps you make sense of what you're seeing.
Not surprisingly, Bigo's design was influenced by the many huge cranes that seem to be always at work in Genoa's port, lifting goods on and off of the massive cargo ships in the harbor.
An adult ticket for the roughly 20-minute ride up and down is €4. Children ages 4-12 ride for €3, while children under 4 are free. Bigo's operating schedule varies quite a bit by month, although it opens at 10am Tuesday-Sunday from March-October, closing anywhere from 5pm to 11pm depending on the season, and on Mondays it's only open for a few hours in the afternoons. During the rest of the year, it's open on weekends and holidays starting at 10am.