Piazza de Ferrari is the expansive main square in Genoa, separating the historic district from the modern city center. Its large fountain is the square’s centerpiece and a central meeting point for tourists and locals alike. The piazza is named for Raffaele de Ferrari, who donated a lot of money to help expand Genoa’s port in the 1800s.
Piazza de Ferrari is a bustling area featuring many important buildings such as the Palazzo Ducale, once the Palace of the Doge of Genoa and now used as a cultural center; the neoclassical opera house of Genoa, Teatro Carlo Felice; and the old stock exchange building. You can walk to the piazza and stroll around on your own, or book a city sightseeing tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour to explore Piazza de Ferrari and other Genoese landmarks.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The piazza is a must-visit for first-time visitors to Genoa, especially those who love architecture.
- There is little shade in the piazza, so bring sun protection if you plan to visit during the day.
- The streets in and around the piazza are cobblestone and uneven, so wear comfortable shoes to walk around.
- Strollers and wheelchairs may have some trouble navigating the bumpy piazza.
How to Get There
Piazza de Ferrari is located in the heart of Genoa, in the Molo neighborhood. It’s an easy walk from the historic city center and the Old Port. Alternatively, take the metro to the De Ferrari stop; a number of city buses also stop in the main square.
When to Get There
As Piazza de Ferrari is Genoa’s main square, it is always bustling. The piazza hosts many events throughout the year, including the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree and the Genoa City Festival. The best times to visit Genoa are between May and September, when the weather is warm and relatively dry.
One of the piazza’s most significant structures is the Palazzo Ducale, the grand mansion of the former Doge of Genoa. The large palace was built in 1298 and is filled with sculptures, frescoes, and marble columns—flaunting the wealth of Genoa during its peak maritime trade. The palace is also home to La Grimaldina, or the People’s Tower, which served as a jail for political prisoners and commoners.