Again and again I find myself falling in love with Italy. In three years, I have seen Italy’s shortcomings and I’ve had my meltdowns over bureaucratic chaos, but the historic charm, delicious food, and natural beauty continues to capture my heart daily. My most recent trip to Genoa (or Italian Genova) reminded me of this as I wandered through the ancient winding streets.
Genoa like much of Italy has an expansive history that is well recorded for over centuries. During the 1200-1600’s It was one of Europe’s largest ports and most trade had to pass through the city. Genoa has been built up upon the hills to overlook the port and throughout the years of financial growth became a city of wealthy merchants who have left their enormous estates as a reminder of the power they once had over Europe. These building or Palazzi are filled with masterpieces and if you’re an art lover this is a city for you. Genoa is also the famous home of Christopher Columbus and you can see statues and monuments to him throughout town.
While you’re in Genoa Here are some things worth checking out:
Palazzo Ducale: The Doge’s Palace. A beautiful building dating back to the 1300’s. As the Republic of Genoa flourished with economic wealth due to it’s control of the Mediterranean, the palace was were the leaders “Doges” conducted their business and controlled the empire. Now a days, you can enjoy events that happen in the entrance hall, ranging from festivals to markets, as well as grab a bite to eat. I highly recommend the roof-top restaurant called the Le Terrazze Del Ducale. In addition, Palazzo Ducale hosts many wonderful art exhibition check out the latest shows here. While I was there, I checked out a couple great art exhibitions. They always have different shows check out what currently on here.
The Boccadasse Neighborhood and beaches: I am a city girl at heart but oh how I do LOVE the beach, so neighborhoods like this are my dream. One late morning, I took the 30 minute stroll from the heart of the city to this neighborhood stopping around noon for drinks and some snacks at a bar overlooking the sea. Then, I went to a private beach and rented a chair (although there are also free beaches Spiagga Libera). There are several of these beach clubs along the shore offering chair and umbrella rentals, many also include bars and restaurants, beach volley ball courts, swimming pools, and soccer field. It’s a lovely way to spend a day!
The Palazzi of Via Garibaldi (aka Strada Nuova):This street is the famous location of the homes of the wealthiest merchants who were in power during the centuries of the Republic of Genoa. Many of the Palazzi date back more than 600 years. Each one is filled with art, the walls masterfully painted, and adorned with marble statues. Many of these can also be visited for free.
Click here to check out some delicious Genovese restaurants!