Genoa, Liguria Italy

Genoa is a city and an important seaport in the northern region of Liguria, Italy. Part of the old city of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List (UNESCO) in 2006 . The city is rich in art, music, gastronomy, architecture and history. The city of Genoa lies between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains. Genoa is adjacent to two popular Ligurian vacation spots, Camogli and Portofino.

Main Sights in Genoa

Churches

St. Lawrence Cathedral /Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is the city’s Cathedral, and is built in a Romanesque-Renaissance style.

Other important and major churches in Genoa include the Church of San Donato, the Church of Sant’Agostino, the Oratory of San Giacomo della Marina, the Church of Santo Stefano, San Torpete and the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato. Most of these churches and basilicas are built in the Romanesque style, even though the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato is built in a rich and elaborate Baroque style.

Buildings and Palaces

The main features of central Genoa include Piazza De Ferrari, around which are sited the Opera and the Palace of the Doges.

There is also a house where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born.

Strada Nuova (now Via Garibaldi), in the old city, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. This district was designed in the mid-16th century to accommodate Mannerist palaces of the city’s most eminent families, including Palazzo Rosso (now a museum), Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale. Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso are also known as Musei di Strada Nuova. The famous art college is also located on this street.

Other landmarks of the city include Palazzo del Principe, the Old Harbour (Porto Antico), transformed into a mall by architect Renzo Piano, and the famous cemetery of Staglieno, renowned for its monuments and statues.

The Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art has one of the largest collections of Oriental art in Europe.

Genoa also has a large aquarium located in the above-mentioned old harbour.

The port of Genoa also contains an ancient lighthouse, called “La Lanterna”.

Parks

Genoa has 82,000 square metres of public parks in the city centre, such as Villetta Di Negro which is right in the heart of the town, overlooking the historical centre. Many bigger green spaces are situated outside the centre: in the east are the Parks of Nervi overlooking the sea, in the west the beautiful gardens of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini. The numerous villas and palaces of the city also have their own gardens, like Palazzo del Principe, Villa Doria, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Tursi, Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino, Albertis Castle, Villa Croce, Villa Imperiale Cattaneo, Villa Bombrini, and many more.

Promenades

Corso Italia runs for 2.5 kilometres in the quartiere of Albaro, linking two neighbourhoods of Foce and Boccadasse. The promenade, which was originally built in 1908, overlooks the sea, towards the promontory of Portofino, and the main landmarks are the small lighthouse of Punta Vagno, the San Giuliano Abbey, the Lido of Albaro.

Old harbour

The old harbour /“porto antico”  is the ancient part of the port of Genoa. The Genoese architect Renzo Piano redeveloped the area for public access, restoring the historical buildings (like the Cotton warehouses) and creating new landmarks like the Aquarium, the Bigo and recently the “Bolla” (the Sphere). The main touristic attractions of this area are the famous Aquarium and the Museum of the Sea.

Walls and Fortresses

The city of Genoa during its long history at least since 9th century had been defended by different line of walls. To this day, large portions of these walls remain, and Genoa has more and longer walls than any other city in Italy. The main city walls are known as “Ninth century walls”, “Barbarossa Walls” (12th century ), “Fourteenth century walls”, “Sixteenth century walls” and “New Walls” “Mura Nuove”, the more imposing, built in the first half of 17th century on the ridge of hills around the city, having a length of almost 20 kilometres. Some fortresses stand along the perimeter of the “New Walls” or close them.

Shopping

Via XX Settembre is the main shopping street and runs between Piazza de Ferrari and Piazza della Vittoria. Mercato Orientale (Eastern Market) is an indoor food and produce market located on Via XX Settembre. Centro Storico (Historic Centre) is the old city centre with narrow, winding allies and many churches, mansions, shops, restaurants and bars.

Cuisine

Popular foods local to Genoa include pesto, focaccia, farinata, stoccafisso (stockfish), and salsa dinoci (walnut sauce). Pasta (usually trofie) al Pesto, is probably the most symbolic of Genoese meals. Pesto sauce is made with fresh basil, pine nuts, grated parmesan, garlic, olive oil pounded together. Another popular dish which is common to Genoa is the minestrone, a thick soup made out of several vegetables and legumes, such as potatoes, beans, green beans, cabbages, pumpkins and zucchini. Other soup dishes which are common to the city include the fish-consisting buridda, La Sbirra, and preboggion. Other specialties are Ravioli al sugo (Ravioeu ao tocco), Cappon Magro, Zemin, Pandolce (Pandoçe) and Sacripantina. It also is known for its cheese filled pizza crust

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