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Genoa “à la carte”:  the best experiences for every type of traveller

Genoa “à la carte”:  the best experiences for every type of traveller

To each their own Genoa. One of the main Mediterranean seaports, with good connections to Milan and just a short distance from the Alps, the city has surprises in store for every type of traveller. A trip to Genoa is an opportunity to amaze friends, partners and family – and to enter a different world.
A romantic Genoa for couples

Genoa is the romantic destination par excellence. One corner not to be missed is Boccadasse, a charming suburban village with a small beach on which fishermen leave out their nets and narrow tiled lanes that rise between pastel-coloured cottages. To get there by promenading along Corso Italia where old buildings are interspersed by delightful views. Then there are the Parks of Nervi, an oasis of boulevards, flowerbeds and headily scented rose gardens in which historic villas house museums and art collections. No less romantic is the Porto Antico, the old port, redesigned by Renzo Piano, where ships dock and the locals like to meet. Another landmark is the Lanterna, the tallest mediaeval lighthouse in the Mediterranean, from which it’s possible to admire a view over the city. For spectacular views of the city centre and the mountains, finally, it’s worth taking the original Art Nouveau lift, installed in 1909, in Piazza Portello and riding up to the Spianata Castelletto terrace.
An adventure Genoa with the kids

Any stay in Genoa with children has to start from the Porto Antico and the Acquario di Genova. It’s one of the largest aquariums in Europe and it features tropical and polar environments and both fresh and salt water. Here the kids can stroke rays, watch penguin feeding time and learn to recognise manatees. Booking ahead, it’s even possible to spend a night with the sharks and sleep beside them. The Porto Antico is also home to the Città dei bambini e dei ragazzi, the City of Children and Youngsters, a veritable museum experience dedicated to the “Five Senses” for kids of two to twelve years of age. Older children will also enjoy the Galata Museo del Mare, a maritime museum that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Here they can discover all the secrets of sailing past and present and, outside the building, take a look around the “Nazario Sauro” submarine. More adventures are in store at the Museo di storia naturale G. Doria, a natural history museum with collections of stuffed animals, fossils, plants, minerals and, above all, insects. Among their gardens and historic villas, the Parks of Nervi offer fully-equipped play areas for tiny tots.

Another exciting child-friendly experience is the Zecca–Righi funicular railway ride from which it’s possible to enjoy an aerial view of the city and its imposing defensive walls. In the Parco Urbano delle Mura, the Park of the City Walls, at the end of the climb there’s an adventure park for children with skywires among the trees. No holiday in Genoa would be complete, however, without a dip, so the place to head for is Corso Italia, lined with bathing establishments suitable for the whole family.


A gourmet Genoa for food lovers
Everywhere you go in Genoa, you come across food with different smells, flavours and textures. Top of the list is pesto, made with PDO basil grown in the hills above the city, the perfect pasta sauce. The city boasts three restaurants with Michelin stars, plus innumerable other eateries and the so-called botteghe storiche, officially recognised historic craft shops with frescoed ceilings and antique machinery. The best way of all to get to know the flavours of Genoa is through its street food: from fried fish in paper cones to farinata, baked chickpea flour batter, from all the many takes on focaccia to friscieu, savoury fritters, to the typical semifreddo panera. All are perfect at aperitif time in the city’s bars or at their outdoor tables, accompanied by a glass of local wine. Be sure too to check out the street markets, especially MOG, the new Oriental Market, a contemporary space with 150 traditional food stalls and outlets on the first floor serving delicious local specialities. And if you want to find out more, you can sign up on the cooking classes organised in some of Genoa’s finest historic palazzi.

A Genoa of culture for art lovers
Art is everywhere in Genoa and the Genova Museum Card is an incentive to visit the city’s numerous museums. Walking through the centre you come to the Palazzi dei Rolli, noble Renaissance and baroque mansions with spectacular facades and magnificent interiors that combine to form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They open every Saturday for guided visits but the best time to visit them is during Rolli Days, weekends of special openings to the public: the next will be from May from 17 to 19. For Genoa 2024 is the year of the Middle Ages, a celebration of the city’s heritage of works of art, abbeys and churches from the period. The highlight will be the new mounting of the 14th-century funeral monument of Cardinal Luca Fieschi, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic sculpture. For lovers of contemporary aesthetics, BeDesign Week, from May 22 to 26, will be dedicated to “Design in motion”. Exhibitions in the city will include Sebastião Salgado’s AQUA MATER at Palazzo Ducale, the Brazilian photographer’s first in Italy, a celebration of water and the life cycle. At Palazzo della Meridiana, finally, it will be possible to admire the evolution of Books In Art from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era.