Things To Do In Genoa

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Genoa, as well as the entire Liguria region, is an ideal travel destination. With its old port and its charming architecture, the air is filled with joy. The Piazza Raffaele de Ferrari, with its amusing fountain, delights the eye. That feeling is enhanced by the Palace of the Doges (a place that must be visited by all lovers of the arts) and the Teatro Carlo Felice. 


Genoa City is an amazing seaside town. Over the last decade, it has become oriented towards tourism. Check out the port redevelopment: it now has an aquarium. Genoa has a long history, and its museums and old forts certainly bring you back to the time of Doria. It is a city of constant congestion (like all the cities near the coast of Italy), as the city’s planners did not design for modern traffic. Regardless, the seaside towns all have their individual type of charm. Genoa, with its landmark lighthouse, is a beauty not to be missed.

When To Go:

The perfect time to explore Genoa is in the spring (March –April) and fall seasons. (May – September) These seasons not only bring favorable climate conditions to Italy's most famous coastline, it is also the primary time that shops, restaurants, bars, and other venues stay open consistently. Numerous shops and restaurants are shut down in the low tourism season (October-February) and those that remain open have limited hours. The climate in the spring and fall is very comfortable, with dry air, flowers in bloom, and a steady stream of travelers.

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When June comes around, tourism season is in full swing and the coast gets packed and lively.  In spite of the overwhelming traveling season, Genoa is up to the task, and the famous beaches double their efforts to offer the best water sports activities to entice more tourists to explore its waters. In the event that you decide to venture out to Genoa in the late spring, avoid traveling during the two busiest times – Easter and the second week of August. It is a national holiday, and numerous families head out to the coast for their yearly excursion.

A city that deserves to be seen and discovered, below are the list of things to do and places to explore when visiting the city of Genoa:


Dialogo Nel Buio (Dialogue in the Dark)

Dialogo Nel Buio or Dialogue in the Dark is an exhibition / experience located in the Genoa Docks area. It is close to a Metro stop, on a barge floating in front of the Museum of the Sea, and a few meters from the Old Port and the Aquarium. You cannot go through the city without passing through here. The cost of the ticket (€7) is paid in advance, and the tour lasts about 45 minutes long. You'll be glad you came! And you are guaranteed lots of fun (even in the dark, laughing and joking!). A visit to the Dialogue in the Dark also allows you to access the submarine Nazario Sauro, which is next door. You can purchase the combined ticket for only €10. The route is also handicap-accessible.

Dialogo Nel Buio

Overall, it is a stirring experience in the world of darkness. Do not be afraid - a friendly voice will guide you through the paths of everyday life in the world of the blind. For almost an hour, you are in a world that is entirely deprived of sight (something the blind face daily), and you get to channel senses you never knew you had. Excellent tour guides offer a friendly voice and provide valuable support during this discovery.

It is an experience that everyone should undergo to understand the hardships and challenges for people who cannot see. It is an experience totally in the dark, guided by people who live in constant darkness. Only with the details and expertise of the guide can you understand what is going on and how people deal with blindness every day. Do not miss this experience when visiting Genoa.


Teatro della Gioventu

The Teatro della Gioventu is located almost in the center of the city, a perfect location. This theater is not huge, but the seats are comfortable and have great acoustics. It has the advantage of being located in Via Cesarea; an area closed to car traffic. After watching a play or musical in the theater, you can explore its quaint bars and pubs, with tables and chairs placed along the street.

Teatro della Gioventu

This theater is run by young actors who put on shows with great excitement. Also interesting is the series of concerts in the hall next to the foyer, where you can enjoy a complimentary drink while waiting for the engaging shows to open. The latest run of “Disaster Comedy”, a mix of hilarious quips and crack, is acted out by phenomenal thespians. It is guaranteed fun and a chance to discover or rediscover a love for the theater.


Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello

The Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello is a Romanesque church that was built between the 9th and 10th centuries. With a guide, you can see the sacristy, the refectory, the loggia, and from the window admire the neat patio. The church and the adjacent monastery is one of the oldest and most important religious sites in Genoa, dating back 900 years. The church has an imposing facade, Romanesque style columns and capitals, plus a built-in library. Inside, you can find some of the most important works of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, like the frescoes on the walls that run the theme about the "Life of King David".

Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello

The Church of Santa Maria di Castello is located on a hill where the first settlement was founded (which eventually became Genoa). Of particular interest are the marble sculptures by such masters as Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Francesco Boccaccino, and Gregorio De Ferrari. The church highlights the Loggia of the Annunciation, the oldest and most valuable frescoes of the church. These include works done in the 15th century, authored by Giusto d'Alemagna, Domenico Gagini and other renowned masters of the Renaissance.



The fishing village of Boccadasse is a must see in Genova. It is lovely in the late afternoon, especially during the summer when you can stroll under the clear skies, then eat at exotic places. The atmosphere is quiet. You can walk along the narrow streets around the beach and will see charming and typical Liguria houses with their distinct color palette.

The promenade runs along the coast of Genoa, two miles from the Palacio de los Deportes. This part is called the Corso Italia. The entire route is paved with red and yellow tiles. Along the way, you can visit beaches, restaurants and bars.


At the end of the path, the tiles end at a gas station. You get to the right side of the road and arrive in a small cove surrounded by colorful houses. This is Boccadasse. It is the most famous view of this quaint town, still within the city of Genoa and the Italian Riviera. If you continue walking a mile without losing sight of the sea, you will see an endless line of boats waiting to park and head to the lively beach. This is a highly recommended tour for the adventurous and a definite must-see in Genoa.


Spianata Castelletto

At the Spianata Castelletto, you could get in the elevator, but it is much better to stand or walk from one of the many pedestrian streets. You go up to virtually view the entire historical center of Genoa, the port, and the vast ocean. On a clear day, you can see the Liguria Alps. The Esplanade has been largely pedestrianized and is a fantastic place to unwind, or get ice cream in one of the many bars there.

Spianata Castelletto 

The Spianata offers a stunning view of Genoa from the top, and you can enjoy a delicious granite while you look. Visitors to Genoa should not miss this beautiful open space where you can enjoy a fantastic view over the rooftops of the city, the harbor, the sea and the Liguria coast. To get there fast, take the liberty elevator from the Piazza Portello. Once you get off the elevator, you can sit on the benches of the esplanade and enjoy the panorama or people watch the open space, with its diverse and engaging population.Whatever you decide to do, it is best to do it while enjoying a delicious granite, sold in the local kiosks around the area.


Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi a Nervi

While in Genoa, take a bus or train to reach the park called the Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi a Nervi. It is a park on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea that stands midway between Genoa and the French border. There you can see small animals common to the temperate climate, and one might come to feed in your hand, such as a squirrel. If the weather is good, there is the possibility of a boat trip to Portofino, an exclusive destination in Europe with many luxury residences. To enjoy the fascinating features of this attraction, take the walk all the way to the castle where you can see the whole city from the hill.

Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi a Nervi

More than a promenade, it is a path above the cliffs with access to the sea. There are many stairs that will allow you to go on the rocks, but be careful.  It’s an awkward walk as it is located on the side of a high sea coast, but perfectly passable (tiled), with distinctive plant life and panoramic views no one would want to miss. It is quiet and stretches from the port of Nervi up to Campolungo. It is an oasis of relaxation and tranquility, just a few miles from the center of Genoa. There are several entrance ladders, some with scales while others with descents or ascents. It is equipped with many benches for resting and enjoying the view of the sea. Along the way, there are ladders for access to small pebble beaches.  This is an excellent opportunity for a nice scenic walk in the immediate vicinity or at the edge of Genoa. If the weather permits, you can have lunch at a little bar overlooking the sea.


Piazza Raffaele De Ferrari

The Piazza Raffaele De Ferrari is a typical Italian plaza with access to streets that lead to excellent shops. It is also the way to the Chiesa di San Lorenzo, another attraction that is worth visiting. Great photos can be taken here, especially around the fountain that looks majestic and impressive. Key times to visit are at sunset and in the evening, when the plaza is all lit.

Piazza Raffaele De Ferrari

The Piazza, besides being very well located, also has free Wi-Fi to satisfy any need to get on the internet. Just like everything else in Italy, this piazza makes you feel like you are in another century, trapped in the middle of an incredible storybook. The plaza is charming, complemented by the buildings that surround it. It is the crossing point of most bus lines, so it is pretty hard to miss.


Cattedrale di San Lorenzo - Duomo di Genova

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo-Duomo di Genova

The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo - Duomo di Genova is a cathedral with many war memories and old artifacts. If you explore the entire church, you can still see the floor from the time it was made in the medieval era. You can also find a World War II bomb fired by the British Allied Forces in the church that has not exploded and has been preserved in this sacred place. Here there are lots of local crafts of gold and silver from the time of the construction of the church and some centuries later. The exhibit works are all stunning and spectacular. You can attend a holy service in a variety of languages every Sunday.


Via Garibaldi

The Via Garibaldi is a brilliant street that houses 13 wonderful palaces of the late sixteenth century. It has existed for more 'than 400 years on this straight of 250 meters and seems to say “come and visit the wonders that we contain.” The uniqueness of the road, the concentration of monuments in one place, the many different kinds of art, and the Renaissance age palaces with their beautiful facades are the real attraction. At night, when the road is not crowded with eager tourists, wanted to take pictures, it evokes an air of the past, and you feel like you are being transported into medieval times.

Via Garibaldi

Via Garibaldi is more commonly known as the road where the principal buildings of Genoa reside. The buildings are very well maintained and  are a great place to visit. There is always something interesting to see; shows, movies, theater, music, and cultural events are highlights of the nightlife.


Palazzi dei Rolli

The Palazzi dei Rolli is a recognized an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a distinctive feature of the ancient Republic of Genoa. In 1576, the Republic proposed that the wealthy and noble families enroll their palaces in Roles (then called Rolli) of housing that can offer hospitality to famous people passing through the city of Genoa.

Palazzi dei Rolli

They established categories of housing; dependent on the importance of the individual that they will host: kings, cardinals, governors, generals, bankers, and merchants. The Rolli palaces were included in the 42. Today some are publicly owned (Royal Palace, former palace Balbi, Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, and Palazzo Tursi) and are home to museums and art galleries, while others are still privately owned.


Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale)

The Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale) is an enchanting palace built in the 1600s. Stefano Balbi designed it, then sold to the Durazzo family. After the annexation of Genoa to the Kingdom of Sardinia, (The House of Savoy), it was turned into a royal residence. Here King Charles Felix loved to stay so much so that it was said he wanted to move the capital of the kingdom from Turin to Genoa. The interior has beautiful gardens, with views of the harbor, and still contains all the original furniture of its long history. On the first two floors, there is a fascinating art gallery with paintings by Genoese artists from the seventeenth century, as well as Tintoretto, Van Dyck, and others. There is also a small gallery of modern statues. All of this is worth a visit when in Genoa City.

Royal Palace Museum

Genoa is an elegant city with a magnificent historical center, idyllic beaches, mansions and narrow alleys, and charming promenade areas. Significant areas include the elevator rides that take you to the new town (Spianata Castelleto), where at the top you can enjoy a magnificent view of the old port and commercial center. The attractions are many, making it a multifaceted city for lovers of architecture, history, culture, and modern and interactive social exhibitions. You will find almost every part of the city channels the rich history of the sixteenth century, mainly along the streets Garibaldi and Balbi.

It is truly an amazing city, where the desire to go back and visit remains after seeing each attraction. Genoa has great panoramic scenes and is oftentimes called the “gray city” because of the gray roof houses that complement the views of the ocean. Do not forget your camera and get ready to explore! 

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