Coastal view of the Boccadasse district of Genoa, Italy
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Cruise to Genoa, Italy

The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa is a medieval city that's made a splash in the modern world. Stumble upon architectural gems like the San Lorenzo Cathedral, with its black-and-white striped facade, and monumental squares like Piazza de Ferrari. The harborside aquarium is the second-largest in Europe — head there to see a bastion of biodiversity, complete with sharks, dolphins and penguins. The Lanterna is the city's main lighthouse, and the adjacent Museum will get you familiar with the history of the port and city. Walk among the colorful houses and cobbled streets, and poke your head into one of the excellent restaurants there for a Genoese specialty dish like pansotti, a ravioli-like pasta served with walnut sauce.
National Language Italian
Currency Accepted Euro (EUR)

Things To Do in Genoa

View of the Bigo Elevator in the Port of Genoa, Italy

Genoa, Italy, Bigo Elevator

See What's Under the Sea

See What's Under the Sea

Housed in a ship-like structure, the Genoa Aquarium is home to diverse species of jellyfish, stingrays and colorful fish in aquatic ecosystem displays. After you're done, head to the Galata Museum, which has a moored submarine, original artifacts and ships. Hop on the Bigo lift to be elevated to a full-circle view of Genoa.

Close up of the décor of the Palace of St. George in Genoa, Italy

Genoa, Italy, Palace of St. George

History Al Fresco

History Al Fresco

In Genoa's historic center, pause and admire the fresco of St. George at Palazzo San Giorgio, one of the first banks in Europe. Take a whiff of the wave of aromas coming from the typical botteghe and street stands as you wander to the majestic Gothic Cathedral San Lorenzo. Visit the Columbus Museum, make your way to the Palazzo Ducale, then go up to the Grimaldi Tower to savor a spectacular view of the city.

View of a seaside village in Cinque Terre

Genoa, Italy, Cinque Terre

On a Cliff's Edge

Close by, you can jump on the train to Monterosso and explore Cinque Terre (or the five cities). Adventure through these cliffside villages to find one of the very fine trattorie offering the freshest seafood accompanied by their local white wines.

A plate of faina

Genoa, Italy, Faina Dish

Local Cuisine

Genoa is home to the world-famous basil-based condiment pesto. But walnut sauce is the region's other great invention — enjoy it atop gnocchi or pansotti, a ravioli stuffed with greens and herbs. Stop by a street vendor for freshly fried calamari and anchovies or farinata, a flatbread made from chickpea flour. Seek out stoccafisso, cod prepared with pine nuts, olives, tomatoes and potatoes.

An assortment of souvenir cat statues

Genoa, Italy, Souvenir cat statues

Shopping

The historic district's carrugi, or cobblestone alleyways, are the place to go for shopping in Genoa. Peek into the old-school workshops where you can see artisans craft leather shoes and bags, gold jewelry and hand-tailored clothing. Look for a mezzaro genovese, a decorative tapestry based on the ornate shawls that came into Genoa from India during 18th-century trade. Playful cat statues are also a distinctive Ligurian trinket — you can find them here and in nearby Cinque Terre.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 From the port, you can walk to the historic center or take the train from Principe Station. A cab ride is about 10 Euro.
2 Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the city is best seen by foot and situated on a hill.
3 The city is big, so prepare an itinerary beforehand.

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