Situated on the Mediterranean coast in northern Italy, the ancient maritime city of Genoa offers a unique insight into Italy’s past and its present. This seaside metropolis, nicknamed La Superba (The Superb One) because of its many impressive and magnificent landmarks; and the brightly coloured houses of Genoa are muddled in besides hanging gardens, imposing palaces, sacred cathedrals and the crumbling remains of the town walls. In fact parts of Genoa’s Old Town are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
If you are looking for an Italian city break, but wish to find somewhere with less tourists than Florence or Venice, Genoa may serve as a wonderful base from which to explore the Italian Riviera. With easy access to much of the rest of Italy by train, you can even combine a stay here with a day trip to Milan or into Tuscany.
The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa was named Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2004 because it’s a city brimming with art, music, gastronomy, literature, architecture and history. This ensures that any visitors leave Genoa with an incredibly vivid image of its people and this singular city. This city has a mild Mediterranean climate, meaning there are rarely any sudden changes in temperature and Genoans enjoy long, hot summer days and cool winters.
Holiday in Genoa
Being a city that is large, but not too large, Genoa has activities and sights that will delight any visitor – whatever their tastes. Spend a day just sauntering along narrow streets looking for hidden sights and peeking into the windows of boutiques, or go all out and hit the racks visiting every designer store, food market and antique dealer you come across. Keep in mind however that Genoa is a hilly city, so you may find yourself walking uphill fairly regularly.
If you’d rather learn more about this ancient port’s history, then you best begin by visiting the amazingly well-preserved centre in the medieval quarter. Here you can find frescoes, the town’s old stone entry gate, museums and cathedrals where you can learn how Genoans lived and worshipped centuries ago. The Ducal Palace was once home to the Doges of Genoa, and is today a cultural centre and museum – a must for any history buff.
If you are looking for something fun for the kids to do, many of the locals take their children to one of Genoa’s public pools, and if they were good maybe some gelato from one of the ice cream vendors for afters.
Renting holiday accommodation in Genoa
The colourful and vibrant city of Genoa is best explored while renting your own holiday villa. Whether you are looking for a trendy flat downtown near all the action, or a seafront apartment with views over the Mediterranean, a holiday rental property allows much more leeway to custom-make your dream city break. And nothing beats being able to take all the ingredients you have bought that day from the local food market and whip up a feast in your very own kitchen.