Genoa was founded by the Ligurians and had already by the 5th century BC developed into one of the most important ports. It maintained close trading links with the Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, and Carthaginians. Genoa was rebuilt with the help of the Romans after its destruction.
Genoa is the capital of Liguria as well as its economic and cultural heart. The city lies at the northernmost point of the Gulf of Genoa in the middle of an arc in the Ligurian coast. Genoa is named la Superba (the proud) and has the largest merchant harbour in Italy. It is the third most important industrial city in Italy after Milan and Turin.
The city of Genoa stretches over a length of 33,5 km along the coast fromVoltri in the West to Nervi in the East. To the North the city rises in a wide semi-circle along the slopes of the Ligurian Alps. Several bridges and tunnels make sure that despite the difficult topography of the city and sometimes chaotic building style that each part is connected to the other.
The Middle Age historical centre around S. Lorenzo cathedral is a maze of noisy, narrow and steep streets. Its loud and colourful life extends from the East of the harbour. The area to the north of the historical centre is an impressive document to the Renaissance and the Baroque. Two skyscrapers built in the 19th/20th century form a landmark to the East of the historical centre. The inner city is surrounded by new areas of the city. Part of this area contains spectacular modern buildings, villas and gardens which punctuate the uniformity of apartments and factories surrounding the city. To protect itself from land attacks, Genoa has been surrounded by a 15km long wall since the 17th century.
Casa di Cristoforo di Columbo (House of Christopher Columbus)
Here Christopher Columbus spent his childhood.
Cattedrale San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Cathedral)
The history of the building of this church stretches over several centuries. In the treasury museum one can see the priceless treasures of the cathedral. (Mo. Sa. 9.00 12.00h, 15.00 18.00h)
117m high in the Southwest of the harbour this is one of the oldest lighthouses in Europe (12thC). (Information Tel:+39 010/2465346)
Piazza San Matteo
In the middle of an area of Genoa that was dominated by the merchant family Doria there are many Palaces of the family. Moreover, the Romanesque black and white striped church with the tomb of Andre Doria is typical for the North Tyrrheanean coastal city.
Santa Maria di Castello
In the oldest part of Genoa nestling in a maze of narrow streets and steps is the oldest Marian cult site in the city. It originates from the 6th century.
Acquario di Genoa
The largest aquarium in Europe is situated in the harbour of Genoa.
Civico Museo Navale (Civil Maritime Museum)
Gives a history of navigation containing authentic navigation materials from the Middle Ages to the epoch of the present day transatlantic cruisers. In 11 exhibition halls.
Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso
Two splendid palaces with superb artistic collections including artists such as Brea, Tizian, Strozzi, Caravaggio, Dürer and Rubens. (Tue, Thur, Fr,...Wed, Sat,...Sun)
The palace of the rulers from the 17th 18th century was recently restored and is meanwhile one of the cultural centres of Genoa where numerous exhibitions take place.
In this palace of the Savoy family there is a collection of precious tapestries, Rococo and Baroque furniture as well as works from Flemish and Italian masters. (eg. van Dyck, Guercino, Guido Reni, Tintoreto u.a.)