The city of Genoa, its great charm and culture, one of Europe’s busiest ports and largest medieval historic city center. Here you can explore incomparable art treasures and architectural gems like the Rolli Places, 50 ancient residences of the Genoese noble families today listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Itineraries and Attractions.
The historic city center.
From Port Antico several of the city’s main tourist attractions are a short and easy walk away.
Just outside Porto Antico, visit the medieval S. George’s Palace, used in a myriad of ways throughout the centuries and today headquarters of Genoa’s Port Authority. Marco Polo, here, as prisoner, dictated “Il Milione” to Rustichello da Pisa.
Under the old arcades stretches Via Sottoripa, one of the city center’s most lively streets lined with typical handicraft shops; at a short distance Piazza Banchi, initially marketplace and, by the late Middle Ages, “bankers” square where financial activities were carried out on outdoor benches. Here you can admire St. Peter in Banchi’s Church and the Merchants Lodge, home to one of the first Commodities Exchange in the world and today exhibit space.
On the Square begins via degli Orefici, the old street where artisans shaped precious metals and today lined with renowned artisan shops.
Going up to Piazza De Ferrari you encounter Piazza San Matteo and St. Matthew’s Church with its special two colored marble and slate façade. A few steps away, one of the symbols of the ancient Republic of Genoa: the arcades and the medieval buildings owned by the Doria family and by Andrew, Doge and Commander of Genoa.
Palaces and ancient residences.
The New Stock Exchange and its particular Art Nouveau styled hall used today for exhibitions and meetings, the Carlo Felice Opera House. Palazzo Ducale, overlooking Piazza De Ferrari, the city’s main “square” built in the Middle Ages, was home of the Doges and ever long heart of the city; today, it is a multi-functional space, hosting numerous cultural events, exhibitions and conferences.
From the square, continuing to Via 25 Aprile, lined with fashion boutiques and to Piazza Fontane Marose you arrive in Via Garibaldi, the ancient New Road, where you can admire the most beautiful residences of the noble Genoese families decorated by great internationally renowned artists such as Rubens, plus Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso. Not far away, at Spinola Palace, visit the most important museums of the city.
Ancient and modern.
From the center of Piazza De Ferrari, Genoa’s main shopping street: Via XX Settembre. On the right, Via Dante leads to one of Genoa’s landmarks: the Soprana Gates, one the medieval city wall entrances overlooking St. Andrew’s cloister and the House of Christopher Columbus.
Going down on the left of Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Matteotti leading to Via San Lorenzo and San Lorenzo Cathedral, built in the year 800 and subsequently reconstructed and modified first in Romanesque and then Gothic style; take note of the particular façade and its two-tone color alternating marble and stone.
Continuing along Via San Lorenzo leads you back to Porto Antico and its attractions.
For more information about Genoa and its structures: