Genoa is a bustling city and the capital of the Italian region of Liguria. With the title of Italy’s sixth largest city, Genoa has some impressive sights and an eventful past.

The city is rich in history, culture and art. It lies in the heart of the Italian Riviera and is the birthplace of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus.

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay/dexmac)

The city’s indigenous composers also contribute to its impressive music history.

Genoa is considered a top travel destination and you will quickly understand why. There are beautiful palaces, districts, churches and many opportunities for therapy by trade.

Here are nine of the best places to explore when in Genoa, Italy.

1. Porta Soprana

(Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/StefanoPiemonte)

In the past Genoa had huge walls around the city. Over time, these walls were expanded and became the longest city walls in the country. Although much of these ancient walls have been destroyed, some parts remain near the Porta Soprana gate. This place is visible from many parts of the city.

Highlight: This beautiful place offers great photo opportunities.

2. Piazza de Ferrari

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay/dexmac)

Piazza De Ferrari is located in the city centre and offers interesting sights. It is also known for its large symmetrical fountain, which has been renovated in recent years.

Many buildings surround the square, including the Carlo Felice Theatre, the Doge’s Palace and the Genoa Stock Exchange.

Tip: Throw some coins in the fountain or relax at the cafe and watch someone.

3. Cathedral of San Lorenzo

(Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/cormac70)

The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is known to the locals as the Genoese Cathedral. The church is large and beautiful in structure. It was made of marble striped in different shades of pink, green, black and white.

The bright colours make the church even more beautiful than it already is, but don’t put your camera aside just yet. Once inside you will see an incredible ceiling, richly decorated with colorful paintings and frescoes.

Tip: Sit down to pray or just reflect on the beauty of the world around you.

4. Piazza Matteotti

(Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/magro_kr)

Located near Piazza Ferrari, this hotel offers amazing historical sights. On one side is the Doge’s Palace and on the other the breathtaking Cathedral of San Lorenzo.

There are also local markets and restaurants nearby.

Tip: At the open markets you can buy wine, furniture, food and ceramics.

READ MORE: 5 things to do on a cruise to Rome.

5. Genoa Aquarium

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay/Mirkobozato)

You will find this aquarium in the main port. It is assumed that the largest number of aquatic plant species in Europe can be found here. The Aquarium of Genoa has 71 aquariums with 15,000 aquatic animals.

The ponds and exhibits are well maintained and mimic the ideal habitat of each species.

Highlight: Discover sharks, fish and much more, with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Genoa.

6. Forte Begato

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Bruno)

The Forte Begato was built in 1818 and still exists today. This fortress is situated on top of a hill in the northern part of Genoa. It was designed for defensive purposes, which later proved unnecessary. Afterwards it was used as a prison.

Although it is closed to the public, visitors can enjoy the fascinating view from outside.

Tip: Climb to the top of Forte Begato and enjoy the spectacular view over the city.

7. Genoa Maritime Museum

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Gary Bembridge)

The naval forces of Genoa were once very powerful. It is therefore not surprising that this city houses the largest maritime museum in Europe.

The Maritime Museum of Genoa, which has four floors, is an interesting and informative place with its exhibitions and historical objects.

The exhibits in the museum are incredibly interesting. One room contains numerous atlases and globes, another an old galley. Other rooms exhibit marine instruments and objects from shipwrecks.

Highlights: In one of the docks you can explore a military submarine.

8. Via Garibaldi

(Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/damian entwistle)

Stroll the streets of Via Garibaldi, filled with incredible architecture. Genoa is very famous for its 42 palaces, including the Palazzo Rosso, the Palazzo Bianco, the Palazzo Pantaleo and the Palazzo Doria Turci.

Highlights: Rossi, Tursi and Bianco are open to the public. Inside you can see many wonderful art collections that reflect the history of Genoa.

9. Eduardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Daderot)

The Museum of Oriental Art Edoardo Chiossone is located in the centre of the Negro Park in Villetta, near Piazza del Portello. It has the largest collection of Asian art in the region and is very different from other museums in the city. There is also a large collection of Japanese masks.

Tours can be booked in advance and it is recommended to go in the morning as it is less crowded.

Highlights: Japanese armour and weapons, Buddhist sculptures and Asian paintings.

READ MORE: 5 things to do in Venice on a cruise ship

Although Genoa is not as frequently visited as other Italian cities, there is much to see, including beautiful architecture and many museums. It’s definitely worth a visit.

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