Genoa used to be one of the fourth maritime Republic (Venice, Pisa and Amalfi) and is renowned for being the hometown of Christopher Colombus. The city has been founded in the 4th century BC.
The main square of the city is Piazza de Ferrari where the Palazzo Ducale is located which used to be the seat of rulers, now it hosts shops, restaurants and cultural events and initiatives. In the square are also located the Carlo Felice Theatre, one of the most well-known opera houses in Italy, and the Museo dell’Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti.
A short distance away is located the Cathedral of San Lorenzo built in 1118 but its dome and bell tower have been added in the 16th century, the facade has a Pisan Style with black and white stripes. Inside the Cathedral you can also visit the Chapel of John the Baptist and the Museo del Tesoro with reliquary and artifacts of the time of the maritime empire.
In the old Genoa you can stroll around the Caruggi, narrow twisted streets which are characteristic of Genoa and of some towns in the neighborhood.
The Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale) dates back to 1650 but became a royal residence for the Savoia family around 1840. The palace is full of sculptures and paintings, although the king modified some of the rooms changing the original design, particularly worthy of attention are the Halls of Mirros and the Throne Room.
The National Gallery (Galleria Nazionale) used to be a private residence, first for the Grimaldi and then Spinola family, now hosts a great art collection but is also renowned for its internal decorations.
Nearby are located the Galleria Civica di Palazzo Rosso and the Museo Civico di Palazzo Bianco: the former, has a stunning collection of paintings of artists such as Veronese, Reni, Van Dyck and frescos of Ferrari and Piola; the latter, has a variety of paintings of Italian and European artists (Dutch, Flemish and Spanish).
The city hosts an amazing collection of museums like the Museo delle Culture del Mondo (Museum of World Culture) inside the Castello d’Albertis with a whole range of curiosities from all over the world belonged to the Captain Enrico D’albertis; the Museo d’Arte Orientale (Oriental Art Museum) which is one of the biggest Museum of Japanese art in Europe; the Museo dell’Antartide which is the only Museum in Europe entirely dedicated to Antarctica; the Galata Museo del Mare follows the step of the city from the beginning till the present day.
In the port is also located the Aquarium opened in 1992 for the 500th anniversary of the Discovery of America is one of the biggest in Europe and a major attraction of the City.
In the old port of the city you can visit the Lighthouse or La Lanterna built in 1544 is an important symbol of the city. You can also visit the Neptune Galleon, a working reproduction of a 17th century Galleon built in 1968 for Roman Polanski’s movie Pirates.
During your stay don’t forget to try Pesto a genuine and delicious sauce consisting of garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and Pecorino cheese (sheep’s cheese). It is traditionally prepared in a marble mortar with a pounder, you can use it as a condiment for Trofie, Genoese typical short and twisted pasta.