Liguria’s maritime capital is also the nation’s largest seaport, and brings together a vibrant mix of culture, history and tourism to make one of Italy’s most exciting destinations. With an area more than 500 times larger than Vatican City, Genoa is as filled with hidden delights as it is with world-rivalling attractions.
Most visits begin in the centro storico’s historic caruggi (alleyways), which wind through the medieval heart of the city. It's here Genoa can be enjoyed in all its glory, with tiny trattorie set down narrow alleys and eclectic shops spilling their wares out onto the streets. Be sure to explore, as the city’s striking duomo is hidden away here. The seafront itself is a rather more cosmopolitan affair, with shiny new attractions like Europe’s largest aquarium and an innovative viewing tower. Further along the coast is Genoa’s hidden treasure – the Boccadassee. This enchanting waterfront district is often compared with the Amalfi Coast’s Portofino, thanks to the seemingly impossible jumble of pastel colours and eclectic architecture.
There’s so much to see that you’ll need weeks to do it all. However, if you’re only there for a day, make sure you try some Genoise cake, as this light liqueur-flavoured sponge is synonymous with the city.