Places to visit in Genoa

Genoa Airport is an important gateway to Italy’s beautiful Liguria region, and handles over five million passengers per year. Many of these passengers are tourists who come to enjoy the sights and attractions in Genoa and its surrounding towns, villages and resorts. Genoa is a typical Italian city filled with magical sights. There are breathtaking cathedrals, large public squares which offer plenty of tourism opportunities, history and culture to be explored at the many fascinating museums, and even an aquarium, complete with dolphins and other marine life which always delights adults and children alike.

This aquarium in Genoa is one of the best in Italy. It features a wide range of aquatic creatures, such as penguins, jellyfish, turtles, eels, crabs and seals. The children always especially enjoy the dolphins, and they can even help staff at the aquarium to feed the animals at special feeding times. There is plenty to see here, so visitors are advised to allow at least a few hours to spend with the animals. The Acquario is located at Ponte Spinola, and is open to the public from September to June, 09:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday, and from 08:45 to 19:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. During July and August it is open from 09:30 to 23:00.

Along with the aquarium, Genoa visitors should go to the Biosfera (Biosphere) in Porto Antico. This attraction is a large, dome-shaped greenhouse with its own tropical atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy the exotic birds that live here, as well as the colorful butterflies and wide range of plant life. The greenhouse is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 09:30 to 18:30.

A favorite attraction which children also love is the Il Galeone Neptune, a pirate ship which was built to use in the film ‘Pirates’. Visitors are free to thoroughly explore the ship, and wonder what it would be like to be a Genoese pirate.

Just like many other Italian cities, Genoa is proud of some exquisite religious buildings. Two of the most popular are the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Chiesa del Gesù. The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo can be found in the Piazza San Lorenzo, and features a distinctive black and white striped facade. It also features a smaller chapel inside of it, and this is called the Capella del San Giovanni Battista, and is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The Chiesa del Gesù is a church, which has survived from the 16th century, and was originally the seat of the Jesuit in Genoa. There are interesting works of art which hang over the alter and in the chapel of the church. Both of these buildings can be visited and admired for free.

Genoa Airport is also known as Cristoforo Colombo Airport, and is named after the great and famous explorer Christopher Columbus. His house can be found next to Genoa’s Porta Soprana, and is called the ‘Casa di Colombo’. This small house was completely reconstructed in the 18th century, but today is still furnished in a similar style as to what was popular in the childhood days of Christopher Columbus. This attraction is free to visit, and open on Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 to 12:00, and from 14:00 to 18:00.

Genoa’s most impressive museums are collectively located on one street, and are called the Musei di Strada Nuova. They can be found on Via Garibaldi, and create a unique cultural experience. Of course the most popular may be the Galata Museo del Mare, which depicts the exploits of Christopher Columbus, as well as displays many other traditional and maritime exhibits. It is a huge museum, actually the largest in the Mediterranean, and extends over four floors. The museum is built in a renovated 17th century dock building. Another favorite feature is the 17th century Genoese gallery ship, which can be explored along with the museum. Other popular museums in Genoa include the Museo Palazzo Doria-Tursi, a museum devoted to a famous Genoa musician (Niccolo Paganini), Museo delle Culturo del Mondo, the Museum of World Cultures, and the Museo del Tesoro, featuring objects which are related to St. John the Baptist.

Within the city of Genoa there are many tranquil areas which are perfect for a picnic or a relaxing walk. Many of the parks in Genoa, which are now enjoyed by the public, were once owned by the wealthiest of Genoese families. The Parchi di Nervi hosts the International Ballet Festival in the summer, and is beautifully decorated with fountains, rose gardens and English lawns. It is the largest park in Genoa. A few sporting activities can be enjoyed at the Parco dell’Acquasola, as there are areas for skaters and cyclists, football pitches, bowling greens and even an athletics track. The children can enjoy the open spaces and play in the playground. The park has beautiful tree-lined pathways and a lake. Other parks and gardens in Genoa include the Orto Botanico, with 300 species of exotic plants and trees, and the Parco della Villetta Di Negro. The Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno at Piazzale Resasco is the main cemetery of Genoa, and it features some amazing sculptures and monuments.

There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Genoa. Tourists are especially fond of the specialty shops which are found in Old Town Genoa, which sell everything from luxurious chocolates to fine silver and gold jewelry. For those who love to buy clothing, Via XX Settembre in central Genoa has a range of large department stores, including UPIM and COIN. There is also an abundance of shoe shops in Genoa. One of Genoa’s popular markets for fresh produce is the vibrant Mercato Orientale.

When arriving at Genoa Airport, tourists can find out more information about Genoa’s attractions, as well as the wonderful places to visit nearby Genoa, at the Reception desk of the airport. It is available from Monday to Sunday between the hours of 09:00 and 13:00, and again between 13:30 and 17:30.