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A City to Discover

Genoa bridges between old and new, and acts as a threshold between European and Mediterranean worlds. Fascinating and enigmatic, it is a layered city that calls for exploration.

piazza de ferrari with school class
A city of old and new, always in relationship with the sea (view of the city from the Spianata di Castelletto)

'Old' City

The centro storico or historic center is, by some accounts, the largest intact and active medieval quarter in Europe. It is a dense labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys called caruggi populated by Italians and non-Italians, residents and migrants, with small shops and restaurants of every sort and some of the finest palaces and most squalid residences within close proximity to one another. It offers multiple, overlapping views of an Italian city that lives simultaneously with its past, its present and its emerging future.

via garibaldi
Via Garibaldi is lined with Renaissance palaces built during Genoa's Golden Age (1500-1600s), now a Unesco World Heritage Site
12th century 'sottoripa', a medieval arcade by the port still used for normal day-to-day activities and selling marine supplies
fontane marose, scooter
Renaissance palace on Piazza Fontane Marose, with shared electric scooter
piazza banchi
Piazza Banchi
piazza delle vigne
Piazza delle Vigne

'Modern' City

The modern urban expansion of Genoa was begun in the 19th century outside the dense medieval quarter with the establishment of Piazza De Ferrari and the monumentalizing of Via XX Settembre to make it the main street of the city. As well as the "old" Palazzo Ducale, around Piazza De Ferrari there are the Teatro Carlo Felice and its companion Galleria Mazzini, the Ligurian Academy of Fine Arts, and the New Stock Exchange, all signs of the changing social structure of the new nation.

piazza de ferrari with school class
Piazza De Ferrari, the center of the modern city of 19th and 20th century transformation
via xx settembre and ponte monumentale
Via XX Settembre and the 'Ponte Monumentale" (monumental bridge, 1900s) that replaced the old city wall and fortified gate (1500s)
via xx settembre portico
Porticoed shopping street of Via XX Settembre (with H&M, Zara, etc.)
piazza dante rationalist
Modern architecture from the 1930s on Piazza Dante and Via Ceccardi
piazza della vittoria
Piazza della Vittoria, built in the 1930s as part of Mussolini's agenda to modernize Italy and recall its monumental past

Port & Expo

The port is the reason Genoa exists, and is still vital to its everyday life and economy. Closed to the public until the 'Expo' area was created for public use for the 1992 Columbus celebration, now it is one of the most frequented places in Genoa (from the Aquarium to Eataly) and constitutes an area of its greatest ongoing renewal.
genoa port
Port of Genoa, with container, cruise and ferry ships, and marina for pleasure craft, adjacent to the Expo area with public activities
Promenade alongside Genoa Aquarium
expo area by port
Public space at the Expo area, a transformation of the commercial/industrial port in 1992
expo bonano tsunami
Expo area at the port, with people taking an aperitivo at 'Banano Tsunami'
expo island barges
Enjoying the sunset on the floating 'Isola delle Chiatte' (Island of Barges)

Ports of Genoa

Genova, Pra’, Savona, Vado Ligure


  • 68.1 million     Total Throughput (tons)
  • 2.7 million      Container Traffic (TEUs)
  • 4.5 million      Passengers (pax)
  • 15.3 million     General Cargo (tons)



Genoa, Pra’, Savona and Vado Ligure, the ports of the Western Ligurian Sea - grouped together under the banner Ports of Genoa - rank as Italy’s pre-eminent port range in terms of total throughput, product diversity and economic output. Since 2017 the ports have been governed by a single Port Authority which is committed to offering the highest standards of service to operators and clients alike, improving efficiency by simplifying administrative procedures and setting out terms and conditions of port redevelopment to enhance port competitiveness.

Strategically located in the northernmost point of the Mediterranean Sea at the heart of Europe, easily accessible overland across fast road and rail connections and by sea across the ultra-large container vessels which can dock in the ports’ natural deepwater, the Ports of Genoa are equipped to consolidate their leadership as the premier Mediterranean gateway to the major consumer centers in Europe. The industrial heartland of Europe sits within a 600-km range of the ports: Switzerland, Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, Austria.

(from: ports of genoa information-pdf)

Port of Genoa, with 'Lanterna' and hills beyond


(all within Genoa's city limits)
genova-nervi seawalk
Genova-Nervi, with small beach clubs along the Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi, a 2 km walk along the sea
boccadasse and coast
Boccadasse, a small fishing village now inside the city of Genoa proper
hills and forts beyond the city
The hills containing the city, with the old city wall and forts along the ridge
parco delle mura - runner
Runner in the Parco delle Mura (park of the city walls and forts) with Genoa and sea beyond...
parco delle mura - runner
...and same runner, heading out on trail towards Forte Diamante

Genoa's Grandi Eventi (Big Events)

Rolli Days

rolli days

Two weekends each year, 130,000 visitors over three days during October 2019.

During Genoa's period of enormous economic prosperity during the 16th and 17th century, the major families commissioned palaces along the 'New Street' (Strada Nuova), now Via Garibaldi, while other important families ordered similar constructions or renovations. (Peter Paul Rubens published drawings of these palaces, which influenced palace architecture throughout Europe.) These Genoese palaces were included in the 'Rolli' (Lists) and were available to host visiting nobility and dignitaries, with the finest palaces going to the guests of the highest status.

42 of the 163 extant palaces of the 'Palazzi dei Rolli' system were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Twice a year for one weekend the palaces are open to the public during the 'Rolli Days'.

Festival of Science

festival of science logo

An annual event, 10 days, 210,000 participants in 2019

A fixed point of reference for science dissemination. A great opportunity to meet for researchers, science enthusiasts, schools and families. One of the major international scientific events.

In 2019 there were 210,000 people including 25,000 students, 40,000 at Palazzo Ducale and 30,000 at Old Harbor area, 27% more than 2018. 280 events, 85 laboratories and more than 45 exhibitions and performances. The 2020 XVIII edition’s keyword is “Onde”, Waves, and will be held from October 22nd to November 1st. (From Festival of Science website)

Salone Nautico / International Boat Show

salone nautico 2020

An annual event, 6 days,  188,000 visitors in 2019

The Genoa Boat Show will be held from 1st to 6th October 2020 for its 60th edition.

As the largest event on the Mediterranean, the Genoa Boat Show is the world’s number one showcase for the very best the Made in Italy brand has to offer, welcoming every year industry professionals and boating enthusiasts alike to over 200,000 square metres of display area on land and sea.




Event held every five years, with a special edition in 2021, 2 weeks, 285,000 visitors in 2018

Elegance, prestige, beauty. These are the style notes describing Euroflora for over 50 years. The most spectacular European flower show returns, in 2021, to the Parchi and Musei di Nervi, in Genoa to give visitors a unique experience. The great protagonist is nature in all its forms. Examples of magnificent colors, audacious floral geometry, works of art and exotic charm in an evocative context of great historical and landscape value. Euroflora 2021 will be a voyage of rare beauty, where surprise and marvel will accompany visitors through enchanted gardens and breath-taking views of the sea.