Comprising verdant terraces along northern Italy’s hilly coastline, Genoa is the capital of the Italian Riviera and the country’s best-kept secret. The largest city along the scenic Ligurian coastline, it’s a place that truly deserves its nickname ‘La Superba’.
Genoa holidays are a wonderful opportunity to explore this pretty port. Its sunset-hued pink, orange and red buildings stretch for 15 miles along the waterfront, where photogenic boats bob about in the harbour. There are also some magnificent palaces (some of which are listed as Unesco World Heritage Sites), domed cathedrals, grand piazzas and baroque mansions to visit. Genoa was hugely significant as a trading port during the Middle Ages, and has Italy’s largest and best-preserved medieval town centre, where atmospheric lanes wind up and down the hills.
Besides its many attractions, holidays to Genoa can act as a springboard for day trips to smaller towns along the coast. One of the best is a boat tour to pastel-painted Portofino, where you’ll be rewarded with magnificent vistas of coastal villages and stately villas. Offering the romance of the Italian Riviera, a hefty dose of fascinating history and an easy gateway to explore the rest of Liguria, Genoa is perhaps the ultimate Italian city break.
Genoa’s fabulous Cathedral of San Lorenzo is clad in black-and-white marble, flanked by carved lions and houses an unexploded World War II bomb, which fell here in 1941.
Magical streets of Genoa
Take a stroll through the streets of Via Garibaldi and discover the charm of its Unesco-listed palaces. With 42 to choose from, the historic beauty of this area is enchanting.
Renzo Piano’s work
At the port you’ll see the Biosfera, a globe-shaped greenhouse, and Il Bigo, a suspended cabin, both masterminded by the acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano.