Genoa, Italy: Ancient Meets Modern, Italian Style

Genoa, Italy… Seedy, narrow streets. Awe-inspiring palaces. Super-modern cruise terminals. Mediterranean colours. Such is the world of contrasts in this very interesting, largest northwestern Italian port. Climbing the hills that rise from the coast, it is a mix of old, colourful houses, painted in ochre and red, and modern buildings and a huge port which have brought Genoa immense wealth over the centuries.

Its history dates back to ancient times. Over the centuries it has been conquered by countless powers, but in the times of Renaissance it achieved its glory – and became known as “La Superba”.

It was the largest and most important commercial port, and was one of the Maritime Republics (its fierce competitor has been Venice).

Its banking and trade developed strongly, despite frequent wars and battles for independence.

Bigo, the Panoramic Lift in Genoa, Italy - Designed by the Genoa native superstar architect, Renzo Piano and situated in the Old Port of Genoa offers great views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.Bigo Panoramic Lift in Genoa

It is the capital of Liguria, the very picturesque region of northwestern Italy, and is close to the famous resorts such as Portofino and Camogli.

It is the home port for many MSC Cruises ships, in direct competition with Costa Cruises home port of Savona, just 55 km/34 miles to the west.

Walking the streets of Genoa is like going back in time for centuries.

Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa, Italy - It is Genoa's main square, with the wonderful fountain in the center. It is situated between the modern and historical part of the city and surrounded by impressive cultural and historic buildings, as well as cafes and bars.Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa

You can feel the abundance walking by the magnificent palaces of the Renaissance period, but also feel the energy and tension of the narrow, dark streets, the kingdom of sailors and bars, sometimes frequented by shady-looking characters.

Its center is part of the UN World Heritage, and it has the largest Aquarium in the Mediterranean designed by Renzo Piano, the famous architect from this city.

Old Port of Genoa, Italy - This old port overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is a must-see attraction in Genoa. Walk along the waterfront and enjoy Genoa's cultural scene, Grande Bigo - a panoramic lift, wonderful views and the Aquarium (one of the biggest aquariums in Europe).Old Port of Genoa

Finally, the city claims that Christopher Columbus was born here. There is a house believed to be the one where he was born.

Believe the legend. It’s inspiring.

Genoa is the place that will fill you up with that strange energy to look for bigger things in life. Enjoy it!

Where is Genoa?


  • 111.8 miles/ 180 km from Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • 149.1 miles/ 240 km from Florence, Italy
  • 120.5 miles/ 194 km from Nice, France
  • 88.2 miles/ 142 km from Milan, Italy
  • 7.4 miles/ 12 km from Genoa Airport, Italy
  • 126.7 miles/ 204 km from Nice Cote d’Azur Airport, France
  • 125.5 miles/ 202 km from Milan Bergamo Airport, Italy
  • 114.3 miles/ 184 km from Milan-Malpensa Airport, Italy
  • 95 miles/153 km from Milan Linate Airport, Italy

Things to See

Historical Center of Genoa, Italy - A true labyrinth of narrow streets called caruggi lead into many unexpected squares and house numerous noble mentions which have been converted into art galleries.Historical center of Genoa
  • Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello
  • Castello D’Albertis
  • Piazza de Ferrari
  • St. Lawrence Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
  • Museum-Palaces in via Garibaldi (the street known as Strada Nuova)
  • Palazzo Lomellino (Podestà)
  • Galleria Nazionale
  • Renzo Piano’s Masterpieces (Aquarium, Bigo, The Sphere (la Bolla))
  • Old Town
  • Old Port (Porto Antico)


  • Moneglia Beaches
  • Cavi di Lavagna Beaches
  • Chiavari Beaches


  • City walking or bus tours
  • Portofino
  • Cinque Terre National Park
  • Camogli

Cruise And Stay Holidays

If you’re cruising the Mediterranean by ship, Genoa is the departure port for a number of cruises. As such, the city is a very interesting place to cruise and stay, either before or after your Mediterranean cruise.

You can explore the city itself, as you have a good two-days-worth of things to see, but you can also visit many of the surrounding gems, making the most of your trip to this region.

The small fishing villages are remarkable in their persistence throughout history, and you will bring many nice memories from those places.

We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!