Genoa On the Road

Genoa, Italy
Genoa is one of Italy’s major seaports, with around 620,000 people living in its sunny streets. Most believe that Genoa was founded by the two headed giano who was the protector of ships and coins. The city is said to look both inland and out to sea, having thus two faces (heads). Genoa is also rumoured to be the birth place of Christopher Columbus around the year of 1450. In the beginning Genoa was a fishing town, but it became a strong maritime power and one of Europe’s wealthiest cities during the Renaissance. Now it's a bustling city with a rich past and a mix of old and new, recently named the European City of Culture in 2004 and undergoing an urban rejuvenation with major renovations on public spaces. The town is also home to Renzo Piano, a famous Italian architect, who redesigned the city’s old port area.

It's easy now to catch glimpses of the old glory days by walking along the narrow streets, or vicoli. The first place to visit would be the area of Old Harbor, which, even with the ugly autrostrada cutting overhead, cuts a striking figure. Renzo Piano’s contribution to the redesign helped give this once run-down area a makeover. Here, you’ll find the second-largest aquarium in Europe and La Laterna (the lighthouse).

The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Cemetery of Staglieno are both beautiful places to see, especially the Cathedral’s stunning black and white design. The Museo d' Artte Oreintale has a large collection of Japanese works such as stage masks, musical instruments, costumes and so much more. Other museums to see would be the Galleria Mazzini and Palazzo Bianco.

Food is always good in Italy - and Genoa doesn’t disappoint with specialities from the Liguria area. There’s pesto trofia, or trenette pasta cooked with potatoes and green beans. There’s also Cima alla Genovese which is a veal breast stuffed with herbs and vegetables served cold. Of course there's good seafood dishes as well, seeing that Genoa is right on the coast. And don’t forget dessert - Genoa is known for panna cotta which is similar to a pudding made from cream.

For late nightlife after dinner there are concerts, performances, bars, clubs and more. Wander around the streets near the Piazza delle Erbe. Here is where the locals and tourists stroll along, both young and old, hitting pubs and bars. If you enjoy dancing there is Covo di Nord-est and other dance clubs which have good DJ's … but remember that Italy knows how to dress so don't go in jeans and tennis shoes.