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Genoa

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Revision as of 20:17, 1 October 2007 by 70.148.140.42 (talk) (Splurge)
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Genoa

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Genoa (Italian, Genova) is an historical port city in northern Italy. Genoa was the European Capital of Culture for 2004.

Understand

Venice, Rome, Florence are of course the most known and admired towns in Italy. When moving to north-western Italy (Milan, Turin) it is nevertheless absolutely worth staying for a couple of days or a weekend in Genoa.

Get in

By plane

The Aeroporto di Genova - Cristoforo Colombo provides several daily flights from other major European cities such as Rome, Amsterdam, London, Munich, and Paris. From the airport it is fairly easy to rent a car or take a shuttle (bus no. 100, also called Volabus) to the city center.

By train

Genoa can be easy travelled to by train from Milan, Turin, Rome, Tuscany (Pisa, Livorno and Florence (changing train in Pisa or Viareggio)) and France (There is a direct train connecting with Nice).

By car

Coming from Milan you can reach Genoa via the A7-E62 (approx. 145 km). Mind though that the last part, from Serravalle to Genoa, is incredibly twisty, making you wonder if you’re still on the highway or accidentally have taken a wrong turn into a motordrome. It’s therefore advisable to take an alternative route, turning off the A7 at the deviation near Tortona and heading on the A26/A7, following Genova, Ventimiglia, Savona, Voltri; making it a longer (+20 km), but certainly safer and more comfortable trip, unless you want to spice up you journey and observe how (some) Italians drive. The same highway is less twisty northbound.

Coming from Turin you can either take the A6/E717 to Savona (137 km) and then go to Genoa following the beautiful, but twisty A10 coast highway (an other 45 km) or follow the Genova Piacenza indications you'll find on the ringroad heading south. This latter is the shorter alternative (170 km total), but offers fewer sightseeing opportunities.

Coming from the French Riviera just follow the highway A10 and enjoy the sight (approx 160 km from the French border).

Coming from Tuscany you can take the A12 from Rosignano to Genoa; mind that you must have snow chains on board between the gates of Carrodano and Sestri Levante when travelling from November 1st to March 31st, even though snow is seldom a problem here.

By bus

Genoa can be reached via Eurolines coach from many European countries.

By boat

Genoa is an important port, and has many ferry services. Grandi Navi Veloci crosses from Barcelona weekly, and takes about eighteen hours. It also offers a weekly crossing to Tangiers, which takes around forty-six.

Other direct ferry routes from Genoa are; Barcelona (Spain), Bastia (Corsica), Olbia, Palermo (Italy) and Porto Torres. It is best to book early to avoid over-booking on the ferries.

Get around

There regular buses servicing the whole city, but the timetables one can see at stops are not always reliable. In addition to this there is a short tube railway connecting the city center with the peripheral district of Rivarolo. With the tube connection is also possible to cross the medieval center which usually has too narrow streets (called 'caruggi') for cars or busses.

Trains travel through the whole city in the east/west direction; this is probably the best way to travel if you plan to see some peripheral districts on the coastline, as no bus travels for the whole width of the city.

The historical center is serviced by bus only around some important squares and streets (Piazza Acquaverde for Stazione di Piazza Principe, Piazza della Nunziata, Largo Zecca, Piazza Corvetto, Piazza Caricamento); caruggi are best seen on foot.

See

Museums:

  • The Aquarium [1] The biggest in Europe!
  • The Naval Museum [2]
  • Ethnographical Museum [3]
  • Museum of Modern Art - Wolfson [4]
  • Museum of Modern Art - Villa Croce [5]
  • Museums of Fine Arts - Strada Nuova - Palazzo Bianco (White Palace) [6] and Palazzo Rosso (Red Palace) [7]
  • Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art [8] The biggest European collection of oriental art.
  • Doria Museum of Natural History [9]
  • The Cathedral Museum [10]
  • Museum of St. Augustine [11] A convent displaying various medievil works of art.
  • Ligurian Archeological Museum [12]
  • Luxoro Museum [13] A private collection which houses various works of art and furniture.
  • Raccolte Frugone [14] The Nervi's former private art collection.
  • Wolfsoniana [15] A museum of modern applied arts.
  • Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) [16] Owns a historical picture gallery.
  • National Ligurian Gallery at the Spinola Palace [17]
  • Museum of the Ligurian Art Academy [18]
  • Museum at the Prince's Palace [19] Another Genovese historical art collection.
  • Ippolito National Ligurian Museum [20]
  • The Cathedral of San Lorenzo
  • The historical centre:

Genoa is known to have Europe’s biggest historical center. This is the heart of the old city. It’s made up of an incredible amount of tiny streets and alleys called Caruggi. Walking through it will plump you right back in ancient times when Genoa was the most important harbor of the Mediterranean sea. The city is generally safe, but caution is to be applied, especially at night time and in the more quiet zones toward Piazza Principe and the old harbor, due to presence of small criminality.

  • The natal house of Cristoforo Colombo. In piazza Dante you will find what is said to be the natal house of Columbus;
  • The impressive fortification belt built on the hills surrounding the city, originating in the 16th Century;
  • There is a funicular railway servicing Monte Righi, where one can have pleasant walks on the surrounding hills and to the fortifications (see above), or just admire the spectacular view of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Spianata Castelletto is a nice belvedere where one can have a pleasant view of the city and of the seaport. It can be reached by public lift from Piazza della Nunziata or on foot from that very same square.
  • Via Garibaldi (also known as Via Aurea and Strada Nuova, Golden Street and New Street) with very impressive baroque buildings. Some similar buildings are also found in Via Balbi.
  • The Old Harbour (Porto Antico), next to the Aquarium, is an entertainment area with museums, cinemas, cafés and also a beautiful promenade along the sea.
  • The Lanterna - the oldest European lighthouse and a prominent Genovese symbol
  • A lot of beautiful churches, some of which date back to the Romanesque time (San Giovanni di Pre', San Donato, Santa Maria del Castello)
  • Corso Italia - Genoa's prmenade
  • Boccadasse - a picturesque fishermen quarter
  • Castello d'Albertis [21]
  • Pallazzo Ducale Where the Dukes of Genoa used to live.

Do

Learn

Work

Buy

Eat

The vast majority of places charges service for a fixed amount per person (called 'coperto'), as is custom in Italy.

Budget

  • Trattoria Da Maria, Vico Testadoro 14 - ph. +39 010 581080 - Close to Piazza de Ferrari, traditional regional cuisine and a practical and crowded atmosphere. Possible opening for lunch only, no reservation.
  • Osteria La Lanterna, Via San Siro 12R - ph. +39 010 2461608 - Close to Via San Luca and Museo del Risorgimento, this restaurant offers mainly fish dishes at a very reasonable price.

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

  • Piazza delle Erbe: small square in the medieval center, with nice bars (5 min. walking from Piazza De Ferrari and Palazzo Ducale) open most of the nights; especially crowded on Friday (as a big part of the old town) for the student/young people night.

Sleep

Budget

  • Youth Hostel, via Costanzi 120, tel. (0039)0102422457, [email protected] (to reach from the center by bus no. 40)
  • Columbus Village Accommodations, Via XX Settembre 26/5 16121 Genova tel +39 010 8692029 (From the US 011 39 010 8692029)

An agency that rents local bed & breakfast accommodations in Genoa. They also rent accommodations in the surrounding area and short-let apartments. Reservations through their website: Columbus Village

  • Hotel Villa Bonera, Via Sarfatti, 8 - tel. +39 010.3726164, fax. +39 010.3728565 , [22]

Mid-range

  • Hotel Cairoli , Via Cairoli 14 - Ph. +39 010 2461454 - Fax +39 010 2467512 [23]. Situated in the historical center of the city and close to the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Aquarium, the Bigo and the Porto Antico. Single room from 55€, double room from 75€ (as of September 2006).

Splurge

  • Savoia Continental Hotel [24].
  • Hotel Bristol Palace[www.hotelbristolpalace.com/]
  • Best Western City [www.bestwestern.it/city_ge/]
  • Hotel Savoia Majestic [www.hotelsavoiagenova.it]
  • Sheraton Genova [www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/search/hotel_detail.html?propertyID=313]
  • Hotel Romantik Pagoda

Contact

Stay safe

Cope

It is not difficult to find someone who can help you with easy/touristic problems in English, Spanish or French, but the best is of course to speak a little bit of Italian.

Get out

Genoa makes a good base to explore Cinque Terre, La Spezia, or Chiavari.



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