Best Things to Do in Genoa Italy

Genoa is often overlooked in favor of other Italian towns, but there is more than enough to do there to keep you busy for a few days. Along the Ligurian Sea, this dirty but grand city has a lot of beautiful buildings and churches with art to see.

It was one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean for a long time and grew into a strong maritime country. During this time, huge amounts of money came in, which helped build palaces, piazze, and other buildings that were more and more elaborate. The city is known as “La Superba” because it is full of amazing murals, paintings, and statues.

Even though a lot of it looks sad and old now, getting lost in Genoa’s “caruggi” (narrow alleys) is still one of the most fun things to do there. These lanes are full of hidden treasures and architectural gems. There is also a world-class aquarium, a marine museum, and old ships to see in the city’s waterfront area, among other things. Genoa is a fascinating place that you can easily visit, along with Portofino and Le Cinque Terre, which are also very famous.

List of Best Things to Do in Genoa Italy:

Torri di Porta Soprana

The Torri di Porta Soprana is by far the most impressive part of Genoa’s old city walls. They are one of the city’s most famous landmarks and sights. It has been rebuilt many times over the years, and its two thin stone towers look great in pictures and person.

The massive gate was built in 1155 when the Genoese Republic was beginning to grow. It was once one of the main ways into the Old Town. It has two cylindrical towers on either side of a narrow but high-arched gate. The tops of the towers are topped with crenelations.

After you walk through the ancient Porta Soprana and take pictures of its beautiful parts, there is a lot more to see in the area. Right next to it, for example, is the house where Christopher Columbus grew up and the charming ruins of the Monastery of Sant’Andrea.

Palazzo Rosso

Along Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, in the old part of town, you’ll find the beautiful Palazzo Rosso. The bright red front of the house museum makes it easy to find. It is now a museum with a great collection of art.

It was built for the Brignole Sale family between 1671 and 1677. Many of the original furniture and decorations are still in the grand rooms. As a result, there are beautiful marble stairs and grand hallways that lead to luxurious apartments with beautiful frescos and ceiling paintings.

There are many important paintings on its walls, as well as old furniture, statues, and other items from that time. Works by famous artists like Palma Vecchio, Durer, and van Dyck are among its many wonders. Palazzo Rosso was one of the best museums we went to in Genoa. It had beautiful buildings, art, furniture, and frescoes.

 Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola

A beautiful house from the glory days of Genoa is just a few minutes away on foot. The Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola is a must-see for art fans because it has so many beautiful statues, paintings, furniture, and frescoes.

The ornate aristocratic home was hidden away in the narrow streets of the sailors’ area. It was one of the Palazzi dei Rolli chosen to house important guests of the Republic of Genoa. It was finished in 1593, and its beautiful entrance is in the Mannerist style. Inside, there are rooms with carved marble, mosaic floors, and sparkling chandeliers.

You can look at the amazing paintings on the ceilings and the beautiful rooms, but you can also look at amazing works by Flemish masters and Italian Renaissance artists. The palace is often forgotten, but if you have the time, you should stop by to see its beautiful decorations and tempting riches.

Best Things to Do in Genoa Italy
Best Things to Do in Genoa Italy

Anita Garibaldi Promenade

Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi goes along the ocean cliffs east of Genoa and has been called one of Italy’s most beautiful walks. It goes by the small fishing town of Nervi and gives amazing views of the beautiful coast of Liguria.

The walking path is about two kilometers long and has views of dramatic rock formations, secluded coves, and some small beaches. On the other side of it are beautiful hillside mansions with lush, landscaped lawns.

You can also stop at some spots to swim, fish, or just take in the beautiful views of the sea. Along its winding path, you can also find a few small bars and restaurants with a classic feel. It is very quiet and beautiful, and its wide views of the romantic-looking Nervi and the sparkling seas of the Mediterranean are out of this world.

Mercato Orientale

In contrast to the quiet and peaceful beach, the huge Mercato Orientale is busy and full of life almost all day long. Along Via XX Settembre, right next to Piazza Colombo, its stands sell fresh food and specialties from all over Italy.

When it first opened in 1899, the indoor market took over the space that used to be the cloisters of the older abbey next to it. It looks very stylish with its elegant arches and open windows that look out onto its stylish central food court. Here, you can try all sorts of local foods, like focaccia and pesto, as well as tasty dishes from Kenya, Mexico, and Japan.

There are also a lot of stalls to look at that sell everything from fresh fruit and veggies to cheeses, meats, and seafood from the area. It is a great place to buy tasty gifts or bottles of wine to take home.

Read More: Most Dramatic Sea Cliffs in the World

Santa Maria di Castello

The Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello, one of the city’s oldest churches, is just south of the Old Port. It is full of art and is one of the most beautiful places in the city. Even though the outside of this big building doesn’t look like much, the inside has beautiful murals, marble floors, and paintings to look at.

The Romanesque-style church has been around in some form or another since at least the ninth century. It sits on top of Castello Hill, where the bishop’s house used to be. The bell tower and the huge Torre degli Embriaci watch over the area, and the churches and cloisters are a pleasure to stroll through.

The main noble families of Genoa commissioned many beautiful works of art to decorate the beautiful rooms inside. The church’s marble altar, colorfully painted ceilings, and the Annunciation painting by Giusto d’Alemagna from 1451 are all very impressive. A lot of people also stop to look at the old convent’s three-story cloisters.

If you’re lucky, a church worker will show you around the basilica and tell you about its most interesting and important parts. We thought it was very interesting and learned a lot about the city’s past at the same time. It was one of the most beautiful churches we saw in Genoa. It was a secret gem.


One of the must-do things in Genoa is to walk through the narrow streets and tiny squares that make up the city’s historic center, which is the biggest in Europe. The “caruggi” are interesting places to get lost in because they are squeezed between the surrounding hills and the sea. There are new sights, shops, and architectural gems around every turn.

Rich merchants and noble families built hundreds of grand palaces and townhouses along its alleys over the ages. Their bright facades tower over the narrow, winding streets below, which suddenly open up into small parks with beautiful churches.

As you wander through its maze of old houses, you’ll come across small shops and bars that only the locals go to. Even though a lot of the area is dirty, we thought it was charming because it felt like we had gone back in time to the Middle Ages. We also got some great pictures of the charming streets here. Piazza Banchi was one of our favorite places to take pictures.

D’Albertis Castle

D’Albertis Castle is just a 15-minute walk north of the Old Port. It has a huge collection of ethnographic and historical artifacts. Set on top of Galletto Hill, its bright red walls and tower offer stunning views of the city and the Ligurian Sea.

The fairytale-like castle was built in 1893 on the ruins of a fort from the 14th century. It has beautiful Gothic Revival architecture. The Museum of World Cultures is now in the house of the strange traveler and sea captain Enrico Alberto d’Albertis.

Weapons, costumes, and figures from all over the world, including Australia, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania, are part of his collection. They are set up in a way that makes them look as unique as the manor’s rooms, stairs, and halls. The castle is a special place to visit. It has beautiful grounds and views that are out of this world.

Palazzo Ducale

Another beautiful building in Genoa is right in the middle of the city. The neoclassical Palazzo Ducale is now a cultural center with many art-filled rooms and temporary exhibitions to see. It is between the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the Piazza De Ferrari, and it stands in the middle of Piazza Giacomo Matteotti.

The extravagant house was built at the end of the 13th century. It was once the home of the Doges of Genoa. This was when the city was slowly building up its military and economic power in the Mediterranean.

Once you get past its beautiful marble facade, you’ll find beautiful courtyards, rooms, and places to put on shows. These places often have temporary pieces and works of art by well-known artists like Banksy, Rubens, van Gogh, Monet, and others. Its Baroque-style chapel, which is fully covered in frescoes of famous people and events from the republic, is perhaps the most impressive part.

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi

Even though the many caruggi next to it are pretty dirty, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi is anything but because it is lined with grand houses the whole way. Set just north of the sailors’ area, its narrow flagstones are fun to walk on because of the beautiful Baroque buildings that line them.

The 250-meter-long street was built in the 1600s. It was first called Strada Maggiore or Strada Nuova. Genoese aristocrats built villas and mansions all along it, trying to outdo each other with the most beautiful facades. The arcades, loggias, staircases, and frescoes that have been added to them make them even more beautiful.

Many of these beautiful buildings were on a list called the Rolli di Genoa. These were fancy private homes where important foreign leaders stayed when they came to visit the city. Even though they are all beautiful, only three of them are open to the public. With the Strada Nuova Museums card, you can see the art displays and rooms of Palazzo Rosso, Bianco, and Tursi.

Spianata Castelletto

Head up to Spianata Castelletto for some of the best views of both the dirty city and the sparkling Gulf of Genoa. Ten minutes from the basilica, the hill climbs high above Via Giuseppe Garibaldi and the royal homes below.

From the 10th to the 19th centuries, a fort stood here because it was a good place to watch over the bay. Its Italian name, “Piccolo Castello,” comes from the fact that the defenses were taken down and replaced by a belvedere.

You can either walk up a steep hill or take a public lift from Piazza del Portello to get to its shady garden and great views. At the top, you can see the rooftops of the city and cruise ships coming and going from the port.

  1. What is Genoa Italy best known for?

    Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451. He was a great example of the city’s busy maritime history. It is known for its many examples of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Gothic buildings.

  2. Is Genoa, Italy, worth visiting?

    Genoa is a great Italian city to spend a few days in along the Italian Riviera. It has delicious food and beautiful buildings. I put it on my list of the best day trips you can take from Milan.

  3. Is there a lot to do in Genoa?

    After exploring the city’s renovated port area and old town (which now houses a world-class aquarium and panoramic elevator), proceed to the scenic fishing towns that line the nearby coast. San Fruttuoso, Boccadasse, Santa Maria Ligure, and the Cinque Terre are all great day trips from Genoa.


Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Asim, and I am a member of the administrative team. I hold an MSC in Generalist studies and have also completed a BS in Education. Currently, I reside in the United Kingdom where I dedicate my expertise to assisting individuals in their career development. Whether it's guiding newcomers in their career paths or helping them refine their existing skills, I strive to provide valuable support. Additionally, I offer assistance in finding easy job opportunities and scholarships to further aid individuals in their pursuit of success.

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