ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Exploring the waterfront
In 1492 Christopher Columbus departed Genoa’s old port on a journey that led him to the New World. Five hundred years later, Porto Antico enjoyed a much needed renaissance, transforming it into a welcoming and educational place to start your Genoese journey. Climb aboard the replica Neptune galleon to get a feel for the area’s maritime past, or visit the expansive Galata Museo del Mare to learn more. Appreciate the wonders of nature at the tropical Biosfera (biosphere) and the Acquario di Genova, Europe’s largest aquarium. To view where you’ll go next, take to the skies in Il Bigo, a crane-like lift offering panoramic views of the city.
2. Ancient attractions
A short walk from the port brings you to the strikingly striped façade of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, which is said to protect the ashes of St. John the Baptist and the Holy Grail. Marvel at its twelfth century Gothic and Romanesque exterior before stepping through its monochrome archway to discover a grandiose interior. Glorious frescoes are trimmed with gold while intricately sculpted medieval marble completes its divine ambience. Visit the nearby Piazza de Ferrari for the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and Teatro Carlo Felice, a popular opera house. A few blocks north, prepare to be captivated by Via Garibaldi – a palace, gallery and museum-lined UNESCO World Heritage Site built during Genoa’s golden era.
3. A taste of Genoa
Genoa’s name is synonymous with the light and fluffy Genoese sponge, but you may not know it’s also famed for being the homeland of pesto. Vibrant and flavoursome, this simple but delectable sauce can be found adorning pasta and gnocchi across the city. Pick a quaint cafe or family-run restaurant to sample this speciality, or chose from an array of freshly-caught seafood, pizza or the Ligurian capital’s other treasured delicacy, tripe. A glass of local wine, a refreshing gelato and a meal-ending grappa round off the atmospheric experience.