As a city dominated by the sea, Genoa has a wealth of maritime history to explore. A day exploring the port will give you a great taste of Genoa’s unique character.
The Porto Antico is the economic hub of Genoa, as well as a major tourist attraction. If you have time, a visit to the Maritime Museum or Aquarium will be worth it.
1. Piazza de Ferrari
The main square of Genoa, Piazza de Ferrari, is a lively and vibrant spot to visit. It’s in the historical centre and is home to cultural attractions like museums and the cathedral.
The square has been refurbished in recent years along with its fountain. This makes it a great place for shopping, dining and cultural events.
A number of historic buildings sit around the square including the Ducal Palace and the Stock Exchange Building (Palazzo della Borsa). The Church of San Lorenzo, a Romanesque building with frescoed interiors is also located in the Piazza.
2. San Lorenzo Cathedral
San Lorenzo is a cathedral with a stunning facade and an interesting history. Inside it is home to several historical masterpieces, like a sculpture by Michelangelo and a fresco painted by Bronzino.
It was built in 1421 and it is considered a great example of the Sicilian Baroque. It was rebuilt many times but after the last rebuilding it is still a beautiful building that is worth visiting!
Located behind the main entrance is a chamber where Cosimo de Medici was buried. It is also the burial place of the Medici family who lived in their palace on Via Cavour and used to have an official church here.
3. Loggia di Banchi
The Loggia di Banchi is one of the most beautiful Renaissance-style buildings in Italy. Its facade, designed by architect Vignola, has 15 rounded arches that line Piazza Maggiore in Mannerist rhythm.
It also features a fresco by Pietro Sorri from the 16th century that depicts the Madonna enthroned with the Child and Saints John the Baptist and George, patrons of Genoa.
This square was once the heart of Genoa’s business world. The area was a major hub for trade and was the site of the first Italian Stock Exchange in 1855.
The square still functions as a major shopping and entertainment center. Its lively atmosphere is reflected in the many second-hand book and record stores, along with the numerous tourists who stop here to enjoy the sights and sounds of Genoa.
4. Porto Antico
The heart of Genoa, the soul of the historic center and the largest square on the Mediterranean, Porto Antico is the meeting point for tourism, culture, congresses, fairs, shows, sports, boating, catering and shopping.
In the modern area of the old port, Renzo Piano has placed two works that are a symbol of this Renaissance: Bigo (crane), a panoramic lift 40 meters high that turns on itself; and Biosphere, a glass-and-steel sphere hosting a section of tropical rainforest with over 150 living species.
In addition to these buildings, the marina offers several tourist facilities such as the Aquarium, the Citta dei bambini, the Emanuele Luzzati museum, multiplexes Cineplex and a children's library. In the immediate vicinity, visitors can also admire a number of historical palaces.
5. Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is a fascinating place to visit for anyone interested in history. It offers a number of intriguing exhibits that will appeal to both adults and children.
The museum houses a number of different ship models, as well as paintings and artifacts. It also has a collection of historical documents and sea charts that help explain the history of sailing.
It is a great place to learn about the history of the city and the surrounding areas. It is a good way to spend an hour or so and is sure to keep you entertained.
The Maritime and Cultural Tradition Museum of Skiathos was established in 2015 and is located in the town’s cultural center “Bourtzi”. Its main focus is on the history of the long-term shipbuilding tradition of the island.