Serving as home to more than 1.5 million people, Genoa is the capital of Liguria and the sixth largest city in Italy. Owing to the city’s rich history and impressive landmark, the city has been named ‘la Superba’ and the old part of the town is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Birth place of Christopher Columbus and Niccolo Paganini, Genoa is known was declared as European Capital of Culture in 2004 for its notable cultural history, art, music and cuisine. Sprawling on a land area of 243.6 km2, the city is one of Italy’s major economic and commercial centers. Genoa is one of Europe's largest cities on the Mediterranean Sea and the largest seaport in Italy. The city is located at an altitude of 20 meters above sea level and Genoese dialect of the Ligurian language is commonly spoken in Genoa alongside Italian.
All flights land at the Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport which is simply known as Genoa Airport and is a small international airport in Genoa. The city experience borderline humid subtropical and Mediterranean climate and has 2 distinct climates – very cold winter months from December to February and July and August are the warmest months. Genoa is somewhat a windy city especially during winter when northern winds often bring cool air from the Po Valley. The city has an average 4 hours of sunlight during winter and 9 hours of sunlight during the summer season. The city records an average yearly temperature of around 19 °C during the day and 13 °C at night. Some of the major festival that draw huge number of tourists to Genoa are - International Poetry Festival in June, Euroflora held once in 5 years in April, Boat race of the Maritime Republics in June, Suq a Genova in June, Goa Boa Festival in July, Festival Musicale del Mediterraneo between July and August and Circumnavigando , the Festival of Clowns in December.
Known as Europe’s biggest historical center, Genoa is full of pastel-coloured terracotta-roofed houses along with artistic churches and numerous historical sites that allow the travellers to experience the classic charm of Italy. Tourists should begin the city tour by visiting the Piazza De Ferrari, which is a splashing fountain surrounded by grand buildings along with numerous other attractions. Porta Soprana and Casa di Colombo is a heritage site which marks the place where Christopher Columbus spent his childhood. Piazza Matteotti , located near Piazza De Ferrari is famous for its Jesuit church of Santi Ambrogio e Andrea, that was built during 1588-1637. Cathedral of San Lorenzo is another charming edifice of Gothic style of architecture and was built to hold the remains of St. John the Baptist.
Another ancient site in Genoa is Santa Maria di Castello known for its frescoed paintings. Via Garibaldi Palaces is a beautiful lane which reveals a succession of carved and painted embellishments, frescoes, grand arcades to the onlookers. These palaces were once occupied by the noble families and have been declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO. National Gallery in Palazzo Spinola, Via Balbi and Palazzo Reale, Museo d'Arte Orientale, Acquario di Genova and Galata Museo del Mare are some of the other major attractions in Genoa. The city also serves as base for those planning a day trip to Cimitero di Staglieno, Santuario Madonna della Guardia and Portofino.
Eating and Shopping
Option of eating in Genoa is plenty but most of the restaurant charge service for a fixed amount per person (called coperto), as an Italian custom. Italian food is the preferred cuisine of the locals and tourists can enjoy some of the best Italian delicacies in Genoa. There are many eating joints and restaurants across Genoa and they generally remain open from approximately 12:30 - 3:00PM for lunch and 7:30 - 10:00PM for dinner. Many budgets eateries, mid-range restaurants, fine dining hotels and restaurant serving specialties are avaible. Pasta is perhaps the most commonly eaten dish and humongous varieties of pasta dishes are available. Italian is also very popular for their bread and bakery items so do not miss trying them.
Genoa is a mecaa of shopping lovers. From designer boutiques to antique dealer, everything is available here. Be it luxury shops, traditional flea markets or departmental stores, the option of shopping in Genoa is endless. Women’s clothing, Murano Glassware, leather bags are most commonly bought items in Genoa. Most of the shops are generally located in the central square and small alleys and medieval labyrinth that are located around it. Abundance of book stores, art galleries and souvenir shops are available for the interested tourists. Do not forget to buy exquisite pastries, fresh homemade pasta and other artifacts when shopping in Genoa.
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