Genoa is a unique Italy city located on the northwestern side of the country. It was known as a trade town for thousands of years. The city has some beautiful historical buildings that house lots of collections to explore. Here is why backpackers need to visit Genoa, aside from the beautiful sceneries that you will get to learn about in more detail, the city too is unique and less explored by tourists unlike its neighbors and this is why your backpacking trip to Italy has to have a special itinerary to venture into this city in Italy.
The town is one of the largest urban places in Europe. It is best explored on foot as the town has a lot of areas where there is little access to vehicles. The old town has some ancient buildings such as the ancient palace known as the Palazzo Ducale, The Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Inside the Palazzo Ducale, you will also find Van Gogh, Palazzo Rosso, and Palazzi dei Rolli.
Explore Palazzo Ducale
This palace is also known as the Doge’s palace that was built in the 13th century. It now boasts of cultural antiques from previous eras. Palazzo Ducale was formally the home of the Doge of Venice. He was the supreme leader of the former Venetian Republic. The palace has since been renovated and modified over the years. Throughout the year there is a hustle and bustle of activities that go in the palace. There is always an event happening at the Palazzo Ducale, from festivals, meetings to exhibitions.
Inside the palace, you will find exhibitions, courtyards, an armory, and prisons. The prisons have a history to it. They were cells for political prisoners. Inside the prison dungeons, you will encounter engraved writings by the captives. The writings range from messages of hope to wall paintings.
Visit Palazzo Reale
During the period of Genoa’s power, the Royal Palace also known as Palazzo Reale was built by the Aristocrats. The interior is beautifully adorned with art collections and magnificent interiors. The palace was built in the 17th century and has had several name changes, as initially it was called the Palazzo Balbi then the name changed later when the Savoy Royal House occupied it. The Palazzo is now a museum as you tour, you will enjoy seeing ancient furniture, paintings.
Before your visit, it is advisable to book before getting there in order to avoid the long queues. The tour is a long one and you will spend quite some time walking around, therefore, it would be worthwhile to get a pair of comfortable shoes. Be advised too that photography is not allowed within the premises. If you love art, architectural works of art then this tour is for you.
The museum is open every day except Monday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Some of the beautiful areas you will get to enjoy include the Piano Nobile, the Throne Room and the Hall of Mirrors. You can also enjoy the beautiful palace gardens.
Enjoy Some Scrumptious Local Delicacies
One of the things that you must do when you are in Genoa city is to experience a taste of their delicious meals. Genoa Italy is well known for its delicious street food. Here you will encounter Sciamadde vendors who specialize in preparing the local food in large ovens. You will also experience friggitorie vendors who sell their food in white-tiled shops. You will experience variations of pasta, oven-roasted snails and mixed vegetables.
A wide array of foods are available to choose from. You will find eateries with homegrown meals and enjoy your meals as you view the sea. You can also opt to eat on the go. If you want to experience the old fashioned way of having meals just like the Genoa people would do it, then some restaurants have this experience too. And of course you will also find restaurants that serve you take-away specialties.
Experience Some Seaside Time
Visit Porto Antico, which happens to be the largest port that stretches a distance of 22km. This is a place that has some interesting activities to do. Stopover to view the Aquarium of Genoa. This is the largest aquarium in Italy. It was officially opened to the public in 1992 and designed by the great architect Renzo Piano.
It is located on the old harbor. This is a very popular tourist destination that attracts more than 1 million visitors annually. You will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of flora and fauna from all the oceans of the world. From marine wildlife, dolphins, penguins, and sharks the list of aquatic animals to sightsee is endless.
Discover The Hidden Gem – Boccadasse
This is another hidden gem tucked inside the city of Genoa, Italy. It was established in 1000 A.C by Spanish fishermen. The fishermen had come over to find shelter from the raging sea. Over the centuries, the town of Boccadasse has hardly changed. To enjoy your tour, start your visit form Saint’ Antonio di Padova church. This church was built in the 17th century as a chapel and later on renovated into a church. It was founded by the local fishermen.
Stop By The streets In Genoa, Italy
Take a stroll to two popular shopping streets: San Vincenzo and XX Settembre. Here you can shop for various items from handbags, shoes, and clothes. Pack light when you come to Genoa because you will have some clothes to add to your wardrobe. The beauty of the town of Genoa is that every walkway is a shortcut to another walkway. You may end up finding yourself where you started making it a fun adventure of discovering the city.
Explore Castello D’Albertis
This building was once the home of Captain D’Albertis. It’s construction begun in 1886 and took about six years to complete. It was designed in the Neo-Gothic style with a surrounding garden and a spectacular view of the port and the city of Genoa.
Also, it currently houses a collection of fascinating objects and items the Captain would collect during his adventures.
It was converted into a museum in 1932. Visiting this castle will give you a sense of the creator’s love for the sea and the distant worlds he visited. The castle is closed on Mondays but opens throughout the week at different timings during the different seasons. It also costs 6 Euros to enter and view the exhibits. The home is divided into various parts.
The first place is the residence inside you will find ornaments from Europe and Africa. The castle is divided into four other areas that include the cabin, the sundial room, the Colombian room, and the Turkish room. The original furniture photographs are still available and you can find them exhibited in the rooms. On the second floor of the building, you will come across trophies from different parts of the world from Persia, Sudan, and North America, just to mention a few.
Stopover At The Christopher Columbus House
The famous explorer, Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa Italy in 1451. In 1492 he made the most historic mission trip to the Americas. The Christopher Columbus house in Genoa is named after him because this is where he was born and raised. The house is also built on two floors. Columbus’s father used the lower floor as a workshop as he was a trader and also did wool weaving.
The house is open to the public at different times and on different days depending on the season. For instance, in April, September, and October it is opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. From November to March the house is opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 are to 3 pm. From May to August it is opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. The house is closed on Mondays on all the seasons. Tickets to the house cost three Euros for all visitors.
Travel Through Time In History At The Old Town
One of the tours mostly overlooked while making itineraries is going to the shore of the city to view how cruise lines arrive and disembark. You can add this interesting activity to your schedule and explore the coastline.
The town also has access to the train station which has trains that stop by the nearby villages and those that go to the main large cities. It is also important to note that English is not spoken by many and most of the shops in this town are closed between 1 pm and 4 pm and the whole day on Sunday.
Well, there you have it a compilation of some of the best places to venture through the city of Genoa.