A compelling combination of Gothic architecture and industrial sprawl, the city of Genoa hums with a raw energy not shared with its coastal neighbours. A nautical city blessed with a buoyant spirit, Genoa immerses its visitors in a world where the sea rules supreme.
Like the rest of the Italian coastal region, Genoa’s terrain is anything but flat, and a myriad of spiralling streets and stairways lead you through the city piled high on the hillside. Perhaps the most attractive draw card of Genoa is the ancient maritime city itself. Wandering the winding streets past the pastel-coloured buildings squashed into the Italian hillside, down to the remains of the old town walls, visitors can catch a glimpse into Italy’s past and present that is truly unique.
At Genoa’s heart are the main shopping streets and squares where designer names and authentic Italian roasted coffee stand hand-in-hand. Palaces squeeze in alongside tiny gardens and church spires occupy the backdrop as you descend.
Genoa is a cultural and historical capital and the city benefits from an impressive collection of museums and cultural events to ensure you are never short of things to do and see on the bustling shore. For those who can’t be lured ashore for the pure excitement of the city, Genoa is a haven for history buffs, where its wealth museums, many housed in grand palaces, could keep you occupied for days on end.
Every October, the city hosts the Genoa Boat Show, where all the latest happenings in the luxury boat market are on show. From yacht accessories to the latest marina developments and nautical gifts, even the most learned yachtsman can learn something from the amazing showcase display.
As the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa’s seafaring soul is no surprise, operating one of Italy’s most important ports. At the foot of the town is Port Antico, which benefited from an extensive makeover when it was honoured as the European City of Culture in 2004.
The area now boasts a fantastic selection of restaurants, bars and boutiques, a movie complex, maritime museum, spectacular play and cultural centre for children and, most impressively, the largest aquarium in Europe, making it well worth exploring. As the largest fuelling berth in the Mediterranean, Port Antico creates perfect peace of mind with a depth of up to 15 metres, and the airport sea wall providing yachts with optimum shelter.
Due to the excellence of Genoa’s port, the town has also become a gateway to exploring the more inland areas of northern Italy. In the winter months, the internationally renowned ski resort in Limone Piemonte is only 65 kilometres from the coast, allowing you to dock your yacht and be on the slopes in less than an hour.