Romanengo is a family-owned confectionery shop in Genoa’s historic district, renowned for its traditional candies and chocolates made from high-quality ingredients. The charming interiors and antique furnishings create a nostalgic atmosphere. A visit to Romanengo is a must for those who appreciate artisanal sweets.
Reasons to visit Genoa
a brief overview
Genoa, a captivating port city in northern Italy, offers a wealth of fascinating attractions and experiences for travelers. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture make it an interesting destination to explore. Here are some reasons why visiting Genoa is a must:
- Historical significance: Genoa’s historical significance as a major maritime republic for over 700 years during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, along with Venice and Pisa, is reflected in the city’s rich cultural heritage. Its well-preserved historical sites, such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Genoa’s Rolli Palaces, the Old Port, and the imposing Palazzo Ducale, offer a glimpse into its storied past and the impressive architecture that has shaped it. Additionally, the city played a central role in trading, shipping, and banking, with historical institutions like the Palazzo San Giorgio, which once housed the first modern bank. Genoa was a major financial center and one of the leading banking cities in Europe during the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, particularly from the 12th to the 16th centuries. Genoese banks were among the wealthiest and most influential financial institutions of their time, financing various European kingdoms and commercial ventures. The Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, was one of the oldest and most powerful banks in Europe, and it played a crucial role in solidifying Genoa’s status as a banking powerhouse. Genoa was also part of the Silk Road trade network, and its involvement allowed it to establish a trading post in Crimea in 1346, which expanded its trade network and access to new markets. This helped to further cement Genoa’s position as a major player in the medieval textile trade, particularly in velvet production, which is still celebrated today. The city’s cultural heritage also includes its contributions to fashion, as it is the birthplace of jeans, which originated from the fabric known as Blue de Genes. Its significant historical figures, such as Andrea Doria and Christopher Columbus, have left their mark on its rich history. Today, Genoa continues to captivate visitors with its stunning coastal location, picturesque alleys and buildings, and culinary traditions, such as pesto alla genovese and focaccia genovese.
- Influential figures: Genoa has been home to or visited by many prominent historical figures, including Christopher Columbus, Andrea Doria, a highly influential statesman and admiral, the composer Giuseppe Verdi, the virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini, and the world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. These figures have left a lasting impact on the city’s cultural and historical landscape. Renzo Piano, a Genoese native, shaped the city’s Old Port and has designed many iconic buildings around the world.
- Architectural marvels and churches: Genoa is home to a diverse range of architectural styles, from Romanesque and Gothic to Baroque and Art Nouveau. The city is also known for its numerous churches, each with its unique history and architectural features. Highlights include the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Church of Santa Maria di Castello, San Siro, the first cathedral, and the Church of the Jesuits, which hosts paintings by Rubens. These religious landmarks showcase the city’s architectural prowess and rich cultural heritage.
- Palazzo San Giorgio: This historic palace is not only significant for its architecture but also for its historical importance. It once served as the prison for the famous explorer Marco Polo and later became the first modern bank. Today, it houses the Port Authority of Genoa, further emphasizing the city’s maritime legacy.
- Cultural experiences: Genoa’s vibrant arts and cultural scene provide ample opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in Italian culture. The city is home to several world-class museums and galleries, such as the Palazzo Reale, the Galata Museo del Mare, and the Musei di Strada Nuova.
- Authentic cuisine: Genoa is the birthplace of pesto, a classic Italian sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The city’s culinary scene offers a wide variety of traditional Ligurian dishes, from freshly made focaccia and farinata to seafood specialties like buridda and cappon magro.
- Scenic beauty: Pegli, Camogli, and Cinque Terre can best be reached by train, offering a convenient and efficient mode of transportation. Moreover, during the summer months, visitors have the option to explore these destinations by boat, allowing for a more leisurely and scenic journey along the beautiful Ligurian coast. For those looking to enjoy a swim, there are several easily accessible beaches near Genoa that can be reached by train, including Nervi, Recco, and Sori to the east, as well as numerous beaches to the west of the city.To the west of Genoa, you can find popular swimming spots like Cogoleto, Varigotti, and Finale Ligure. These coastal towns boast beautiful sandy or pebble beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a refreshing swim or sunbathing during the warm summer months. Finale Ligure is also well-known for its rock climbing attractions and mountain biking trails, offering outdoor enthusiasts a variety of exciting activities to enjoy. Whether you choose to explore the eastern or western coast of Genoa, you’ll be met with stunning views, inviting waters, and picturesque towns, providing an unforgettable experience along the Ligurian Sea.The city’s stunning coastal location, nestled between the mountains and the Ligurian Sea, provides a picturesque backdrop for exploration. Visitors can enjoy scenic hikes in the surrounding hills, relax on nearby beaches, or take a boat trip along the coast to explore the famous Cinque Terre villages. Additional attractions include the romantic park of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini in Pegli, which features beautiful gardens, ponds, and historic structures, and the charming fishing village of Camogli on the way to Portofino. These picturesque spots further enhance the natural beauty and appeal of the Genoa region.
- Genoa Aquarium: One of the largest and most impressive aquariums in Europe, the Acquario di Genova is home to over 12,000 marine species. This state-of-the-art facility offers an interactive and educational experience, highlighting the importance of marine conservation and biodiversity.
- Charming neighborhoods: Genoa’s narrow, winding alleys, known as “caruggi,” are perfect for getting lost and discovering hidden gems.
Exhibitions of interest
Events in the Palazzo Ducale
The Palazzo Ducale, located in the heart of Genoa’s historic center, is a magnificent palace with a rich history that dates back to the 14th century. Originally built as a residence for the Doge of Genoa, the palace has been used for various purposes over the years, including as a prison and a bank. Today, the Palazzo Ducale serves as a cultural hub, hosting a variety of events, exhibitions, and concerts.
The palace’s stunning interiors and grand facades reflect the city’s rich architectural heritage, featuring an exquisite blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The Palazzo Ducale’s historical significance is also reflected in its collections of artwork and artifacts, including pieces from prominent Italian and international artists.
Today, the Palazzo Ducale is a dynamic center for cultural events, offering visitors the opportunity to attend exhibitions, performances, and other events. From contemporary art exhibitions to concerts and theater performances, the Palazzo Ducale continues to play a vital role in the city’s cultural scene, attracting both locals and tourists alike. A visit to this impressive palace is a must for those interested in history, architecture, and the arts.
The Palazzo Ducale – located in a few minutes’ walk from both apartments.
find out about more exhibitions here
Events, culture, and leisure in Genoa
via Experience Genoa
Abundant events and experiences: Genoa offers a wealth of events, allowing visitors to delve into the city’s rich history, fine art, and more. For collectors and enthusiasts, the city is a treasure trove of ancient books, gramophone records, antiques, and secondhand stores. Gastronomy lovers can indulge in traditional Ligurian cuisine at numerous local establishments. Unwind at cozy restaurants and bars tucked away in quaint squares like Piazza delle Erbe or Piazza Lavagna, explore the historic Old Port area, or browse specialty shops. A visit to Genoa promises a truly unique and memorable experience.
In Genoa, the best shopping streets encompass Via Roma, Via XIV Aprile, Galleria Mazzini, Via XX Settembre, and Via Luccoli, which boast an array of shops and boutiques. Food lovers can explore Via Macelli di Soziglia and the vibrant MOG Mercato Orientale Genova, where local flavors and colors create a delightful culinary experience.
What and where to eat in Genoa
Genoa’s cuisine exemplifies its rich maritime heritage and presents an array of refined flavors to suit all preferences. Renowned dishes from this region encompass the celebrated pesto alla genovese, a delightful sauce composed of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese, harmoniously combined with olive oil. This customary sauce is characteristically served atop trofie pasta, a twisted variety native to the region.
A further distinguished dish is focaccia genovese, a sumptuous, soft flatbread prepared with olive oil and garnished with diverse ingredients such as rosemary, salt, onions, or tomatoes. The dough’s tender and airy consistency renders it ideal for sandwiches or as a standalone, appetizing snack.
Additionally, pansotti, a triangular-shaped stuffed pasta, is another traditional Genoese dish. Typically filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, spinach, and wild herbs, it is often served with a walnut-based sauce.
Capon magro, a layered seafood and vegetable dish, showcases Genoa’s affinity for seafood. Composed of fish, shellfish, and various vegetables, it is assembled atop a base of hardtack and garnished with a green sauce.
Seafood constitutes a pivotal element in Genoa’s gastronomic culture, featuring a vast selection of fresh fish and seafood dishes tailored to individual predilections. Popular choices comprise acciughe ripiene (stuffed anchovies), calamari ripieni (stuffed squid), and fritto misto (assorted fried seafood), each demonstrating the region’s affinity for flavorful, sea-inspired cuisine.
For dessert aficionados, Genoa presents an assortment of tantalizing sweets guaranteed to gratify. Pandolce, a fruitcake variant made with raisins, candied fruit, and pine nuts, is a conventional favorite, while canestrelli are delicate cookies that complement a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
Of course, other dishes from Italy and diverse culinary traditions from around the world are also available, offering an even broader selection to please various palates. Whether one identifies as a culinary enthusiast or merely seeks to experience the distinct and diverse flavors Genoa proffers, a plethora of enticing options catering to an extensive spectrum of tastes awaits. To ascertain the finest local dining establishments, consult the restaurant guide furnished here.