Often referred to as Italy’s most underrated city, Genoa is tucked into the northwest coast of the country. Genoa is Italy’s sixth largest city and is a hub for both business and culture. The city is teeming with history that dates all the way back to the Ancient Roman Empire. With less tourism compared to some of Italy’s more famous destinations, Genoa is the perfect place to have a true Italian experience. The city consists of colourful houses, winding cobblestone streets, wide open city squares, and an expansive harbour. With an ideal location right on the Mediterranean Sea, Genoa is a true Italian seaside town that is known for its sailboats and fresh seafood. It is even the hometown of one of history’s most famous sea explorers, Christopher Columbus. Genoa is a unique and beautiful city, and cruises out of Genoa are the perfect way to start your introduction to Italy and the Mediterranean.
MSC Cruises offer several different routes for cruises out of Genoa. These cruises last between seven and eleven days, offering tours of some of the Mediterranean’s most iconic cities. Many of the cruise routes make stops in Italy, France, and Spain, while others travel further east to Greece. Some of the most popular ports of call on cruises from Genoa include Rome, Marseille, Valencia, Barcelona, Crete, and Athens.
Genoa’s cruise ship terminal is located within Genoa Port, which is a short distance from the historic city centre. The walk from the city centre to the cruise terminal takes about 15 minutes. If you would prefer to catch public transport to your ship, you can catch the metro to the Principe station. This station is located directly opposite the port, and metro tickets cost €1.50 ($2.50 NZD). Alternatively, you could catch bus route 32, 9, or 11 which also travel to Genoa Port. If you are planning to drive to the cruise terminal, several parking options are available at Genoa Port, including Autosiloport, Garage Ponte dei Mille, and Park Marina Porto Antico.
For an easy journey to your cruise ship on the morning you embark, you could book a hotel near the Port. A wide variety of hotels are available within easy walking distance of the cruise terminal. Hotel Galles, Casa Palazzo del Principe, and B&B Hotel Genoa are all budget-friendly options.
Piazza de Ferrari is a large city square that separates the historical and modern parts of Genoa. Throughout history, this area has been a major hub for business and finance. In the centre of the Piazza de Ferrari is a fountain that is often seen as an icon of Genoa. Several notable buildings surround the piazza as well, such as the Palace of the Doges, the Carlo Felice Theatre, and the Palace of the Duke of Galliera.
Genoa Harbour is located on the Ligurian Sea, which is a branch of the Mediterranean. The harbour is one of the Mediterranean’s major trading hubs and the largest in Italy. In total, the harbour stretches for 22 kilometres (13.7 miles), offering beautiful views of the sea, boats, and the city. There is lots to see and do along Genoa’s harbour, including the Genoa Maritime Museum and the Lanterna di Genoa lighthouse. The area is also lined with restaurants and bars where you can enjoy some northern Italian favourites like pasta with fresh pesto, ravioli, fresh seafood, and local wine.
Throughout much of history, Genoa was surrounded by stone walls. This form of defense was first built during the Ancient Roman times, and walls were used all the way through to World War II. As the walls were expanded throughout history, they became the longest city walls in Italy. Today, many of the walls are still intact and can be seen in several spots around Genoa. The most popular spot to view the city walls is at Porta Soprana. In addition to the wall, visitors to this spot can see a gatehouse and two tall watchtowers that date back to about 1150 AD.
This popular attraction is a coastal walkway that is located just outside the city centre of Genoa. The walk begins at Via Giovanni, which is about 15 minutes from the city centre on foot. The walkway is made up of pink cobblestones and offers gorgeous views of the Italian coastline. The walkway hugs the coast for about 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) and is lined with some local boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. This walkway is a popular spot among locals who want to escape the city for a couple hours to take in the fresh sea air.