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Genoa, or Genova, is situated at the Mediterranean Sea in the Liguria region of Italy. Genova lies in the Golfo del Paradiso, a stunning natural harbour – or gulf – that encircles the city.
Genova tourist attractions are plentiful, since the city is one of the oldest cities in Italy that has been devoted to art and seafaring in equal measures. The Piazza de Ferrari is home to the splendid Opera House and the Palace of the Doges as well as the more humble home of a mariner called Christopher Columbus, who was reputedly born in Genoa. The Strada Nuova and the Via Garabaldi are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and in this district some of the most powerful families, who ever lived in Italy, had their palaces and splendid town houses erected from the 16th century onwards.
Genoa tourist attractions include the Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Grimaldi and they are all located in this ancient district, as are the world-famous Musei di Strada Nuova and the Palazzo del Principe.
Among the most stunning Genova tourist attractions rank the St Lawrence Cathedral and the Porto Antico, the old harbour. Connoisseurs of oriental art will head to the Museo d’Arte Orientale, which houses one of Europe’s largest Oriental art collections.
Families on a day out should head for the old harbour, where the world’s second largest aquarium is located. In the same port visitors will find the world’s oldest working lighthouse, the La Lanterna, which is also one of the five tallest ones ever built and the tallest made from brick. Naturally, it is one of Genoa’s most important landmarks, together with the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo.
The Genoa tourist attractions that deal with the city’s maritime history are among the most popular and the Museo del Mare has among its treasures a full-sized submarine moored at the quayside in the harbour. Other treasures include replica of the ships that once sailed the unchartered oceans to discover new continents.
At the Palazzo Ducale tourists can visit many wonderful exhibitions changing throughout the year, like the Gauguin and Von Gogh exhibition next April for example or the Race Exhibition that deals with the exploration of the South Pole (October 2011 to March 2012).
A short journey by hire car or public transport reveals Portofino as another must-see tourist attraction. To the north of the city verdant mountains protect the city from exposure to wind and to the south the city is protected by a rocky peninsula. During the last two hundred years it became fashionable to holiday at Portofino and many beautiful villas from this time still exist to this day in Portofino’s oldest parts. The pretty pastel coloured houses hug the coastline and seem a natural extension to the peninsula and the bright blue sea and natural harbour. What could be more pleasant than to stroll through Portofino’s sunkissed streets of Regency and Belle Epoque splendour?
La Cinque Terre also belongs to the category of Genoa tourist attractions that are must-seen. Car hire is not necessary, as a train line runs from Genoa to La Spezia, covering all five villages, a ride that essentially runs through a tunnel, providing the occasional flash of azure sea and rocky coastline, when the train emerges. There is also a passenger ferry service that covers the coastline and visits each village in turn. The ferry leaves from Genoa’s old harbour and La Spezia. Hikers will love the wonderful trails that link the five villages and anyone with sore feet after a long, hot trek can hop on the ferry or train and travel back to their hotel in Genoa in comfort!
Visitors who’d rather linger for a while to enjoy the gorgeous views over the Mediterranean Sea will find plenty of reasonably priced guesthouses and bed and breakfast places in all the villages.