Genoa: how to discover the city of a thousand souls

They imagine Genoa as a port city, industrious, even a little somber. Instead, you will find an elegant tourist city that can take you by the hand and guide you between its mysteries and the thousand things to do and see, in a source that really smells of rebirth. It will be Genoa has a natural ability to surprise. He does it naturally, making wonderful buildings appear around the corner of a rather infamous alley, thanks to his insane urban planning based on thousands of years of consecutive construction. Who wanted a church here, who wanted an aristocratic palace here: Genoa has outgrown itself in disarray and lived a thousand lifetimes that have given it that somewhat hostile atmosphere, but are terribly fascinating.

Anyone who wants to be kidnapped by Genoa can do so by walking among their own kind beautiful buildings carried by the wind coming in from the sea. If we touched the surface, we would uncover layers of distant histories accumulated over time as merchants, pirates, and now tourists, landed here in port on the gigantic cruise ships.

The sea has shaped the appearance of this city and its inhabitants, sometimes making them suspicious of the comers. Don’t be offended: the sea taught the Genoese that if you get caught, anyone can attack. So indulge yourself in that state of mind because you will often be surprised at the general lack of sloppy words. But even if the words say otherwise, the Genoese are proud of their city and can’t wait to show it to those who come with the desire to discover it. And if there’s a right time to discover it, it’s certainly spring 2022.

Rolli Days: Genoa and its palaces

The Genoese are proud to have invented the luxury hotel industry: a thesis that is not too far from the truth if you look at it Rolli, very rich noble palaces where state visits used to take placeas prescribed by a Senate decree of 1576. Today there are more than a hundred in the city, and 42 of them were added to the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites in 2006.

Like the rest of the city, the Wheelers also know how to surprise and hide treasures that only the Genoese know. For example, if you go up the marble staircase of Palazzo Campanella, you will meet on the first floor via Garibaldi 12 lifestyle store, a design shop that is unique in the world, if only for the rooms that house this crazy selection of items for sale. There is something of everything: furniture, photo books, plates and glasses. Armchairs signed by famous architects, kitchen utensils, beauty surrounded by the beauty of Baroque stucco and gold. Cutlery at €300 each, designed by Jean Puiforcat in 1924, flanked in the same mise en place by a Bitossi porcelain placemat, priced at just over €30. “Genoa is made up of very different things,” explains Lorenzo Bagnara, the young shopkeeper. “So we wanted to create a store that is the mirror of that soul, with a lot of objects inside, from classic to modern.”

A little further, in Piazza Campetto 8, you will find it Gio Vincenzo Imperial Palace: On the first floor you enter a few small frescoed rooms that keep the secrets of the mixology rather than hiding design objects: it is actually here The Redsa young bar where you can enjoy an old-style aperitif (perhaps based on Asinello Corochinato, the Genoese aperitif) in an incomparable artistic atmosphere.

In short, the Rolli are not just beautiful buildings, but a treasure trove of Genoa’s secrets. To discover them, you can take advantage of the spring edition from May 13th to 15th wheelchair days: a moment of celebration of the city’s noble palaces with guided tours and events.

The Superbarocco Project

This year, the Wheeler Days coexist with another cultural event: until July 22, Genoa will host the Superbarocco projecta moment of discovery and deepening of the Genoese Baroque

It is a series of exhibitions, tours and events celebrating this extraordinary season of the city’s artistic culture. The centerpiece is the exhibition “The form of the miracle. Masterpieces in Genoa 1600 – 1750“, Inside the Palazzo Ducale, which exhibits some of the most important works of sculpture and painting of the Genoese seventeenth century, also through prestigious international loans. At the same time, various city sites propose the review “The protagonists. Masterpieces in Genoa 1600 – 1750”, which celebrates famous and successful artists such as the sculptor Domenico Parodi or Pierre Puget, author of the magnificent marble Virgin of the Albergo dei Poveri.

Monet: Masterpieces from the Musée Marmottan in Paris

Until May 22, the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa will not only be the theater of the great urban baroque, but will also celebrate colorful impressionism Claude Monet, with an exhibition bringing together fifty works from the Marmottan Monet Museum in Paristhe museum that houses the world’s largest collection of the artist’s works, the result of a donation from his son Michel in 1966. Over fifty paintings are on display, including the famous ones water lilies (1916-1919) e.g The pink one (1925-1926) and several versions of The Japanese Bridge.

Genoa Sixty

The spring exhibitions in Genoa do not even intentionally reflect the superimposition of styles and periods. In addition to Baroque and Impressionism, the Palazzo Reale is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Genoa in the 1960s until July 31st. “Genova Sessanta” wants to tell the great transformations of the city in the years of economic boom between visual arts, architecture and society.


One cannot say that a weekend in Genoa has ended without having seen and touched the sea. and the sea is called Boccadasse for the Genoese. With its colorful houses overlooking the sea and the small beach where you can sit and sunbathe and eat a box of fried fish (especially don’t miss those of Fishermen’s Cooperative Ge8317who runs a delightful little café here), Boccadasse is the perfect place to relax a bit on a beautiful spring afternoon after visiting central Genoa.

The historical shops

Ultimately, It is impossible to leave Genoa without strolling through its alleys and creuze. All that appears to the unwary eye is cobbled streets and alleyways, but those looking to let the city down will find something to fall in love with. And how could it be otherwise, in a city where public transport also includes historical and picturesque elevators (free until the end of July) that take you from above to Genoa, with all its maze of streets and buildings and architectural styles that clash with each other. Drive to theCastelletto elevatorbuilt in 1909, and before heading back down, stop to admire the Art Nouveau cage that houses it, right in the middle of the Belvedere.

A city that sometimes seems to have stopped in an old time, as it shows itself hundred historical shops and his business of yesterday. For example, there is this Confectionery Liquoreria Marescottiwhere to buy Voltaggio’s soft amaretti, or the Tripperia Casana, between large copper pots in which offal are cooked. There is Barberia Giacalonewith its Art Nouveau mirrors or theAncient Romanengo confectionery, where you can stock up on flowers and candied dried fruit of all kinds, from violets to pine nuts. And then there’s the unmissable antiquity Restaurant Sa’ Pestawhere you can taste the best farinata in the world, and Bar Moretti, where you can stay up late with a drink at the wooden bar surrounded by barrels and vintage objects. People huddled together without apparent logic, as Genoese style dictates.

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