An Inside Guide to Medieval Genoa Italy

An Inside Guide to Medieval Genoa Italy - Lucy Williams Global

Genoa in Italy is very historic and has buildings that date back to the medieval era (5th – 15th century).

If you have read my last blog ‘An Inside Guide to Porto Antico in Genoa,’ you know about the Porto Antico area.

Behind Porto Antico is where the historic centre is. You can enter from many tiny little alleys that do not fit any cars, just people, bikes and scooters. There are lots of scooters in Genoa, as parking is a nightmare! Genoa has one of the highest numbers of scooters in Europe.

It is very easy to get lost in the historic centre, as the tiny streets go on and on. Most will bring eventually bring you back into Porto Antico or into the city centre.

There are streets for butchers, then divides into streets especially for birds, etc. Streets for Fish, fruit, vegetables and the list goes on!

Last year we were in Genoa for Christmas and I wanted to cook a turkey. Well what a headache getting one, but I did get one from the bird street in the historic centre! It was delicious!

You can have fun walking around the streets you will find some great things and odd things! The best way to enter the historic centre is the street Via San Lorenzo.

This is a wider street and takes you up to the San Lorenzo Cathedral. The cathedral was built between the 12th – 14th century and completed in the 17th century.

Continue to walk and enter the original medieval entrance to the city walls. Then on to the remains of the house of the explorer Christopher Columbus, as he was born in Genoa.

City Centre

From the historic centre if you keep walking and turn left you will end up in the centre of Genoa in Piazza de Ferrari and see the big water fountain.

From, Piazza de Ferrari you can walk into the main shopping district. The street is called Via Venti Settembre.

It has all the high street shops, independent shops, bars and cafes. For the designer shops head to Via Roma and Via Ventcinque Aprile.

Genoa City Centre

 Via Garibaldi – Strada Nuova Museums

From Via Ventcinque Aprile continue to walk and veer left for Via Giuseppe Garibaldi. This is Genoa’s oldest street 1550, originally called Strada Nuova.

The street buildings are Baroque style as they were built in the 16th century. The street is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and no cars can drive through unless they have a special permit.

This street has the some of the oldest banks and palaces. Genoa is home to 114 Palace’s (not all of them are open to the public as some are offices) and 12 of them are in Via Garibaldi.

Worth visiting are Palazzo Rosso (Red Palace) and Palazzo Bianco (White Palace). They are beautiful inside with art collections and some of the rooms are preserved with original furniture and decoration. If you can go the top the views are amazing.

These museums have little cafes with good food and drinks and not expensive. If you are short on time you can go into some of the building for free and just see the grand entrances with large chandeliers and painted walls and ceilings.

Venti Settembre

  • Weather in the summer: 22*C – 35*C.
  • Language: Italian, English is spoken in some places (tourist attractions, restaurants, shops)
  • In the summer use lots of insect repellant as there are lots of mosquitos!
  • Also, use lots of sunscreen as the temperature is always high in the summer months.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Genoa, please share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Have you been to Genoa? What would you recommend doing?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

An Inside Guide to Medieval Genoa Italy - Lucy Williams Global


  1. July 6, 2017 / 6:14 am

    I’m keen to visit Genoa and your post has showed that I should go! Almost went earlier in the year but I chose Turin instead. Great photos!

    • July 6, 2017 / 8:11 am

      Make it your next trip! It is a great city. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  2. livvypb
    July 7, 2017 / 11:59 am

    I’ve never actually visited Genoa, one of the only places here in Italy I haven’t seen but from your photos and your guide I’ve now got serious wanderlust. Another one to add to the bucket list!

    • July 7, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      Genoa is a city to see! Thank you for your lovely comment 😊

  3. July 7, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    I would love to see those structures, especially the fountain! It’s also good to see that you recommended a mosquito repellant.

    • July 7, 2017 / 1:59 pm

      Genoa is architecturally beautiful. Glad you found it useful & thank you for your lovely comment 😀

  4. July 8, 2017 / 10:58 am

    I’m so sad we missed Genoa on our trip to the Ligurian coast. It looks like such a charming city and a little under the radar. The harbour looks beautiful

    • July 8, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Shame! Genoa is a beautiful city on the water. Add it next time! Thanks for your lovely comment 😀

  5. July 8, 2017 / 11:13 am

    Lovely overview of what to see and do in Genoa! I love history 🙂 I drove around the city last year on the way to a smaller coastal town, but I wish I had had the chance to stop for a couple of hours.

    • July 8, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Genoa is a lovely city to explore & has so much history. Thank you for your lovely comment 😀

  6. July 8, 2017 / 11:41 am

    I’ve never been to Genoa yet – but it looks pretty unique! Architecture there looks pretty amazing!

    • July 8, 2017 / 11:45 am

      The architecture is beautiful in Genoa. Thank you for your lovely comment 😀

  7. July 8, 2017 / 11:54 am

    Nice! I knew it exists because once I applied for a job there, but I’ve never been there. I didn’t even remember! It looks like a place I would have enjoyed. I like historical cities and ports. Maybe I’ll visit one day 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • July 8, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      How funny! It’s a nice place to live & visit. Thank you for your lovely comment 😀

  8. July 8, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    I’ve seen parts of Italy, but not Genoa. Now I put it on my must see list 🙂

  9. July 8, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    Genoa looks magnificent! It totally looks like a place worth visiting, should keep this in mind when I’m heading to Italy one day. Thanks for the tip 😀

  10. Laura Harris
    July 9, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Well there’s another Italian city I have to visit! Maybe I should just move to Italy xD

  11. July 12, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Wow the San Lorenzo Cathedral looks beautiful. I’ll definitely be adding Genoa to my list!

    • July 12, 2017 / 10:00 am

      It’s a lovely cathedral 🕍 Thank you for your nice comment 😀

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