Top 10 Places to Visit in Genoa Italy - Lucy Williams Global

Genoa is in the north-west of Italy in the region of Liguria. It is a very historic city as it was a rich maritime city and home to some of the oldest banks in Europe.

Genoa is very underrated Italian city compared to the big cities of Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan. Because of this Genoa is not crowded with tourists.

I love Genoa and my many friends and family members that I have introduced Genoa too, they always enjoy the city and want to return.

It is a city by the sea with lots to see and do throughout the year.

Here are the top 10 places to visit in Genoa:

San Lorenzo Cathedral

San Lorenzo Cathedral is located in Via San Lorenzo and is a great place to visit in Genoa. It is a beautiful Cathedral and was built between the 12th – 14th century and completed in the 17th century.

You can walk around the cathedral and even go up the tower for a spectacular view of the city. At the time of writing this, there was a charge of 5 Euros to go up. There are a lot of steps, but it is worth it.

There is also a museum below the cathedral; Museo del Tesoro della Cattedrale di San Lorenzo. This has displays of gold and other very old artefacts. There is a charge of 5 Euros at the time of writing this to enter.

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Christopher Columbus House and Entrance to City Walls

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa and you can view the remains of Christopher Columbus’s house. The museum is an 18th-century reconstruction of the house. It was believed he lived in the house between 1455 and 1470.

Next to the house is one of the entrances to Genoa’s 14th-century city walls. It is quite an impressive place to visit in Genoa.

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Piazza de Ferrari

Piazza de Ferrari is a big square in the city centre and has a big water fountain and this is a place you have to visit in Genoa. From Piazza de Ferrari you can walk into the main shopping district.

For the high street and independent, shops go down Via Venti Settembre. It is just under a kilometre long and if you love shopping this is the street for you. For the designer shops head to Via Roma and Via Ventcinque Aprile.

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Via Garibaldi

Via Garibaldi one of Genoa’s oldest street dating back to 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.

You can go into some entrances of the building for free and just see the grand entrances with large chandeliers and painted walls and ceilings.

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Palazzo Rosso & Palazzo Bianco

Palazzo Rosso (the red palace) is 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.

It was built between 1671 and 1677. The Brignole Sale family owned the palace until 1874. After that is was given to the city of Genoa and it became a public gallery.

Palazzo Bianco (the white palace) is another beautiful palace with an art collection and stately rooms. It was built between 1530 and 1540.

The De Franchi family owned the palace until 1711, it was then inherited by the Brignole Sale family. In 1884 it became a public gallery. Both museums are in Via Garibaldi.

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Palazzo Reale

Palazzo Reale is in Via Balbi and was built in 1643. The building is a large aristocratic residence, which the Balbi family lived in and built.

The Durazzo family lived there at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th Century and they enlarged the building. The Savoy dynasty lived there the 19th Century.

It is beautiful inside with very old pieces of art and how the other half lived back then. The courtyard is unique and there are old carriages from that period.

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Porto Antico

Porto Antico (the old port or the ancient port), was originally the old harbour and is an ancient part of Genoa.

It is now a vibrant modern marina with an aquarium, museums, a cinema, bars, restaurants, children’s play area, modern sculptures and old port equipment on display.

There is the ‘Bigo’ that is a panoramic lift that takes you 40 meters to the air in a cabin in the shape of an old crane unloading goods from a ship. This short ride that gives you a panoramic view of the city and harbour.

Porto Antico is a nice area to walk along the water and stop and have a drink or lunch.

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Villa del Principe – Palazzo di Andrea Doria

Villa del Principe is in Piazza del Principe and it was the richest and most noble household of the city of Genoa.

It was the home of the only Prince Genoa ever had in 1529. The rooms are ancient and have painted walls and ceilings and tapestry everywhere and the grounds are stunning.

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Castello D’Albertis

Castello D’Albertis is a modern castle built between 1886 and 1892. The castle was owned by sea captain Enrico Alberto D’Albertis.

The castle was donated to the city of Genoa when he died in 1932. It is located on top of the hill of Monte Galletto in the district of Castelletto.

To get to the museum you can drive, take a bus or take the lift that goes through the hill. The lift entrance is just off Via Balbi.

The view from the castle is stunning of the harbour of Genoa. Inside the castle are collections of artefacts from around the world from the owner’s travels around the world.

The rooms are very interesting to see as he decorated the rooms to remind him of his travels and one even like a ship’s cabin!

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Galata Museo del Mare

The maritime museum – Galata Museo del Mare is a fantastic museum about the history Genoa and the sea.

There are life-size models of boats from years ago and go back in time to when a lot of Italians emigrated by sea to America.

There is a section on submarines and so much more. Also, the view from the top of the museum is worth a visit looking out to the city. There is the option to visit a real submarine just outside of the museum.

 

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Now you know what places to visit in Genoa!

ESSENTIAL INFO

  • Weather: Spring 15*C – 20*C /Summer: 22*C – 35*C / Autumn 10*C – 15*C / Winter: 6*C – 13*C
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Italian, English is spoken in some places (tourist attractions, restaurants, shops)

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the top 10 places to visit in 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

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Genoa Italy - Lucy Williams Global

A Day Trip to Santa Margherita and Portofino on the Ligurian Coast Italy - Lucy Williams Global

Santa Margherita and Portofino are the perfect day trip from Genoa or Milan. They are both on the Ligurian Coast in the north-west of Italy.

They are very close to Genoa by car it takes 30 – 45 minutes depending on traffic and 45 minutes by train, From Milan, it takes just over 2 hours.

Portofino is Santa Margherita’s neighbour and takes another 15 minutes by car to get to. If you take the train you will have to take a bus from Santa Margherita to Portofino that takes around 30 minutes.

The region of Liguria has lots of beautiful seaside towns to explore and in my last post I wrote about Camogli and why is it is a hidden gem.

Santa Margherita and Portofino are both well known so are full of tourists. Not so much in the winter as most of the restaurants and shops are closed up for winter. In the summer both are packed.

We went for a day trip from Genoa to explore and it was a beautiful day for January, cold, but sunny. From the photos, you would think it was a summers day.

Portofino

Portofino is a beautiful tiny town. It is basically a small harbour and the shops and restaurants line the harbour waters.

You can walk to the church and Brown’s Castle and walk around the harbour and that is it. This why I recommend Camogli as it is bigger.

If you like taking photos it is a great place for that as the colourful building contrast nicely against the water.

Coffee, lunch or an aperitive are lovely to have sitting by the water, but you will pay a high price for the privilege.

I spent season sailing around the Mediterranean when I was still working on the cruise ships and we came to Portofino every ten days. I spent a lot of money posing, but I had a good time!

Santa Margherita

Santa Margherita is a bigger than Portofino and is a lovely seaside town. The promenade is lined with shops, restaurants and bars.

In the summer it is a lively place as all the restaurants have outside seating. The town centre is just a short walk from the seaside and has churches, restaurants, bars and shops.

The prices are high to medium if you would like to eat on the seafront, but not as high as Portofino. In the town centre, the prices are more reasonable.

While we were there our friend wanted to find a restaurant and led up the garden path with his map on his phone.

But we did stumble across a gorgeous little cream church and a park, so it was worth it for the photos! We didn’t find the restaurant, but we found another that was very good. I had a local dish of stuffed vegetables with cheese and ham and some local red wine, delicious!

Santa Margherita and Portofino are both beautiful places to visit for the day, have a walk around and have lunch. If you are into hiking to can hike from Santa Margherita to Portofino.

Essential Info

  • Weather: Winter 5*C – 13*C/ Summer 20*C – 30*C
  • Language: Italian and English is spoken
  • Currency: Euro
  • Bring your camera!

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

Have you been? What did you do?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

P.S. Sign up to the mailing list and never miss a blog post and receive my 15 top packing tips. Click here to subscribe

(L. Williams is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, at no extra cost, to you)

Why You Should Visit Camogli instead of Portofino in Italy

Camogli is in Liguria in Italy and is a hidden spot that not many people know about. In the region of Liguria in northern Italy most people have either heard of Portofino or Cinque Terre.

Portofino and Cinque Terre are very beautiful, but Camogli is just as beautiful without the big price tickets and the tourists.

Camogli is around 45 minutes away from Genoa by car or train and 2 hours and 45 minutes from Milan by train.

Camogli is my favourite place is Liguria as the buildings are colourful; it is by the sea; it is beautiful to walk around; it has a beach; the restaurants and bars are fabulous, and there are not lots of tourists, even in the height of summer.

Difference Between Portofino and Camogli

The difference between Portofino and Camogli is Camogli is bigger than Portofino. You can walk around for longer and there is more to see.

Portofino’s prices are a lot higher in the bars, restaurants, shops and to park. Camogli’s prices are regular Italian town prices.

To get to Portofino you can drive, but you cannot get the train there. You can get the train to Santa Margherita and then you would have to get a bus to Portofino. To get to Camogli you can drive or take the train.

In the summer Portofino is full of tourists, Camogli is full of locals and some tourists.

Camogli in Winter

We went to Camogli in January and we were very lucky with the weather. It was a glorious day, sun shining and the temperature at 15*C in the sun.

In the winter months, of course, it can rain and be cold, but if you go on a sunny day it will still be nice, even if it is cold.

We even sat outside when we had lunch. The restaurant we went to had a fantastic sea view and of the church.

Not all the restaurants, bars and gelato shops (ice-cream) are open, but enough are open for a selection.

The beach is packed up for the winter, so you can have a walk on the beach, as in the summer it is full of sun loungers.

It is great for taking photos and it is very quiet and if the sun is out you will get some really good photos without any people in them.

The day we went I felt very calm and relaxed as it was very quiet and tranquil. It was a sunny day so that always makes you feel happy!

Camogli in Summer

Camogli in Summer is lovely, as the small town is buzzing, you can sit on the beach, go for a swim and all the bars, restaurants and shops are open.

This is one place I love to go to in the summer months as you can still have a wonderful day without it feeling like it is too busy.

You can read more about Camogli in the summer by reading ‘Camogli a Hidden Gem in Liguria Italy’.

What to Wear

In the winter months, I would suggest dressing for winter. A coat or jacket, scarf, gloves, hat and flat boots. This way you can still take a hat, gloves and scarf off if the sun warms up. Wear flat boots or shoes as the paths are uneven. Bring a pair of sunglasses just in case.

 

                                 

       

               

Essential Info

  • Weather: Winter 5*C – 13*C/ Summer 20*C – 30*C
  • Language: Italian, some English spoken
  • Currency: Euro

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

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

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

P.S. Sign up to the mailing list and never miss a blog post and receive my 15 top packing tips. Click here to subscribe

Why You Should Visit Camogli instead of Portofino in Italy - Lucy Williams Global

(L. Williams is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, at no extra cost, to you).

 

What To See When Taking A Cruise Around Iceland in Summer - Lucy Williams Global

Thinking of going on a cruise to Iceland this summer? This is a great way to see Iceland and then return to your luxury cruise ship in the evening, without having to figure out your own accommodation and road trip.

Just book tour a shore excursion from the cruise ship or before you board online (you can book your own independent tour, just be back on time). Then just sit back and relax as the ship sails to each port.

All the logistics are sorted out on your behalf all you have to do is meet at the meeting point at the correct time and go and enjoy your tour.

There are different cruises that go to Iceland, some start in the UK and some on the east coast of the US. So you will see some more ports as well as the Icelandic ports.

The cruise we went on around Iceland was in August/September and it was fantastic as we had lovely weather.

The ports we went to were; Seydisfjordur, Akureyri, Grundarfjordur and Reykjavik. We also went to Lerwick in the Shetlands Islands in Scotland, Thurso in Scotland and Bergin in Norway.

Seydisfjordur

Seydisfjordur is on the east of Iceland and is surrounded by fjords. It is a charming small Icelandic village with a church, a few small shops and cafe/bars.

The day I was there it was a beautiful sunny day, so you saw the reflection of the buildings and fjords in the water.

When we were there we just enjoyed a walk around and took it easy as we knew we were going to go on tours for the next few days.

Akureyri

Akureyri was the second Iceland port and is in central northern Iceland. When we were there we went to visit Godafoss Waterfall, Namaskard Pass, Dimmuborgir and Lake Myvatn.

My favourite part of the day was visiting Godafoss Waterfall and Namaskard Pass. Godafoss waterfall was amazing to see and means ‘Water to the Gods’.

It is one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, that is rushing with glacial water of the Skjalfandafljot River.

Namaskard Pass is one of the most volcanic areas in Iceland and there are boiling hot mud pools with dense vapours of sulphur, after a while though the sulphur gets to you.

We also visited Dimmuborgir where lava formations were left and are in lots of different shapes and we saw Lake Myvatn where large craters are. We had a lovely traditional Icelandic lunch of cauliflower soup, followed by trout and veggies.

Grundarfjordur

Grundarfjordur was our next port that is on the north shore of Snaefellsnes Peninsula on the west coast of Iceland.

We visited the black pebble beach and saw the lifting stones that the local sailors tested their strength by lifting. These stones ranged from a 23 kg stone to a 154 kg stone.

To be eligible to become oarsman they had to be able to lift the 54 kg stone. After visiting, the beach we went for a walk around the peninsula that was a stunning rocky shoreline. For lunch, we ate fish soup, followed by cod and veggies.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is in the south-west of Iceland and is a large city by the sea. We had two days there so we got to see a lot.

On the first day, we went to Blue Lagoon which is a fabulous outdoor geothermal spa surrounded by volcanic rock.

 

Blue Lagoon Iceland - Lucy Williams Global

The water is full of minerals and you can put the white silica on your face as a face mask. There is a bar that is in the water so you can swim up and get a drink or two!

Also, there is a sauna and steam room. They offer massages on the water which is at an extra cost.

If you like to take selfies while in the Blue Lagoon these Watertight Sealed Underwater Dry Bag for iPhone and Other Smartphone pouches are great to put your phone in and not get it wet! They have a handy lanyard so you can wear it around your neck, so much easier than carrying!

That evening we went to my favourite lobster restaurant ‘Lobster & Stuff’. We had lobster soup, followed by a lobster roll, delicious!

Lobster and Stuff Iceland - Lucy Williams Global

On the second day, I went to visit the Golden Circle, which is Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and Strokkur. Also on the tour, we saw a Geothermal Power Plant and The Pearl.

I was very excited to see Strokkur for the geyser, it had that smelly sulphur smell again like the boiling muds pits.

But seeing the geyser spurt with water was quite something and you never know in which direction the water will go! I was filming and the water came in our direction, that was funny watching it back!

Thingvellir National Park was very interesting as the rift valley shows the Reykjanes Ridge that divides the North American and Eurasian plates of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, quite something to see.

Gullfoss Waterfall was breath-taking and it was amazing how close you can get to it compared to visiting the Godafoss Waterfall in Akureyri.

I recommend visiting Iceland as it is a fascinating place, very different to the rest of Europe due to its climate and not having many trees.

The Vikings cut most of them down years ago to build boats and they never grew back. The Icelandic people are now replanting but it takes time.

You can visit Iceland all year round, but if you would like to see Iceland in daylight visit in the summer months, as in the winter months there are only 6 hours of light a day. Cruise ships only go in the summer months.

Essential Info

  • Weather in summer months: 4*C – 14*C.
  • Language: Icelandic, but most people also speak English.
  • Currency: Icelandic Krona.
  • It is cold even in summer so wear layers and bring a hat, scarf and gloves.
  • I recommend wearing trainers or hiking shoes to enjoy seeing the sights.
  • Bring an umbrella or rain jacket as when it rains it pours!
  • Bring your camera or phone as the scenery is amazing.

I loved these for my Icelandic adventure:

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

Have you been on a cruise around Iceland? What would you recommend doing?

Happy Travels!

Love Lucy x

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What To See When Taking A Cruise Around Iceland in Summer - Lucy Williams Global(L. Williams is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, this is at no extra cost to you).

 

 

What is Monterosso in Cinque Terre Italy like in Winter - Lucy Williams Global

Monterosso in Cinque Terre is known as a summer destination in Italy, but what is it like in winter? I went to explore to see how it was.

We went on our honeymoon to Monterosso in Cinque Terre in the summer of 2013. It is located on the north-west coast in Italy around an hour away from Genoa by car.

You can also get there by train in 1 hour and 20 minutes from Genoa and 3 hours from Milan.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre means ‘five lands’ in Italian and it is not just one place it is five, hence the name. Cinque Terre has five villages that are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

These five villages are that idyllic colourful Italian destination that you see on the cover of travel magazines and all over Instagram.

Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Manarola are all built by the sea and Corniglia is built on the top of the cliffs.

Cinque Terre is a great place to hike within one of the villages or between each.

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Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso’s full name is Monterosso al Mare. It is the largest of the villages and has a beach. In the summer months from April/May to September, Monterosso is a buzzing small town full of tourists.

When we went in June 2013 it was busy with mainly American and Australian tourists. I felt like I was not in Italy, as I hardly heard anyone speak Italian.

My husband is Italian from Genoa and when we were out one night, he asked ‘am I the only Italian in this restaurant?’ and he was apart from the owners!

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But do not let this put you off, as it was still lovely and had an Italian atmosphere in the town. It is amazing how different it is to Genoa, as Genoa that is only an hour away and is never full of tourists.

Back to Monterosso!

Monterosso is easy to walk around and if hiking is not your scene the town it big enough to walk around and explore.

There are pretty shops, you can stop and have a drink and there is a promenade along the beach to walk along and you can sit on the beach and go for a swim.

When I was there in 2013, I was still in recovery from breaking my femur bone. I had learnt to walk again, unaided, but I could not walk very far and not for too long so Monterosso was perfect.

I recommend it if you have small children or you do not want to walk too far and stay local.

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Monterosso in Winter

Monterosso in winter is completely different to the summer months, as it is a lot colder! Some of the restaurants and shops are closed up and the beach is empty.

This is nice if you like to walk along the beach, as in the summer the beach is covered with sun loungers, beach huts and beach bars.

There were quite a few tourists walking around, nowhere near as much as the summer months, but people were still visiting this beautiful area.

We had a nice day, we had a lovely walk, but the restaurant we wanted to go to re-live our honeymoon was closed.

As most of the restaurants were closed the choice was not as good, but we had nice lunch and made the most of it.

Final Thoughts

I would recommend going to Monterosso in the summer months either at the beginning of the season or end so May or September. June to August is very busy and very hot.

The reasons are, that you will experience the town in its full glory; sunshine, choice of restaurants and bars, all the shops will be open, you can go to the beach and even hike to the next towns.

I will be returning in the summer so I will be reporting back again.

What to Wear

If you choose to go to Monterosso in winter wrap up warm, as it is cold and windy. I recommend a woolly hat, scarf, gloves (ones that you can keep on and still use the touchscreen on your phone) and a warm jacket or coat.

Wear flat shoes or boots as some parts of the old paths and steps are uneven.

                     

Essential Info

  • Weather in winter: 5*C – 11*C
  • Language: Italian and English is spoken
  • Currency: Euros

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

Have you been to Monterosso in winter? What would you recommend doing?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

P.S. Sign up to the mailing list and never miss a blog post and receive my 15 top packing tips. Click here to subscribe

What is Monterosso in Cinque Terre Italy like in Winter - Lucy Williams Global

(L. Williams is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, at no extra cost, to you).