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

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

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 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).

Merry Christmas from Genoa in Italy - Lucy Williams Global

Merry Christmas from Genoa in Italy! This is where I am for Christmas this year with my husband and his side of the family.

The city is looking lovely with all the festive lights. In the area of Porto Antico, they have gone to town with giant ball balls, Christmas trees made of just lights, icicles and a huge big wheel ride at the end of the marina.

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We went on the big wheel and the views of the harbour and the city were spectacular. This was a fun ride on go on at Christmas time.

In the city centre in Piazza De Ferrari there is a little Christmas Market that surrounds the fountain, selling cheese, cold cuts, panettone, Christmas decorations, clothing and accessories and lots of other festive items and it goes on into Via di San Lorenzo.

The Christmas tree is gorgeous, especially at night with the lights shining on the square. There a giant blue and silver ball ball that lights up at night too, this seems to be a theme all over the world this year.

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The weather in the Genoa is not too bad for December varying from 6C to 13C. It is has been quite dry, with the odd rainy day, but no snow.

I am cooking a British Christmas dinner for my Italian family, so now I need to go and prepare it!

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year for 2018.

Happy Travels!

Love Lucy x

P.S Here is my Christmas Tip!

Relax with an audiobook when you need some peace and quiet! Click here to see the best books of the year.

 

Merry Christmas - 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).