About 90 miles south of Milan, Genoa is a major Italian port city with dozens of famous historical monuments, superb seafood, and dazzling coastal views. Although it’s often overshadowed by cities like Rome or Venice, Genoa has one of the largest and best-preserved historic centers in Europe as well as a powerful tourism infrastructure.
A cruise to Genoa might not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a trip to the Mediterranean region, but it’s worthy of consideration. Anyone interested in fine food, historical treasures, and aesthetic gems won’t be disappointed on a trip to this northern Italian city.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Genoa
As mentioned above, Genoa has one of the largest and best-preserved Old Cities in Europe. The most stunning building in this area is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, which was consecrated in 1118 AD. Amazingly, a British shell that landed in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo during WWII failed to explode, thus preserving this magnificent cathedral for future generations. Be sure to see the original shell on display on your tour of this architectural gem.
Families must add the Genoa Aquarium to their list of things to do in Genoa. Not only is this aquarium the largest in all of Italy, it’s also one of the largest in Europe. Opened in 1992, the Genoa Aquarium has about 70 tanks filled with 1.58 million liquid gallons of water and over 15 thousand marine animals.
Many people who go on a cruise to Genoa also take time to explore a few sites near this great city. One such tourist draw is the idyllic fishing village of Portofino, which has many colorful buildings, storied churches, and excellent scuba diving spots.
Another incredible destination not far from Genoa is the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre region. Visitors will be stunned to see the five villages built here contrasted with the rugged and rocky coastline.
Foodie Tips in Genoa
Seafood lovers should have no difficulty finding a place to eat on their cruise to Genoa. Some of the local specialties to be on the lookout for include fried dumplings with salted cod, squid with potatoes, and a seafood salad known as cappon magro.
Besides seafood, Genoa is well-known for producing come of Italy’s tastiest pesto sauces and focaccia bread. Believe it or not, a typical Genoese breakfast consists of little more than a cup of coffee and a few slices of freshly baked focaccia. One of the best places for literary buffs to grab an authentic Genoese breakfast is at Mangini near the Piazza Corvetto, which used to be one of Ernest Hemingway’s main haunts.
Book a Cruise to Genoa
There are many exceptional reasons to stop in historic Genoa on a cruise through the Mediterranean. Here you’ll find just as many historic, culinary, and natural wonders as in other Italian cities without having to deal with massive tourist crowds. Make sure you add Genoa to your Mediterranean itinerary!