GENOA & LIGURIA
Genoa is the main town of the region Liguria (north west coast of Italy) and it is situated facing the sea, just in the middle of the Ligurian coast. The regional territory, covering a surface of 5500 square kilometers, of which 315 kilometers are situated along the coast of the Ligurian Gulf, it is predominantly mountainous, with peaks that reach an altitude of 1000 meters. It is a strip of land, among the Ligurian Gulf, the Maritime Alps, and the Apennine mountain chain, that respectively mark the border among Liguria, Piedmont and France.
Liguria and Genoa enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate, that gives pleasant and mild temperatures, with annual excursions around 15 degrees. Winter averages are recorded around 10 degrees while summers are made fresh by the sea breezes, which allow the temperatures to go down and to settle in on an average of 24 degrees.
Thanks to its geographical position and the natural gulf, Genoa in the Middle Age was an important Maritime Republic and it was connected through the sea with all over the world.
The city was rich and the noble families such as the famous Doria family consolidated the power of Genoa in all the Mediterranean area. In the town the most resonant names of Italian nobility have been recalled.
Many noble and public people has been important patrons of the arts. Famous painters, architects and sculptors worked here on commission of the nobles, leaving to us many recognized masterpieces, which are magnificently preserved and visible in many Genoese museums.
In this period blooms and develops the Baroque, which gives the city a defined character, called “Superba”, term with which Genoa has acquired through its luminous history.
The main center of the town is the area located between the ancient “Porta dei Vacca” and “Porta Soprana”: it is the historical medieval center of the town.
The small streets of this area are called “carruggi” or “vicoli” and are very famous: many Genoese singers, internationally known, such as Fabrizio de Andrè, Bruno Lauzi, Ivano Fossati, and Gino Paoli have written about our “caruggi” in their songs.
It is amusing to walk along the small streets, rich of shops of every kind, animated during the daytime and during the nights by street artists and stands. In the evening there are lots of places that offer concerts, music and fun.
The economic and representative heart of Genoa is “Piazza De Ferrari” with the painted facades of its palaces, typical example of Ligurian architecture. Palazzo Ducale dominates the piazza as it is a blend of style among two cultures: if the façade facing Piazza De Ferrari is sumptuously decorated with frescos, the other one, facing Piazza Matteotti, is a typical example of Neoclassicismo. The inside of the Palace often entertains temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
The religious center is the “Cathedral of San Lorenzo”. Completed more than a thousand years ago, the Cathedral is mainly in Gothic style and alternates between white and black marbles with slate, typical local stone. Inside the Cathedral is the treasure of San Lorenzo and the Laver of San Giovanni Battista.
The historical Genoa continuous in the Via Garibaldi and in the Via Balbi, where the most beautiful and important buildings are found: Palazzo Tursi (1565 –1579) centre of the town hall, Palazzo Rosso (1671-1677) today National Gallery and Palazzo Bianco (1712-1716). In Via Balbi there is assembled the greater part of the humanistic faculties and Palazzo Reale, built by the family Durazzo (1643-1655) and was the residence of the Savoia family.
The pedestrian area of the so called “Porto Antico” is very animate; it is possible to take long walks, to go to the cinema, or to stop in one of the so many places to taste a fresh appetizer or to spend the night in a disco-pub, or to taste an ice-cream in the fascinating area of Boccadasse, or to choose Nervi and its sea promenade under a romantic moon. Nervi is also famous for its park called the Roseto, natural habitat for the squirrels and centre of a known international festival of ballet in the summer. If you like the music you can choose to stay in centre: the old town takes the name of “movida” for the variety of the restaurants, pubs and disco-pubs that you can find. This is only an example of what the city is able of to offer!
Liguria is a unique experience to live: sea, nature, mountain, culture, and history.
Genoa and the eastern and western rivieras are rich of all these aspects and fascinate tourist from all over the world.
On the east side, we have:
Camogli, a classical marine suburb with many colored external walls
Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, with their luxuriant coastal nature and famous all over the world.
The small coast place of St. Fruttuoso, internationally known for the presence of the statue "Christ of the abysses", daily visited by numerous scuba divers
The Cinque Terre, representing a naturalistic site of sure charm. Monterosso, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Riomaggiore became in 1988 Unesco World's heritage. The five villages located on the sea are connected from practicable paths. The road between Riomaggiore and Manarola has been called, thanks to the beauty of the landscape "The street of love".
Travelling on the west side, you will meet sandy beaches, a less wild terrain, linked together with small communities; an ideal week end getaway of all rest and culture.
Along the itinerary you will meet
Albisola, known for the splendid ceramics that has made the town world renown
Noli, situated about 40 minutes from Genoa and its small medieval suburb with a tower and a castle splendidly preserved
Toirano, and the caves with stalagmites and stalactites of prehistoric epoch
Sanremo, famous all over the world for it’s festival of Italian songs and for the flowers
but at every step till the border with the France, it is possible to enjoy all the beauty and the culture Liguria region and Ligurian people will be pleased to open to their guests.
For more information please vitit the official web site of tourism in Liguria region http://www.turismoinliguria.it/turismo/en/home.do