Genoa Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Genoa

Planning a short break to Genoa? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Genoa. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Genoa. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Acquario di Genova

located at Ponte Spinola and can be reached by bus 12; 18; 19; 34 or a 15 minute walk from Stazione Principe (train station). Just about every sea creature you could ever hope to see is housed in this huge aquarium, which is the largest in Europe and one of the biggest attractions in Italy. The aquarium was origionaly launched for Expo '92 in honour of the 5th centenery of Columbus' arrival in the new world and has just grown from then.

There are 40 tanks in the aquarium that is styled to look like a gigantic ship about to set sail and houses species from all over the world such as the Great Coral Reef and the Amazon River Basin.

The newest addition to the aquarium is the new exhibition centre called the Big Blue Ship.

Open Monday 10am to 6pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30am to 7:30pm, Thursday 9:30am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 to 8:30pm. Allow about three hours to view everything.

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and Campanile

located at Piazza San Lorenzo Via Tommaso Reggio 17, take bus 42. This is one of the grandest cathedrals in Genoa. Dating from the 13th century and distinguished by the black and white marble bands that decorate the Pisan style facade, the dome and campanile of the church were disigned by Alessi in the 16th century. The cathedral treasury contains some fascinating and sometimes very hard to believe relics such as the blue Chalcedony platter that apparently held John the Baptists head, a crystal glass reputedly used at the last super and a jewel studded Byzantine Zaccaria cross.

The chapel of John the Baptist is also housed in the Cathedral. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 11:30am and 3pm to 6pm.

Civic Gallery of the Red Palace

located at the Via Garibaldi 18, take bus 18;20;30 or 35. Built in the 17th century, the palace was once the residence of Brignole Sale, a local aristocratic family. The palace was bombed in the second world war but restored and now houses a fantastic collection of paintings as well as collections of sculptures and ceramics and a display of gilded baroque statuary.

Highlights of the collections include, Giuditta by Veronese, portrait of Pauline by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Spring and Summer frescoes by Gregorio de Ferrari, Autumn and Winter frescoes by Domenico Piola, St Sebastian by Guido Reni and Cleopatra by Guercino. Open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 7pm.

Civic Museum of the White Palace

located at Via Garibaldi 11, take bus 18; 20; 30; 34; 35 or 36. Dating from the 16th century, the palace as well as an extensive art collection, was donated to the city of Genoa by the Dutchess of Gallier.

Some of the most significant pieces in the museum include paintings from the Flemish and Dutch schools, such as Jesus Blessing the Faithful by Memling and Polittico Della Cervara by Gerard David. Other pieces of interest are paintings by Peter Paul Rubens and Sir Anthony Van Dyck and Caravaggio, Murillo and Zurbaran. Another popular painting is that of a scene in a Genovese garden by Alesssandro Magnasco and there is a whole room dedicated to works by Bernardo Strozzi. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 1pm, Wednesday and Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Via Garibaldi

this is one of the most important streets in the city of genoa. Via Garibaldi was the street where during late Renaissance times, rich noble Genovese families built breathtaking Palazzi guided in their choice of architecture by Alessi who studied under Michelangelo and grew up in the area. Palazzo Podesta at no 7 has a beautiful fountain in its courtyard and Palazzo Trusi at no 9 is now home to the municipal offices which now displays artifacts of famous Genoans, including letters written by Christopher Columbus and the violin of Niccolo Paganini and is still sometimes played on special occassions. Municipal offices are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to noon and 1pm to 4pm and entry is free.


the state of todays harbour is thanks to massive reconstruction as the origional harbour was almost destroyed by massive bombing that cribbled the seaside during the Second World War. A wonderful way to see the new harbour and skyline is to take an hour long harbour cruise on one of the boats in the fleet of the Cooperativa Battellieri dei Porto di Genova. The harbour cruise lets you take a closer look at the Laterna which is a 110 meter tall lighthouse built in 1544. The cruises embark daily from Stazione Marittian which is located on teh harbour and a short distance from Stazione Principe, the rail station.

Royal Palace Museum

located at Via Balbi 10, take bus 18; 19 or 20 to reach the museum. The Royal Palace dating back to 1650 was built for the Balbi family and is a short 5 minute walk from Stazione Principe. The palace was sold to the Durazzos by the Baldi family and it became one of teh royal palaces of the Savoias in 1824. Around 1840 rooms were modified by King Charles Albert and many of the origional features were destroyed.

Today the gallery houses sculptures and paintings by Van Dyck, L Giordano, G. F. Romanelli and Tintoretto. Particular highlights are the thrown room, Hall of mirrors, frescoes and antiques from the 17th and 19th centuries.

Mercato Orientale

located on the edge of the historic core of Genoa and Stazione Brighole on Via XX Settembre. This historic market dating back to the 17th century is a sprawling mosaic of sights, sounds and tastes. One of Europes greatest markets, it is the perfect place to pick up fresh produce from the Liguarian countryside such as fresh herbs, citrus fruits and olives as well as every imaginable type of seafood.

The streets just north of the market like Via Colomba and Via San Vicenzo are great for typical Italian specialities such as canned pesto, olive oils and deliocios baked breads and pastries. The market opens at 7am Monday to Saturday and it is best to get there early.

Da Giacomo

located at Corso Italian 1R. Many people describe this as the best restaurant in Genoa. Da Giacomo has a lovely modern dinning room softened with beautiful green potted plants. The atmosphere is friendly and the service is excellent. The menu focuses on traditional Lingurian cooking that is dominated by seafood.

For a delicious starter try the seafood antipasti, which is a combination of cooked and raw seafood and fish. For main meals there are perfectly prepared meat, poultry, fish and pasta dishes that are usually accompanied by pesto. Deserts are mouthwatering and prepared fresh daily and to accompay your meal try one of the finest regional wines in Italy. Open daily 12:30pm to 2:30 pm and 7:30pm to 11:30pm. Take bus 18 to get there and reservations are reccommended.

Parco Durazzo Pallavicini

ocated at the Vill Durazzo Pallavinci, this magnificent landscaped park is one of the most beautiful in Italy. The park has hills, pine and oak tree woods, a little zoo with goats and fallow deer that the children can pet and large grassy areas to play and picnic.

The tumbling waterfalls, lovely temples, picturesque castles, oriental pagodas and gleaming lakes take on a wonderland like atmosphere. Adults and children can take boat trips on the lake and the park also has a cafeteria, bookshop and guided tours are available.

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.

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