City center and the Old Town
The city center, is one of Europe's most historical and wellpreserved. The heart of Genoa is Piazza Ferrari. The second most important square is called Piazza Corvetto. I found it a bit funny that these 2 squares both made me think about sports cars, Ferrari and Corvette. The most famous street in central Genoa is Via Garibaldi that is presented on its own page, and Via Balbi, both have beautiful Mannerist palaces. At Piazza Dante you can find Europe's 2 first skyscrapers, the gate to the old town and the house where Columbus is said to have been born. Right next to the renovated old harbour, you can find the Old Town with its many wellpreserved, but often very rundown and very narrow alleys. There is a very bohemic feeling about the Old Town, you got the feeling of walking in a poor medieval city with hills and small shops.
Piazza de Ferrari:
Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa's main square.
Terrazza Martini Tower, Europe's first "skyscraper" from 1940, seen behind the Agorà fountain on Piazza de Ferrari.
The Opera House of Genoa. The 63 m tall addition, Torre Teatro Carlo Felice, was added in 1990.
Regione Liguria's building at Piazza de Ferrari.
Palazzo Ducale, the Ducal Palace of Genova is situated at Piazza de Ferrari, but the entrance is on Piazza Matteotti on Via San Lorenzo. the Ducal Palace was completed in 1539 and is still considered an important building in Genoa. Many ceremonies and activities has taken place inside the building's splendid interior, but we had no time to get inside, since there is so much to see in Genova. A bookshop, a jazz museum, a poetry room, a café/restaurant and an educational centre for kids can be find there. Gimaldina Tower served as a VIP prison for rich criminals.
View towards Palazzo Ducale.
A majestic building between Piazza de Ferrari and Piazza Dante.
Galleria Mazzini is a beautiful, but dead shopping galleria next to Piazza de Ferrari.
Galleria Mazzini is modeled after the much larger galleria in Milano.
Bristol Palace, a nice hotel building near Ferrari.
Piazza de Ferrari after dark (the first time we visited the square). No Ferrari cars could be seen...
The Agorà fountain on the Ferrari square.
The Opera at Ferrari and its tower by night.
Piazza de Ferrari. The streets of Genova fastly becomes empty after dark, something we didn't expect from an Italian city.
Galleria Mazzini by night.
Porta Soprana, the ancient main gate to the Old Town.
The Old Town seen from the gate. It was built in 1155 as the southern gate to the town.
The backside of the Porta Soprana gate. You can climb up to get views over the side, something that we missed unfortunately.
Some ruins between Porta Soprana and Columbus house.
The house to the right at Piazza Dante is said to be Christopher Columbus birthplace (something I wasn't aware of when taking the photo), but it is also said that this is wrong and it is only a tourist trap.
Terrazza Martini Tower and Dante 2, two prominent highrises at Piazza Dante. They were two of the first tall highrises in Europe.
Torre Piacentini, also called Terrazza Martini Tower from 1940 is by many considered the first skyscraper of Europe, though it has only 31 floors and is 116m to the spire. There is an observation deck on the top called Columbus Terrace, something that we missed.
A tunnel that goes underneath the two highrises at Via Dante.
We had a good pizza at Grattacielo American Pizzeria & Bar inside the Dante 2 "skyscraper". Grattacielo means skyscraper in Italian. The building is rarely a skyscraper, but was one of the first highrises in Europe.
Looking up Dante 2 highrise from 1939 that is 83 m tall and has 24 floors.
Via Dante, the street that leads from Piazza Dante to Piazza de Ferrari. Note the yellow/grey buses.
Other parts of central Genova:
The Christopher Columbus Statue at Piazza Acquaverde could be seen from our hotel. As Columbus was born in Genova, he is present on many places in the city.
Cristoforo Colombo - the original name of Christopher Columbus. The statue is opposite the station.
Hotel Bellevue was the 3 star hotel were we stayed, that felt rather like a 2 star hotel. The entrance and we had a room at the terrace. We had views over Genova's modern skyline, the nearby Principe railway station and the nearby Columbus statue. It was practic but noisy to stay near the station.
Our room at Hotel Bellevue. There was a smell of smoke or something in the room that we didn't like and
the air condition didn't work, that was very bad in this hot weather. However, the breakfast was ok and the
staff was friendly and the toilet was ok even if there were some problems with it.
Views from our room. The hotel was also close to the port and the city center.
Stazione Principe, is the main railway station in Genova together with Stazione Brignole. That is where we arrived with our train from Sanremo. The buses are yellow and orange in Genova, the same as most other Italian cities.
Grand Hotel Savoia was a 5 star hotel next to our hotel. After dark, there was an impressive lighting on the exterior that shifted from violet to yellow, green and blue.
Some historical building on the hill seen from the train station.
Palazzo Reale at Via Balbi with its museum.
The courtyard of Palazzo Reale.
An trolleybus at Via Balbi, close to our hotel.
Chiesa della SS. Annunziata del vastato o guastato. A church near Via Balbi.
Banco di Sardegna.
Piazza Corvetto is the second largest square.
Flotta Lauro, a big shipping line.
The Columbus Statue at Piazza Acquaverdi and Hotel Bellevue, our hotel on the hills.
St Lawrence Cathedral at Piazza San Lorenzo, that was the only square in Genova for the whole Middle Ages, was built in a Mannerist style. Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is its original Italian name.
San Lorenzo Cathedral was probably founded as early as in the 5th or 6th century AD. Because of the small size of San Lorenzo square, it was hard to capture the whole building.
The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Genova. San Lorenzo reminded me of the Byzantine churches of Marseille.
The bohemic, worn and narrow streets n the old town.
Piazza San Mateo.
Santo Stefano church at Piazza San Mateo.
Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria.
The road and the highway that differs the Old Town from Porto Antico, the old harbour.