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Dreams of pesto and possibility

Dreams of pesto and possibility

Genoa, the capital of the Liguria region, is where you’ll find the real Italy. Where nonna talks with her hands and laundry is still hung out to dry on Juliet-style balconies. Playing second or even third fiddle to the boot’s bigger gems of Venice, Florence and Rome, Genoa’s charms lie in the elegantly dilapidated narrow lanes where the everyday mundane takes place.

Genoa is home to two main train stations with connections to cities near and far. Milan can be reached in just about 90 minutes ; Turinin less than two hours. Rome is approximately five hours away. The city is incredibly accessible, and yet, many don’t stop and see what’s being missed. Travel with ease using a Eurail Italy Pass.

The Genovese are a proud people – and for good reason. The city’s glory days long behind, they can still cling to once being the most important maritime center during the Roman Empire. Within the old medieval walls, much hasn’t changed since Genovese ships launched raids on the Venetians. Today, the port is lined with shops, cafes and boulevards along the water where you can daydream of exploration. Probably like Christopher Columbus did when he was growing up here in Genoa. The town is permeated with the explorer’s memory. You can even visit his supposed childhood home, a small ivy-clad house, just outside the Porta Soprana.
Genoa isn’t without its architectural gems. There are plenty of palazzos on parade in between the alleyways. On Via Garibaldi, Genoa’s most beautiful street, the 16th century Palazzo Bianco houses an outstanding collection of Genoese art. At the Palazzo Rosso, Carravaggio’s Ecce Homo (Man of Sorrows) can be viewed. The Palazzo Ducale, where the Dukes of Genoa used to live, also contains important masterpieces. The Palazzo Reale was used by the kings of Savoy and has an ornate 17th century interior.

With its prominent seaside location, it makes sense that you’d find Europe’s biggest aquarium. Over a million landlubbers visit this water wonderland each year. Next door is the Porto Antico, an entertainment area with museums, movie theaters, cafés and also a beautiful promenade along the sea. It’s a beautiful spot to stop for a bite and taste Liguria’s most mouth-watering import – pesto. Crafted of olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and basil, top off a pile of penne with this delicious sauce. Another must try is a basket of focaccia bread, which also originated here. Topped with olive oil, salt and a little bit of white wine, this is a simple, delectable treat. Just like the rest of Genoa.

Paolo Coelho wrote, "Among the marvels of Italy, it will take some digging to find the beauties of Genoa, but it is worth visiting." This is the simple wonder of traveling ; walking through a maze of streets, discovering its true taste. Genoa can be a little salty around the edges, but with time, you’ll find the sweetness within.

About Italy

Genoa station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Genoa.

Genoa city guide

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From our travel community

Aix-en-provence to monaco & monaco to genoa. can't seem to tell if train stops in monaco. We want to travel from Aix-en Provence to Monaco, stay overnight & then on to Genoa, by rail. We can't seem to locate where/if the train stops in Monaco. Can someone please advise us as to where that would (...)

Tilden L Drinkard | 18 February 2026 complete | 3 Comments
Is there a overnite train from genoa to interlaken I want to ride bike and look on high for day or so- please tell me where to go to help me plan this trip. I would like to travel at night when possible

maryann frantz | 15 June 2026 complete | 2 Comments
Best travel route from turin to nice Specifics please! This will be Friday July 28 I'll be traveling alone with my 12 yo daughter from Turin. We have a few days to "kill" and think we would like to spend them in Nice/surrounding area before flying out of Nice airport, if it's (...)

Joanne Goodchild Masone | 17 June 2021 complete | 2 Comments
Rail pass or individual tickets for berlin-nuremburg-munich-salzburg-venice-cinque terre-genoa? I am looking at options for buying rail passes vs individual train tickets for my upcoming Europe trip. If you can offer any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I am traveling in Europe from July 18-Aug 11 and I am looking for the best way to (...)

Jennifer Brush | 14 May 2005 complete | 4 Comments

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