One Way to do Genoa

 

My wife and I recently visited Genoa when it was the port of disembarkation for our cruise on board P&O ‘s Ventura.

This was the first time we had visited the city and in order to make the most of it we booked a one night extension in a local hotel. This gave us almost a full day plus a few hours the following forenoon though I am confident in saying that the places covered in this thread are easily achievable  on a standard day’s visit.

Some internet  research and a thorough read of the Genoa section in our trusted Italy Eyewitness Guide…

 

 

…had been undertaken in order to prioritise the points of interest to us and it soon became apparent that the use of the Genoa Citysightseeing  Hop On – Hop Off service would suit us admirably for the purpose of commuting between the major sightseeing centres…

 

 

One of the HoHo stops is actually at the Genoa Cruise Terminal ( No 9 – Stazione Marittima) and we stayed with the bus till stop 2 ( Piazza Fontaine Marose), our first hop off…

 

 

 

Piazza Fontaine Marose is an ideal stop for visiting Via Garibaldi and, if interested, using the public elevator to Belvedere Montaldo to take in the views over Genoa…

 

 

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In the above panoramic view over Genoa, in the right hand top corner, can be seen a  lone obelisk/tower shape. This is in fact La Lanterna, the iconic symbol for the City of Genoa and destined to be the prime target for my visit (more later)…

 

Via Garibaldi is probably the most famous  street in Genoa. It is the historical centre of genoa and is well known for its ancient palaces. It is also very narrow and a real challenge to photograph in a manner that will capture the true magnificence of the buildings in the street, including many palaces…

 

…even using a wide angled lens.

Perhaps the two most famous of the palaces on Via Garibaldi are the Palazzo Rosso…

 

and Palazzo Doria Tursi…

 

 

It is permitted to enter most of the courtyards, and this is an example of the splendour inside Palazzo Doria Tursi…

 

 

A few minutes  walk from Via Garibaldi  was the fulcrum of our visit, the Piazza De Ferrari….

 

Situated in the heart of the city between the historical and the modern centres, Piazza De Ferrari is renowned for its fountain, The Palace of the Doges, The Teatro Carlo Felice,  the principal Opera House and the architectural gem, the  Palazzo della Nuova Borsa di Genova seen behind the fountain.

Piazza De Ferrari was to be central to our planned Genoa visit and once we had gathered our bearings we did a roughly circular route…

 

 

Leaving Piazza Ferrari we proceeded along Via Dante, keeping  Palazzo della Nuova Borsa to the left until reaching on the right hand side, a small park area ( A ) the grounds of which house the home of Christopher Columbus

 

The 12th Century Sant Andrea Monestery Cloisters…

 

 

…and the ancient Eastern gateway to the city, ( B )the Porta Soprana

 

 

Passing through Porta Soprana,  and turning left, we followed the Via Di Ravecca  until we arrived at the 13th Century Church, Convent and Museum of Sant ‘Agostino  ( C ) …

 

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The Museum in the Cloister Extension houses sculptures, frescoes and Italian Ligurian stone artifacts from the tenth to the eighteenth century.

 

A short distance along the Stradone Sant’Agostino is another of Genoa’s famous churches, that of San Donato, with it’s 12th Century Octagonal Bell tower ( D )…

 

From the front of Sant Donato we continued along Salita Pollaiuoli and after just another short distance came to ( EThe Doges Palace

 

 

 

…well worth a look inside.  At the entrance there is a spacious corridor, and anyone can come and go freely. Sometimes, in the courtyard of the atrium, various exhibitions or mini concerts are held…

 

While  the Doges’ Palace square is a renowned venue for a number of rather quirky street entertainers…

 

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Two hundred yards from the Doges Palace Square is ( F ) the Cathedral Of San Lorenzo

 

That may well suffice for this area,  however there was to be one further site we sought.  I have long held a fascination with the Knights Templar and have found links on my previous travels in both Malta and Pisa. I had heard that another two links were here in Genoa and that one was in this area.

 

And so it was that I found in nearby Piazza  San Matteo (  G ) this ‘Bas Relief’ of St George above the entrance doorway of a house built during the 12th Century by the Doria family…

 

and, interestingly, right opposite the rather quaint Church of San Matteo, in the same piazza…

 

 

The church was founded in 1125 by Martino Doria as the private chapel of his family. It was totally renewed in Gothic Style in 1278.

 

Returning into Piazza Ferrari near the Carlo Felize Opera House

 

 

…we re-boarded the Ho-Ho bus and continued our journey as far as Stop 4  – Piazza della Vittoria –  where we lunched in one of the many very nicely appointed ‘al fresco’ restaurants  before taking in the sights of the rather expansive Piazza della Vittoria.

Together with Piazza De Ferrari, which it is linked  by Via XX Settembre,  Piazza della Vittoria – named in honour of Italy after the First World War – is considered one of the most important squares in the city centre.

 

The hallmark feature of the square is the impressive triumphal arch, the Arco della Vittoria…

 

 

It is a monument dedicated to the fallen of the First World War which was erected in the 1930s and is adorned with statues and bas-reliefs by various artists, among them Eugenio Baroni.

In the background of the piazza is the D’Oria Classical High School, named after Admiral Andrea Doria, and alongside this, the staircase of the Unknown Soldier. On the sloping lawn between the two flights of stairs, Christopher Columbus’ three caravels are depicted in the greenery…

..

 

 

And here it all is, featured in my  first ‘selfie’ in Genoa…

 

 

 

We now caught the next Ho-Ho Bus from outside Genoa’s main railway station,  Stazione Brignole, (Stop 5) and stayed aboard all the way back to Stazione Maritime (Stop 9)…

 

 

…from where we headed along the waterfront promenade for some 25 minutes walk to La Lanterna …

 

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Picking up the Ho-Ho bus once more from Stop 9 we disembarked for the final time at Stop 1, at Piazza Caricamento and Porto Antico di Genoa

 

 

This is the Old Port area of Genoa, where a thousand years of history has been given a new life of  tourism, culture, shopping, entertainment, sports, food and fun. It is the heart of the new Genoa where locals and tourists alike have fun.

 

 

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Would you believe that that crane was a British  ‘Tannet & Walker’ 1888 Hydraulic Crane?

 

The cleverly named food court and restaurant…

 

 

…and the equally famous galleon,  Neptune. A replica of a Spanish galleon built in 1985 for the Roman Polanski film, ‘Pirates’.

 

 

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and more modern Biosfera…

 

 

Our walk back to our hotel took us once again to the second of my Knights Templar connections, the St. John Commandery…

 

 

Genoa proved to be an absolutely fascinating visit. By using the Ho-Ho bus we achieved  considerable coverage of most of the attractions that I would imagine a cruising tourist would wish to see. Certainly our time scale for the day, considering we had to first disembark the ship and check into our hotel, was compatible with a ship’s scheduled visit.

 

We certainly covered some ground and dined that evening in our hotel. A review of our stay at the Grand Hotel Savoia can be found at …

http://www.silvertravelforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3715

 

The following morning we had a few spare hours and I explored another of Genoa’s famous Streets, Via Balbi. I will cover that in a further edition of ‘One way to do Genoa’.

 

Look out in the next  episode on how I discovered the underground tram ride that switches  into an escalator to reach Castle Albertis

 

 

Amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 responses to “One Way to do Genoa

  1. Thanks Richard for uncovering Genoa , seems we missed quite a lot of it I am looking forward to the next time we go and will be sure to take the details you have kindly posted , certainly looks as though there is a full days exploring to do

  2. ABSOLUTLEY STUNNING! Loved it all and thank you so much for taking the time to share this experience.

  3. Pingback: Ventura – A Perfect Fly-Cruise Med Break | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

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