The port, the sea, the historic centre, and UNESCO heritage
A Maritime Republic, an international port with a medieval historical centre, a world heritage site: Genoa is a surprising city that expresses all its beauty via contrasts.
Set between the East and the West, Genoa is majestic and imposing and lies on a very long stretch of coast between the mountains and the sea. A city with many faces, where monuments from a priceless artistic heritage coexist, one of the most important industrial ports in the Mediterranean and a breathtaking natural landscape rich in unusual sceneries. With its 113 hectares it is one of the largest medieval historical centres in Europe and with the highest population density. The historic centre of Genoa is a maze of alleys,caruggi, which unexpectedly open up in small squares, often linked, like the churches that overlook it, to important noble families.
The spirit of Genoa lies right in the alleys, where different smells, tastes, languages and cultures have always mixed together. And the historic centre, more than any other part of the city, has always been a melting pot. In these cramped spaces, sandwiched between the hills and the sea, the pride of the rich Genoese merchants and aristocrats built splendid dwellings, where works of art were collected and kept for centuries, still visible in some of the palaces, today museums open to the public.
In this compact set of buildings, where the windows of the houses are so close together that they almost touch each other, architectural styles overlap: the medieval wall forms the basis of a fourteenth-century building, while Gothic arcades are now transformed into fashionable premises. In the historic centre of Genoa, the past is the foundation of the present. Ancient port area redesigned by Renzo Piano in 1992, on the occasion of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America, the ancient port has now become the tourist centre of the city where you can sip an aperitif, dine, go shopping, watch a film, skate on ice or jump into the pool. Arriving at the end of the pier where the Magazzini del Cotone are located, a stone’s throw from the Lanterna, Genoa and its Gulf can be admired in all their beauty. The hills are the backdrop to this evocative landscape, coloured by day and lit up by night.