The sea and city of Genoa
From Via del Campo to Boccadasse, discovering the heart and soul of Genoa.
Those visiting Genoa who have had occasion to listen to Via del Campo, Fabrizio De Andre's celebrated song, might not immediately recognise the famous Italian singer-songwriter's description of the city's Carruggi district.
De Andre and the Unification of Italy
In fact, what was once one of Genoa's most infamous areas, populated by prostitutes and other disreputable characters, has evolved in major tourist attraction, lined with stylish shops, restaurants and bars in which to savor the city's legendary fugassa.
Two museums are located in the area, the Gianni Tasso Museum in Via del Campo, dedicated to De Andre, and the Museo del Risorgimento, which recounts the life and times of another famous citizen of Genoa and important protagonist in the Unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini.
One of the characteristics of the Caruggi is its vicinity to the sea and most importantly, to the port of Genoa.
After the Colombiadi of 1992, the appearance of this zone was significantly altered by the construction of the Bigo, a unique rotating elevator from the summit of which a stunning 360° view over the city can be admired.
Another work of architecture which has dramatically altered the skyline of the old port is Renzo Piano's "Bolla" or Bubble.
A spectacular glass construction suspended on the water and protected by an ingenious system of sails, Renzo Piano's Bolla is home to a great variety of ferns, tropical insects and reptiles
Sharks in Genoa!
Just a few meters away lies the Aquarium of Genoa, one of the largest in Europe, in which some 70 tanks reproduce the marine environments for more than 600 animal species including sharks, dolphins and seals.
Also in the vicinity, we find the Museo dei Bambini children's museum and the Museo dell'Antartide, the only museum in Europe completely dedicated to the Antartic.
At home with Colombus
Heading back along the narrow roads of the historic center, we pass beneath the Porta Soprana, one of the oldest gateways to the city, so as to reach the Church of San Lorenzo, Genoa's Cathedral, and the Palazzo Ducale, now an important exhibition center.
It is in this corner of the historic center that we find the house of Cristoforo Colombo, where the great navigator and explorer lived from the tender age of 4.
Showing the way
On foot or by bus we reach the Lanterna, one of the city's best loved landmarks. The Lanterna, is Genoa's 117m high lighthouse, the exterior of which is formed by two towers.
The 365 step climb leading to the top of the lighthouse is amply rewarded by a quite breathtaking view of the Gulf and the Riviera
The walk to Boccadasse
Traversing Corso d'Italia we discover an area of Genoa particular dear to its citizens, but still as yet relatively unknown to tourists.
The elegant seaside promenade, restored in 1992, commences at the Fiera del Mare and culminates in the ancient Borgo of Boccadasse, a picturesque fishing village in which to savor the flavors and scents of the sea.