Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 9, 2013

Discovering Genova

Cristoforo Colombo set off from his home town of Genova (via Spain) to discover the New World. On a much more modest scale we set off to discover Genova.

It is Italy’s largest port and has a large industrial centre, but we weren’t interested in that, we headed off to the old part of town where the incredibly narrow streets (caruggi) are crammed with fascinating sights. Come for a walk through old Genova.



The first place we saw was this lovely old restaurant.


Clearly, Elvis had once eaten here.


There are dozens of elegant churches and grand buildings.







This lovely little church, which is stuffed full of marble, has a commercial side. The ground floor is full of shops. The builders wanted a return for their investment.



There are elaborate decorations on many corners. They actually served a purpose, they held torches and candles to light the way through the city at night.


Some of the streets are very narrow indeed.


But they are full of life, giving the city a jaunty feeling.




Many of the buildings are beautifully painted.





And there is a bit of modern art as well.




Washing hangs from the balconies.




From high above the city you can get an idea how huge it is.





We covered quite a lot in a couple of hours….there is much more to be found.


  1. Where ever did you park?

    • That is a long and horrible story, but we ended up in a very convenient car park very close to the hotel and the old city centre, just minutes from the gate in the first and second photos.

      • That was fortuitous – it looks fabulous remember our detour on the way to Bra?

      • I do remember the quick tour we had through the back streets of Genova…very interesting, in retrospect.

  2. I love hilly cities and crammed streets. And coming from Sydney I have a weakness for busy port towns and sunsets over water. Genova is gorgeous and I also love Trieste!

    • This is our second trip to Genoa. We loved it the first time and were very keen to return.

  3. Applause, applause, thank you for the museum quality photos and allowing memories of my life in Genova to return; you truly, truly have the eye of an artist.

    • It is not difficult to get good photos when you have such willing and lovely subject.

  4. Genova must be in our hearts today after the horrific accident in the port yesterday.

    • Yes, we have just heard that the city is in mourning today. I haven’t heard the details of the accident, but it sounds awful.

  5. We also love the old Genoa and always enjoy walking through its streets. Traffic is a problem, so the best thing is to park the car and do a bit of exercise.

    • We actually found a car park close by after an interesting false start.

  6. The city’s looking great – loved and cared for again. Wonderful walk Debra 🙂

    • It is a vibrant, lively city. There are many more tales to tell.

    • Genova is a really interesting city to walk through. We spent all the next day wandering as well, so there will be a few more posts on Genova.

      • Great, because I haven’t been there since 1972! 🙂

  7. Have cruised out of the port but haven’t experienced this lovely city as you have – on the wish list for another time.

    • The old city centre is very big and full of fascinating things, you should visit.

  8. My grandfather’s family is from there and I’d like to visit on my next trip to Italy. It looks wonderful – great pictures!

    • You havebto go! It is a great city. It is full of wonderful bars and restaurants, old and new, and the old buildings are fascinating.

  9. I will be in Genoa in July for an event, staying in an AirBnB apartment in the old town, and was a little nervous about it. Thanks to your personalized introduction, interesting and welcoming photos and comments, I am now eagerly looking forward to the visit. I hope you will share more about your trip soon.

    • I will do some more posts on Genova soon. I’m sure you will have a great time. It is a vibrant, lively city and we felt quite safe there.

  10. As usual love your details!

    • There are lots of great things to photograph in Genova. The streets are amazing.

  11. There is always so much to discover in Genova…just read in the paper today that they had a container ship crash into the port today, and knock down the tower….yikes! Sounded like a bad accident and killed 7 people.

  12. For me Genoa is my favourite Italian big city – in 1995 I did a teaching exchange and spent two months here. The arts teacher at the school showed me lots of sites and we also explored the little borghi around. It is not often realised that Genoa has the largest mediaeval centre of any city in Europe and that it was loved above all other Italian places by Charles Dickens who lived in the Albaro quarter and descrfibed it brilliantly in his “Pictures from Italy”.

    • I had heard that Naples was the largest, but Genova certainly has a huge historical centre. In fact, in parts, it reminded me a little of Naples. I love them both.

  13. I was interested to read one of our followers booked an airbnb apartment. I’ve booked one in Barcelona & one in Rome for a week each – so hopefully it will be a good move

    • I have heard of those, but I have not stayed in one yet.

  14. I was too young to remember much about Genova, but wow … your pics have me craving it’s old city. Is the train station close to the old city?

  15. Thanks for the tour. I’ve always wanted to go and spend some time in Genoa after being lost down in the harbor once-I’m not even sure how we ended up dow there!

    • It can be very confusing driving in Genova. We took a wrong turn once when we were driving past the city and ended up lost down by the port. It was a bit scary, but we eventually found our way back onto the Autostrada.

  16. Another Italian world. Beautiful Debra!

  17. Looks like a fascinating city to explore, I think it will be on our list of Italian destinations for our next trip, your photos are wonderful and I would love to see more of Genova.

    • Genova is a really interesting city.I’m sure you will love it.

  18. Thanks for reminding me the location of your Genova posts. Do you know which train station is closest to the Old City?

    • I can’t help you with that, sorry. We have driven to Genova each time we have visited. Next time we will take the train. We got a fine for driving into the restricted part of the city.

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