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Gorgeous Genoa

Genoa is possibly the most under rated city in all of Italy. Set in a stunning, semi circular bay, it has row after row of ornate, opulent houses and villas rising up like the tiers of a wedding cake, set against a backdrop of low, rolling hills. On the waterfront, an elegant, palm shaded promenade curves seductively around a waterfront brimming with ferry boats, container ships and enormous cruise liners. This tremendous tour de force combines art, history and amazing seafood in one spellbinding brew of a city.

What’s best to see if time is short? You might begin with living history in the shape of the vast, looming San Lorenzo cathedral, with its indented archways and amazing, black and white striped fa├žade. Or you could explore the original family home of Christopher Columbus; although heavily restored, it remains a potent reminder of what life was like here when Genoa was one of the great centres of exploration in the fifteenth century.

Your own little pirates might enjoy stepping aboard the Neptune, a vast replica of an eighteenth century Genoese pirate ship, especially built for a Roman Polanski film. The giant masts loom way above the palm splayed waterfront, where the ship now has a permanent berth. She is open to visitors on most days.
There’s a beguiling, modern biosphere nearby; an amazing, dome shaped tropical environment awash with lush, exotic plants, beautifully shaded butterflies, and a whole raft of chattering birds. It represents what is pretty much a magical, miniature eco system.

If your sense of wonder extends to the underwater, don’t miss the nearby Aquarium. Reputed to be one of the best in Europe, it comes complete with everything from penguins to jellyfish, as well as crabs, turtles, seals and dolphins. Children are allowed to feed these at certain times of the day. Those in the know usually recommend that you allow around a full two hours to see it properly.

You could also simply wander through the winding, cobble stone streets that fan out from the main drag on the waterfront. Genoa is eminently walkable, and chock full of amazing statuary; marble lions and gorgeous fountains litter the entire, amazing spread of the city. Perhaps take afternoon tea at the elegant Savoia Hotel, a beautiful, classically styled, palatial gem that offers matchless views out over the terraces and tree tops to the beautiful bay of Genoa.
This truly beautiful city will leave you stunned, and more than pleasantly surprised. Enjoy Genoa!

Getting around: Genoa is very compact, and all the attractions mentioned are within easy walking distance of the cruise terminals. However, the Savoia Hotel is set back a little at a height so, of mobility is an issue, it might be wise to take a taxi there.





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