When to visit Genoa and what to do: the museums and monuments you must see

Genova centro


When to visit Genoa, what to do in the city, where to go and especially what to see?
In this post I’ll explain what to do and where to go in each season of the year, in order not to miss anything of this amazing city.

Here is the list of things to do in each season of the year.

When to visit Genoa and what to do: the museums and monuments you must see

Piazza San Lorenzo Genova


THE ROLLI. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, Genoa celebrates its Palazzi dei Rolli, with the Rolly Days, that is to say a weekend dedicated to the Genoese palaces that since 2006 has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and which open their doors to the public transforming the art and history of a city into a big party.
To know the experience I enjoyed during the Rolli Days and what I saw, you should read the post about my Rolli days.

THE CARRUGI. To really know Genoa you must lose yourself in the alleys of the old city.
The Carrugi have always been the economic and social heart of the city, where are the historical shops and typical bars and restaurants. Here you’ll find the real Genoese people going shopping and sipping a coffee.

READ ALSO – Genoa’s historic shops

THE OLD PORT. One of the most fascinating areas of Genoa is certainly the Old Port, which in recent years  has been completely transformed and is now the city’s leisure place.
There are two main attractions in the Old Port: the Aquarium and the Galata Museo del Mare.
The Aquarium of Genoa is one of the largest aquariums in Europe and is a must-see for those who arrive in the city. At the end of the post you’ll find the video of my visit to the Aquarium.

The Galata Museo del Mare is the largest maritime museum in the Mediterranean area and you must visit it in order to know the city.
To plan your visit you’d better read the post The Galata museo del mare in Genoa: the largest maritime museum in the mediterranean area

Acquario di Genova

Acquario di Genova

Galata museo del Mare | musei Genova

Museo del Mare

THE LANTERNA. More than a lighthouse the Lanterna is the symbol of Genoa.
The first construction would date back to 1128, but the line between history and legend blurs, and its history is closely connected to the history of the Port because the Lanterna has always been the point of reference for the ships in transit through the Gulf of Genoa.
The current construction dates back to 1543 and is the highest Lighthouse in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the oldest among those still active.

The Lanterna is also a culturalcentrewhere a part of the city’s historical memory is preserved thanks also to exhibitions, events and guided tours. For further information all you have to do is visit the official website of the Lanterna di Genova.


MUSEUMS. In addition to the Palazzi dei Rolli there are many museums to visit in Genoa.
It’s hard to make a list because the museums are all beautiful, but my advice to you is to start from the Spinola Palace, because it was the residence of one of the most important Genoese families, and from Villa del Principe because it’s a treasure chest and is full of masterpieces.

Galleria degli Specchi | Palazzo Spinola | Musei Genova

Palazzo Spinola – Interni

Villa del Principe | decorazioni

Villa del Principe – Interni

CHURCHES AND MONUMENTS. Among the Genoese churches the most important is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Its construction was financed by the spoils of the Crusades and has always been an important point of reference for Genoa.
The list of the churches and monuments to visit in Genoa is long, so you’d better visit the official website of the Tourism Board ente del turismo di Genova to know them all and to find out which ones you can visit.

MONUMENTAL CEMETERY OF STAGLIENO. A memorial site but also a place full of masterpieces.
The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno is an open-air museum and is full of stories which fascinated writers and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.

Genova | cimitero monumentale

READ ALSO: Medieval Italian towns you must visit

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