A Cumulative Ticket  -- Admission to Genoa’s major palaces and art galleries is grouped together on the Card Musei (12€ for 1 day, 20€ for 2 days; or 15€ and 25€ respectively including unlimited use of the city’s public transport). The card includes entrance to the principal palaces, cathedral treasury of San Lorenzo, the Galleria di Palazzo Bianco, the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola, and a handful of other museums around town, plus a discount on admission to the aquarium, the Galata museum, and movie theaters. Pick it up at any city museum, the airport tourist office, or in one of several bookstores downtown (www.visitgenoa.it).

Historic Squares & Streets

Piazza Dante -- Though most of the square is made of 1930s office buildings, one end is bounded by the twin round towers of the reconstructed Porta Soprana, a town gate built in 1155. The main draw, though, is the small house (rebuilt in the 18th c.), still standing a bit incongruously in a tidy little park below the gate, said to have belonged to Christopher Columbus’s father, who was a weaver and gatekeeper (whether young Christopher lived here is open to debate). Also in the tiny park are the reconstituted 12th-century cloisters of Sant’Andrea, a convent that was demolished nearby.

Piazza di San Matteo -- This beautiful little square is the domain of the city’s most acclaimed family, the seagoing Dorias, who ruled Genoa until the end of the 18th century. The church they built on the piazza in the 12th century, San Matteo, contains the crypt of the Dorias’ most illustrious son, Andrea, and the cloisters are lined with centuries-old plaques heralding the family’s many accomplishments, which included drawing up Genoa’s constitution in 1529. The Doria palaces surround the church in a stunning array of loggias and black-and-white-striped marble facades denoting the homes of honored citizens—Andrea’s at no. 17, Lamda’s at no. 15, Branca’s at no. 14.

Via Garibaldi -- Many of Genoa’s museums and other sights are clustered on and around this street, also known as Strada Nuova, one of the most beautiful in Italy. Here Genoa’s wealthy families built palaces in the 16th and 17th centuries. Aside from the art collections housed in the Galleria di Palazzo Bianco and Galleria di Palazzo Rosso, the street contains a wealth of other treasures. The Palazzo Podesta, at no. 7, hides one of the city’s most beautiful fountains in its courtyard, and the Palazzo Tursi, at no. 9, now housing municipal offices, proudly displays artifacts of famous Genoans: letters written by Christopher Columbus and the violin of Nicolo Paganini (which is still played on special occasions). Visitors are allowed free entry to the buildings when the offices are open.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.