Two seaside retreats within the city limits are Boccadasse and, a little farther out, Nervi, both to the east of the city center and easily reached by public transportation. Take bus no. 41 from Stazione Principe or Piazza de Ferrari to Boccadasse (the trip takes 20–30 min., depending on traffic, and costs the same as a regular city bus ticket: 1€) and bus no. 17, or one of the frequent trains from Stazione Brignole to Nervi (the train trip takes only 15 min.).
Once a quaint fishing village, Boccadasse has long since given way to some urban development. Even so, this bustling seaside community is still a pleasant corner of the city. Fishing boats and nets litter the shore, and the rocky seaside is lined with tall, colorful Ligurian houses, whose bottom floors now accommodate gelaterias, focaccerias, and simple restaurants with outdoor terraces.
Nervi was a fashionable resort a century ago, and it’s still easy to see why. A 1.6km-long (1-mile) seaside promenade affords stunning views of the sea, and elegant villas are surrounded by a lush profusion of flora. (As tempting as the waters are, you may want to refrain from a swim until you are a little farther away from Genoa, since the water is badly polluted—Italians don’t go to the beach to swim, anyway, but to tan and socialize.) One of the most pleasant retreats in Genoa is Nervi’s Parco Villa Grimaldi, where more than 2,000 varieties of roses bloom. Each July, Nervi hosts Genoa’s International Ballet Festival.
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.