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Genoa always stands in the shadow of the "great" Italian attractions such as Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. Yet, Genoa is worth a visit: it is a beautiful historic city that attracts more and more tourists. Did you know that Genoa has the largest historic city center in Europe? Wander through the streets and alleys (caruggi) which recall the time when Genoa was the most important port in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the city is an excellent base for excursions to its surroundings: to the Italian Rivièra or the Cinque Terre: five picturesque towns on a rugged coastline, surrounded by vineyard terraces.
The city has a population of more than 600,000.
Genoa is located in the north west of Italy on the Ligurian Sea. De city stretches along a relatively narrow coastal strip of about thirty kilometers.
The port is the mainstay of the local economy. It is Italy's largest port for both freight and passenger transport. More than three million people arrive in Genoa on a cruise ship annually. Port-related are the shipbuilding, iron and steel and chemical industries. The importance of these heavy industries is steadily decreasing, financial services are becoming a more important factor. More and more tourists discover the city and therefore this is also a fast growing sector.
The airport is located on an artificial peninsula more than seven km west of Genoa. Cristoforo Colombo Airport is easily accessible by rental car: the airport is right next to the motorway A10 (Genoa – Ventimiglio). The exit to the airport is clearly indicated.
Genoa has good public bus services, though you should not trust the timetables at the bus stops too much. In the historic center the bus only stops at a few main squares and streets (Piazza Acquaverde, Piazza della Nunziata, Largo Zecca, Piazza Corvetto and Piazza Caricamento). Furthermore, there is a short underground line between the Piazza de Ferrari and Certosa. There is a special bus for tourists – Girocittà – between the main attractions.
The old town is free of traffic. Except for that Genoa is a busy city with many one-way streets and sometimes winding roads. Also, finding a parking space in the center is not always easy. In the vicinity of the port there are some large parking garages. You can also park your rental car at the large parking lot at the Piazza della Vittoria and travel to the center by public transport.
The city has a wide range of accommodations, varying from youth hostels to guesthouses and luxury hotels. Furthermore, there are several campsites and summer homes nearby. Genoa is visited increasingly by tourists and as it is an important business center, it attracts many business travelers throughout the year. We therefore recommend you to book your hotel room in Genoa well in advance.
For more information about Genoa we recommend Google and the following sources: