Culture, Meal included
“Proud” Genoa, city of sailors, with its imposing, historic palazzi that were once home to merchants and explorers: this is the evocative setting for an excursion that combines history and culture and offers food for the mind as well as the palate, not to mention moments of sheer opulence – such as brunch in a lavish period palazzo – that raise this incredible experience to a whole new level.
What we will see
- Spianata Castelletto (photo stop)
- Historic centre
- The house of Christopher Columbus and the Doge’s Palace
- Ligurian focaccia and coffee
- Towers of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo
- Tribuna del Doge and the Loggia
- Brunch at Palazzo Imperiale: selection of local specialities
- Ice cream at Boccadasse
What we will do
- In the comfort of the coach, we set off on a delightful sightseeing tour of Genoa a maritime city with a glorious history that offers a fascinating townscape combing noble residences and the humble dwellings of the common citizens.
- Skirting the old and new ports, we come to the Spianata Castelletto, a splendid terrace suspended like a balcony above the old town centre. Here, we make a stop to take photos of the sweep of old, slate-tiled roofs, medieval towers and baroque domes.
- Back on board the coach, we cut through the historic patrician quarter of Castelletto, with its characteristically nineteenth-century townscape of separate, stately palazzi looking out on to tree-lined streets.
- When we reach the centre, we disembark to explore the heart of Genoa on foot, admiring its magisterial palazzi, squares and churches, and the mix of characterful narrow streets – the “caruggi” – artisan workshops and aristocratic avenues.
- Our route takes us past the house of Christopher Columbus just outside the old city walls, and the Doge’s Palace, one of Genoa’s most iconic buildings which, for centuries, was the residence of the ruler of the city, and which is still at the centre of its vibrant cultural life.
- Following our invigorating walk, we take a break to enjoy a little of Genoa’s culinary heritage, with a delicious breakfast of traditional Genoese focaccia washed down with a caffè or cappuccino.
- Our fascinating tour of the city continues with a visit to the towers of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, an imposing mass of white and black marble that looms up over the adjacent piazza as proud and handsome today as it ever was in the past.
- We climb the 67 steps to the Tribuna del Doge – the “Doge’s balcony” – from where we can look directly over the interior of the cathedral, before finishing our visit at the Loggia (93 steps), which offers one of the best views over the rooftops of the city.
- Our morning ends with a sumptuous brunch at Palazzo Imperiale. Having made ourselves at home in this imposing, and breathtakingly elegant residence, we are treated to a tour of authentic Genoese cuisine, with an array of dishes that are deceptively simple but lack nothing in flavour and sophistication, from exquisite savoury specialities to traditional cakes and desserts such as canestrello biscuits and pandolce, all with impeccable, but friendly service.
- Immediately after lunch, we make our way to the fishing neighbourhood of Boccadasse, which seems frozen in time as it looks out over its charming, miniature bay.
- Leaving the coach, we take a delightful stroll through this historic “borgo, admiring the “creuze” – the steep, narrow alleys – and the picturesque houses, whose bright colours are reflected, through a mantle of fishing craft and other boats, in the waters of the little harbour.
- Our adventure draws to a close in fitting fashion as we cool off with a treat that is bound to please everybody, a delicious artisanal ice cream.
- On our way back to port, we enjoy a final panoramic tour of Genoa that takes us through the residential area of Albero, with its elegant villas, and Foce, a former fishing quarter near the dockyards, which has been transformed into an elegant residential neighbourhood.
What you need to know
- To reach the “Tribuna del Doge” at the cathedral, visitors have to climb 67 steps; for the “Loggia”, the climb is 93 steps.