Porto Venere, the "other Portofino" on the Italian Rivera

Genoa – Beautiful capital of Liguria
Visiting the home of Christopher Columbus

Genoa/Italy. – The bigger the choice, the harder it is to choose. Something photographers know all too well, especially when it comes to picking a city for the next photo trip. In Italy, I find it particularly difficult to prioritize due to the many beautiful cities available like Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice, Milan or Pisa, to name only a few. And there are so many more, each well worth the trip. Genoa for example. The home town of Christopher Columbus should be on everybody's bucket list. If it isn't already, I recommend you consider a visit. Forget the preconception an old port town has to be dirty, dark and dangerous. Genoa, is nothing like that, quite the opposite. The capital of the Liguria region has a long history as a rich, powerful port city and trade center and invites visitors with open arms. A quick walk through Via Garibaldi in the historical center of Genoa will be enough to convince you to stay and discover what this city has to offer. Have your camera ready!
About 600.000 people live in the sixth largest city of Italy, the birthplace of the explorer Christopher Columbus. The famous writer Paolo Coelho once wrote about Genoa: "...Among the marvels of Italy, it will take some digging to find the beauties of Genoa, but it is worth visiting it..." I'm not sure what kind of beauty Coelho was searching for but when visiting Genoa today, trust me, there is no digging to do because the striking beauty of this city is obvious everywhere, it can't be missed.

Genoa is a busy city with lots of tourist attractions and yes, you guessed it, also with a lot of tourists. But the city is well prepared for its visitors, transportation (bus, taxi or metro) is more than sufficient and navigation in the city very easy. And that's important because there is a lot to see – the house of Columbus of course at the "Piazza Dante", "The Old Harbor" (Porto Antico), next to the great Aquarium, is an entertainment area with museums, cinemas, cafes and offers also a beautiful promenade along the sea. The Aquarium, by the way, is the second biggest in Europe and I highly recommend to plan a visit! The famous "Via Garibaldi", also known as "Via Aurea" and "Strada Nuova", "Golden Street" and "New Street" with its many ancient palaces and the very impressive baroque buildings is the city's visitor magnet for sure. "The Lanterna" is a must-see since it's the oldest European lighthouse and a very prominent symbol of the city. The list of locations to see in Genoa is very long, here are a few more pointers: the "Corso Italia", Genoa's promenade, Boccadasse, the fishermen quarter, the "Castello d'Albertis and of course, the "Palazzo Ducale", where the Dukes of Genoa used to live.

Besides walking, you can tour the city by metro or bus, both very comfortable and affordable. Don't hesitate or even be too afraid to use the metro, it's very convenient to go fast from one part of the town to another. It's safe, clean, cheap and it saves a lot of time. Just use your common sense regarding your belongings, when underground, as you would in every other big city as well. Genoa is your "typical" Italian city with red terracotta-roofed houses everywhere, cool outdoor cafes and bars on every corner as well as lots of tiny but charming alleys which guide you to elegant designer shops and restaurants, many of them well known for seafood. Especially the alleys of the historic "Old Town" are very special.

If you plan a trip to Genoa, make sure you're up for a busy task and take my advice, don't try to do it in only one day. Especially when you plan on taking photos. Otherwise, you will see the city more or less only through your camera's finder, sweat a lot and miss out on the true life in the city. Genoa has so much to offer for photographers, trust me on that, you won't put your camera aside, not even for a moment.


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