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Genoa Culture & history

Our most recommended Genoa Culture & history

Genoa: Aquarium and FantaCinema Combined Ticket

1. Genoa: Aquarium and FantaCinema Combined Ticket

See tanks with beautiful and strange aquatic life at the Genoa Aquarium. Discover creatures from the Ligurian Sea, the North Atlantic and Caribbean reefs. Watch dolphins, penguins, and sea cows play in their habitats. Visit the playful past of fantasy cinema at FantaCinema. View original pieces, memorabilia, statues, articles, and posters. Learn how the cinema of fantasy was born and how it developed. Listen to soundtracks of cult films as you tour the exhibits. Look at cult objects such as the famous "the machine of tempo” original used by Zemeckis in the movie Back to the Future, or the original costumes from Alien and Star Wars. Walk though the Harry Potter and Game of Kings sections.

Guided Tour of Rolli Palaces UNESCO Site, Genoa

2. Guided Tour of Rolli Palaces UNESCO Site, Genoa

Visit the wonderful Genoese residences of the XVI century and join this guided tour of the Rolli Palaces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A guided tour of some of the most sumptuous residences built by the aristocratic Genoese families during the so-called “ Secolo d’Oro“ (“The Golden Century”), between the 16th and 17th century. The System of the "Palazzi dei Rolli" includes splendid palaces with open staircases, courtyards and loggias overlooking gardens. The palaces, positioned at different levels, were part of a network of public hospitality houses for state visits, as decreed by the Senate of the Republic of Genoa in 1576. The “Rolli” (named from the parchment rolls in which the palaces were inscribed) were subdivided into three “bussoli”, balloting lists, where the palaces were registered according to their richness and dimension. Lots were drawn to decide which palace would have the privilege - and the duty - of playing host to visiting state dignitaries. The first “bussolo” was for cardinals, princes and viceroys, the second for large scale landowners and third for princes of lesser standing and ambassadors: the first example of hôtellerie in Europe. The “Rolli” were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. These exclusive and elegantly decorated residences did not escape the eye of a fine artist as the great Flemish painter Rubens, who at the beginning of the 17th century published a book collecting the drawings of these buildings as a residential model for the Antwerp nobility. Experience a piece of Italy's extravagant Golden Century in Genoa.

Genoa: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of the Historical Center

3. Genoa: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of the Historical Center

The tour allows you to discover the historical center of Genoa and the wonderful Palazzi dei Rolli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These elegant residences belonged to the aristocracy and date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. You will be guided through the narrow alleys (Caruggi) of the widest historical center in Europe, to discover its many curiosities and secrets. The tour starts from the Old Port area and guides you through the highlights of the city, including the San Lorenzo Cathedral, the Doge Palace, the Opera House, and the wonderful Strada Nuova Museums. In the museums – the galleries of Pallazo Rosso, the Palazzo Bianco, and Palazzo Tursi – you can admire the antique furniture and important masterpieces of Italian and foreign artists. The museum exhibits works by Veronese, Procaccini, Rubens, Van Dyck, and many more.

Historic Shops in Genoa: Tour Through Tradition and Flavours

4. Historic Shops in Genoa: Tour Through Tradition and Flavours

One of the most charming surprises of the Historic Centre and other areas of Genoa is to be able to explore the “botteghe storiche”: shops and artisans workshops that have been active for at least seventy years (but in many cases it’s more than 200!). These shops are an immense heritage that Genoa has preserved over time and to discover them during a stroll through its streets is a unique and authentic experience. A rich selection of historic shops of the old city centre, which you can admire from the outside, a suggestive guided tour among flavours and traditions, curious stories and anecdotes dedicated to the monuments located nearby. Along the way, a taste of traditional flavors thanks to the delivery of products by one of the shop included in the tour.

Genoa: City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour

5. Genoa: City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour

Explore Genoa with this interactive smartphone tour. Make your way through the city while solving location-based riddles on this walking tour. Stroll by the oldest church in the city at St. Syrus’s Basilica and see where Christopher Columbus once lived. Solve a puzzle outside of 10 top city sights. Follow clues at each attraction to find your next destination. Enjoy the challenge of using logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to complete the game. Feel the satisfaction of solving each riddle. Have the freedom to pause or resume the tour whenever you want. View the city at your own pace. Learn interesting information and facts about the city. Snap as many pictures as you want. You can start playing anytime. Start your tour from San Siro, in the center of Genoa. Visit the Palazzo Grimaldi della Meridiana with its unique architecture and explore Piazza Fontane Marose and the magnificent buildings that surround it. Photograph Santa Maria delle Vigne with its distinct white facade and wonder at the imposing Palazzo San Giorgio with its original interior and imposing exterior. Learn about the Romanesque Cattedrale di San Lorenzo with black and white stripes and frescoes inside, which houses unique holy relics. Marvel at the palazzo Ducale mansion and admire the Piazza de Ferrari, famous for its bronze fountain.

From Milan: Genoa Private Tour

6. From Milan: Genoa Private Tour

Enjoy a private Genoa Tour from Milan for ten hours with a private tour guide for three hours and a private luxury vehicle with chauffeur that will pick you up and drop-off from your hotel in Milan or place of preference inside the city. Once your chauffeur has picked you up, you will go ahead to hour destination to meet with your private tour guide. In this tour you will have the opportunity to discover Genoa, a city located in the north of Italy and one of the most importants of the country. Thanks to your private tour guide you will discover the tourist attractions of Genoa like the Piazza de Ferrari located in the centre, Piazza Dante where you can find the house of Christopher Columbus, the Strade Nuove in the old city inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006, the Mannerist palaces that includes the Palazzo Rosso, the Palazzo Reale and the Palazzo Bianco, the cathedral of San Lorenzo, the port of Genoa that contains an old lighthouse and much more To finish the tour, your private chauffeur will drop you off to your hotel in Milan or place of preference inside the city.

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What people are saying about Genoa

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 88 reviews

The aquarium was very interesting, it is advisable to go there early in the morning when there is not a lot of turnout, otherwise it is the chaos between children running and strollers everywhere. We took another very interesting 45 min guided tour. The FantaCinema, on the other hand, was a little disappointing. I imagined something bigger instead they are just showcases with models .. interesting for heaven's sake .. but not my thing.

Very thorough and informative guide with a pleasant manner. We particularly liked the fact that she gave the English speakers as much information and time as the Italian speakers, even though there were only 3 of us and lots of them! The app did take us to a building some yards away from the meeting point but we did manage to find it.

Barbara is a great guide, she does know a lot about the houses. In one of the places they were preparing a wedding but they still let us in. The time went by and I didn't feel the 2 and a half hours.

Interesting and stimulating visit for those who, like me, don't know the city and have little time.

Really well done! A new and fun way to visit the city for young and old.