Genoa: how to discover the city of a thousand souls

You imagine Genoa as a port city, hardworking, even a bit gloomy† And instead you find it a touristic city, elegant, able to take you by the hand and lead you between its mysteries and the thousand things to do and see, in a spring that really smells of rebirth. It will be that Genoa inherently in its nature has the ability to surprise† He does it naturally, making beautiful buildings appear around the corner of a rather infamous alleyway, thanks to his crazy urban planning thanks to millennia of successive construction. Who wanted a church here, who wanted a noble palace here: Genoa has grown in disarray, beyond itself, and has lived a thousand lives that have given it this slightly hostile air, but for this terribly fascinating

Anyone who wants to be kidnapped by Genoa can do so, walking under his own beautiful buildings carried by the wind that comes from the sea† If we touched the surface, we would discover layers of distant stories that accumulated over time as merchants, pirates and today tourists landed on the giant cruise ships here, in the harbor.

The sea has shaped the appearance of this city and its inhabitants, sometimes making them suspicious of those who come from outside. Don’t be offended: the sea taught the Genoese that if you get caught, anyone can attack. So indulge yourself in this frame of mind, as you will often be surprised at the general lack of sloppy words. But even if the words say otherwise, the Genoese are proud of their city and can’t wait to show it to those who want to discover it. And if there’s a good time to discover it, it’s definitely spring 2022.

Rolli Days: Genoa and its Palaces

The Genoese are proud to have invented luxury hospitality: a statement that is not far from the truth, if you consider the Rolli, very rich noble palaces used for state visitsas required by a Senate decree of 1576. Today there are over a hundred in the city, and forty-two of these were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2006

Like the rest of the city, the Rolli also know how to surprise and hide treasures that only the Genoese know. For example, if you go up the marble staircase of Palazzo Campanella, you will meet on the first floor via Garibaldi 12 Lifestyle store, a one of a kind design store in the world, if only for the rooms that host this insane selection of items for sale. There is a bit of everything: furniture, photo books, plates and glasses. Armchairs signed by famous architects, kitchen utensils, beauty surrounded by the beauty of the stucco and gold of the Baroque. Cutlery for 300 euros each, designed by Jean Puiforcat in 1924, in the same mise en place flanked by a porcelain placemat from Bitossi, for just over 30 euros. “Genoa is a collection of very different things,” explains Lorenzo Bagnara, the young shop owner. “So we wanted to create a store that was the mirror of this soul, with many objects in it, from classic to modern”.

A little further, at piazza Campetto 8, you will find it Gio Vincenzo Imperial Palace: on the first floor you enter a few small rooms with frescoes, which instead of design objects hide the secrets of the mixology: it is in fact located here The Red onea young bar where you can have an old style aperitif (perhaps based on Asinello Corochinato, the Genoese aperitif) in an unparalleled artistic atmosphere.

In short, the Rolli are not just beautiful buildings, but a treasure trove of Genoa’s secrets. To discover them, from May 13 to 15, take advantage of the spring edition of the Rolli Days: a moment to celebrate the noble palaces of the city with guided tours and events.

The Superbarocco Project

This year, the Rolli Days go hand in hand with another cultural event: until July 22, Genoa will even host the “Super barocco project”, A moment of discovery and deepening of the Genoese Baroque

It is a series of exhibitions, itineraries and events that celebrate this extraordinary season of the city’s artistic culture. The heart is the exhibition “The form of wonder. Masterpieces in Genoa 1600 – 1750”, In Palazzo Ducale, which displays some of the most important works of sculpture and painting of the Genoese seventeenth century, also by prestigious international loans. At the same time, several city sites set the review “The Protagonists. Masterpieces in Genoa 1600 – 1750”, which celebrates famous and successful artists such as the sculptor Domenico Parodi or Pierre Puget, author of the beautiful marble Virgin of the Albergo dei Poveri.

Monet: Masterpieces from the Musée Marmottan in Paris

Until May 22, Palazzo Ducale in Genoa is not only the theater of the great city of Baroque, but also celebrates the colorful impressionism of Claude Monet, with an exhibition bringing together fifty works by the usée Marmottan Monet in Paris, the museum that houses the largest group of the artist’s works in the world, the result of a donation in 1966 by his son Michel. More than fifty paintings are on display, including the famous water lilies (1916-1919) e the pink (1925-1926) and various versions of The Japanese Bridge

Genoa Sixty

The spring exhibitions in Genoa reflect, not even on purpose, the overlapping styles and eras. In addition to the Baroque and Impressionism, there is an exhibition dedicated to Genoa in the 1960s in the Palazzo Reale until July 31. “Genova Sessanta” wants to tell the great transformations of the city in the years of the economic boom, between visual art, architecture and society.


A weekend in Genoa cannot end without seeing and touching the sea. And the sea, for the Genoese, is called Boccadasse† With its colorful houses overlooking the sea and the small beach where you can sit and sunbathe and eat a box of fried fish (don’t miss that of the Fishermen’s Cooperative Ge8317, which runs a delightful little town here), Boccadasse is the perfect place to relax a bit on a beautiful spring afternoon, after visiting the center of Genoa.

The historic shops

In the end, it is impossible to leave Genoa without strolling through the alleys and creuzes† To the unwary eye only cobblestone streets and alleys will appear, but whoever wants to let the city slacken will find something to fall in love with. And how could it be otherwise, in a city where public transport also has historic and scenic lifts (free until the end of July), which take you to Genoa from above, with all its maze of streets and buildings and architectural styles that clash with each other. go on theCastelletto liftbuilt in 1909, and before going back down, stop to admire the Art Nouveau cage that houses it, right in the center of the belvedere.

A city that sometimes seems to have stopped in an old time, witness the hundred historic shops and the shops of yesteryear. For example, there is the Confectionery Liquoreria Marescottiwhere you can buy Voltaggio’s soft amaretti, or the Tripperia Casanan, between large copper pots where offal is cooked. There is Barbara Giacalonewith its Art Nouveau mirrors, or theAncient Romanengo Confectionery, where you can stock up on all sorts of flowers and candied dried fruit, from violets to pine nuts. And then there’s the indispensable old one Sa’ Pesta restaurantwhere you can taste the best farinata in the world, and Bar Moretti, where you can stay up late with a drink at the wooden counter surrounded by barrels and vintage items. A huddled one, without clear logic, as the Genoese style dictates.

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