We arrived in Genoa by train from Monterosso. From Genoa we planned to fly to Catania but decided to spend a few days here. I had been given two conflicting appraisals of the place. One that as a city it was worth a few days stay and the other there is nothing there it’s just a port city. However I was sure we could find some interesting places to visit and if not, we could easily do a day trip to Portofino which is not that far away.
Our hotel MSN Galles was close to the station though not in the most salubrious area. It was lunchtime when we arrived and after settling into our room we set off to the Maritime Museum close to our accommodation. We had lunch there then then visited the museum proper. We enjoyed many of the exhibits about Genoa’s maritime history but the two we enjoyed the most were the Emigration history display and the one on literary illusions around sea monsters and exotic sea creatures.
As the weather was very hot we returned to the hotel for a siesta. Once refreshed we went to the historic centre wandered around and found a great bar which had the best apertivo, that was hearty enough to serve as our dinner.
On the hill overlooking the city was an enticing castle. We arrived at the gates before opening so had a coffee at the café opposite. Very pleasant. Castello D’Albertis was fascinating. It was built in the neo-Gothic style from 1886-1892 for the sea captain Luigi Maria d’Albertis and houses his collection of ethnographic and archeological findings from his various voyages around the world. The collection also includes models of ships and yachts, nautical equipment, photographs and his library.
From there we went to the Royal Palace, building began in 1618 for the Balbi family, after changing hands it was eventually sold to the Royal House of Savoy in 1828. In 1919 the building was acquired by the government. It is a magnificent building which befits a royal palace with many superb frescoes in every room.
We fitted in a couple of churches St. Annunziata del Vastato and the Jesuit church as well as an exhibition of the artist Mucha. A very full day.
On our last day here we visited the Risorgimento Museum, it was down a side street and could be easily missed. The only disappointment was the limited English translations on many of the displays.
Also worth visiting Nicoli Grimaldi and Tursi Palaces as well the Musei di Strada Nuovo with each room decorated in a different style and beautiful artworks on display. Finally we visited the St. Lorenzo cathedral.
|Genoa a birds' eye view|
The next morning we were flying to Catania. In two and a half days there was more than enough of interest in Genoa to make it a worthwhile place to visit.