Perfect weekend break in Genoa
Genoa, north west Italy in the region of Liguria, has a variety of new exhibitions, festivals and events to entice visitors in 2017. With direct flights from BA and several picturesque sites just outside the city to explore, you can have a perfect weekend break in Genoa enjoying the culture and food of the region.
Here is a great guide to making the most of this wonderful city and the surrounding beautiful sites.
Exhibitions in Genoa
Visitors to Genoa this spring and summer will have a number of exhibitions to choose from including an exhibition of work from Elliot Erwitt, one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, which takes place at the stunning Palazzo Ducale until 16 July (tickets from €11). Also found at the Palazzo Ducale is a fascinating look at the painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, including key works from his short and productive career (tickets from €13). www.palazzoducale.genova.it
For something a little different, sci-fi fans will enjoy the new collection ‘Star Wars Play’, which showcases action figures, models and vintage art from the iconic movies, taking place at Porto Antico until 16 July (tickets from €13). www.mostraguerrestellari.it
Film fans will also be interested in Cinepassioni, an exhibition by Luca Malavasi and Ferdinando Bonora illustrating the historical and cultural development of the cinema from its origin until today. The exhibition runs at Loggia della Mercanzia until 30 July (tickets from €6). www.genovacreativa.it
Slow Fish Festival (18 – 21 May)
The Slow Fish Festival returns for its 8th edition in 2017, dedicated to showing the powerful link between people and the sea through a variety of pop up tastings and chef-led cooking demonstrations. The international event is organised by the Liguria Regional Authority and Slow Food, and takes place at Porto Antico. It brings together fishermen, chefs and consumers, offering a great way to sample some of the Mediterranean’s freshest fish served up with authentic Ligurian flavours. The events are free for visitors to attend.
Since being redesigned in 1992, Porto Antico has become a focus for locals and tourists alike to enjoy an aperitivo, catch a show or performance, enjoy food, visit the aquarium or meet friends and family on a summer’s evening. Visitors could visit the lighthouse which offers impressive panorama views of the Genoa and its gulf. www.portoantico.it
Suq Festival (15 – 25 June)
The Suq festival is a celebration of Arabic culture and the theme for the 19th edition is ‘People: Travelling and Staying’. A number of theatre and music performances, workshops and meetings will take place in Porto Antico, showcasing the connection between Arabic and European cultures. Full line up will be announced later in the year. www.suqgenova.it
Porto Antico Estatespettacolo (1 July – 6 August)
One of the highlights of Genoa’s summer calendar is the Porto Antico Estatespettacolo, a cultural festival concerts and performances on a suggestive stage overlooking the sea at Genoa’s Porto Antico. Concerts will take place every night from 1 July to 6 August and this year’s line-up includes Renga Francesco and Álvaro Soler. A two day prog festival will also take place (July 14 -15), as well as Italian theatre, musical and cabaret programmes. www.portoantico.it/en
Rolli Weekends 2017
Genoa will once again offer visitors exclusive access to its incredible palaces with new dates announced for the special Rolli Weekends 2017: 14 – 15 October. Entry to most of the palaces and museums is free over the Rolli Weekends.
Genoa was once Italy’s most powerful republic and its palaces were built by the wealthiest aristocratic families in the 16th century. Due to official ‘rolls’ (scripts) or ‘Rolli’ issued in 1576 about these palaces, they became known as the Rolli Palaces. Today the 42 palaces, which are all located in Genoa’s Old Town, have UNESCO World Heritage status due to their historical, economic and aesthetic significance. As well as a selection of palaces, a number of churches, gardens and villas will also open hidden sections to the public on these special weekends. www.visitgenoa.it/en/evento/rolli-days-genova-aprile-2017
Spend an afternoon by the sea
Just a short trip outside of the city and travellers can enjoy the relaxed pace of traditional fishing villages on the Ligurian coastline. With its colourful houses, fishing boats and picturesque beach coves, Boccadasse – located 20 minutes from the Porto Antico – is a classic representation of the Italian fishing village.
Nervi is a former fishing village located seven kilometres east of central Genoa and is home to the Parchi di Nervi, a park formed of several gardens that used to belong to the private villas of Villa Gropallo, Villa Serra Saluzzo and Villa Grimaldi Fassio. Today these have been restored into museums accessible to the public complete with English lawns, palm trees, fountains and rose gardens.
Enjoy the green of the city
To the west of the city is Pegli – reachable by bus, train or boat – where guests will find the Villa Durazzo Pallavicini, a magnificent 19th century park that was built by the set designer of the Teatro Carlo Felice and is split into four fairy tale-inspired ‘acts’ which guests can walk through.
Further west is the city of Voltri, which is also home to a beautiful garden, the Park Villa Brignole Sale, Duchess of Galliera. This huge Italian garden includes an ancient theatre built in 1785, a romantic forest, a neo-Romanesque castle with artificial caves and waterfalls, and even olive trees, deer, goats and an ancient shrine situated on a hill overlooking the Ligurian Sea between Genoa and Savona.
Head to the hills
The city also acts as the gateway to the surrounding mountain landscapes. Day trippers can easily reach the hills behind the city using cable cars and the narrow, historic railroad Trenino di Casella, allowing them to explore the city’s walls and surrounding beauty in the Parco Urbano delle Mura (Urban Park of City Walls). Once one of the largest fortifications in Europe, the city walls were built between the 17th and 19th century and now offer travellers incredible panoramic views of the coastline below.
There are numerous guided tours available in Genoa including tours of the Palazzi dei Rolli, the historic centre, the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, the Genoese Fortifications, Villa Pallavicini, Segway tours and guided tours by e-bike. To book see here.
For more information on spending a perfect weekend break in Genoa, please visit www.visitgenoa.it.