The picturesque port town of Genoa is an atmospheric sprawl of sinuous streets, glittering architectural jewels and authentic grittiness. Truly a town of dichotomies, majestic palaces stand beside rambunctious bars, in which raucous locals toast the setting sun, and iconic landmarks cast a shadow upon run-down residences. The bustling port exudes a vibrant ambience that is enhanced by the rich restaurants and crowded, charismatic squares, in which antique tradition and artistic expression are still rife.
Tucked into an elusive pocket of the labyrinthine Old Town is the San Lorenzo Cathedral, a Baroque beauty with a grand entrance portal. Compared to Italy’s other cathedrals, this structure doesn’t compete in terms of extravagance and ostentation, however the simple yet sublime architecture exudes an understated charm that is dismissed by the elaborate, gold-encrusted interior.
Hailed as one of Italy’s most pristine palaces, the imperial majesty of Palazzo Reale is arguably unrivalled in both Italy and Europe. Terraced gardens herald the presence of this regal residence, in which a rich collection of Renaissance art and opulent furnishings reside. In this case, everything that glitters within is gold.
Genoa’s Galata Museo del Mare pays homage to the city’s rich maritime heritage with a captivating collection of artefacts; exhibits range from the interactive and the innovative to historic arrays of model ships and nautical memorabilia including dog-eared maps and antique globes. Ascending the stairs to the top floor will afford beholders panoramic city vistas, hailed as Genoa’s finest.
The theatrical decoration of Tiflis Restaurant offers diners a banquet before the aperitifs have arrived; opulently upholstered chairs compliment interminably high ceilings in this exquisite eatery, famed for the world-class quality of its seafood. The menu changes weekly according to seasonal produce and maritime bounty, however expect to enjoy delicate fish brochettes and juicy portions of lemon-drizzled cod. (vico del Fico 35R 16128 Genoa, Italy)