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Founded in the 5th century, Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is found in north-west Italy. It is a place that seems to lack space, but once inside it's a different story. For there before you, Renaissance palaces will emerge, secret alleys will suddenly come into view, small courtyards will appear out of no-where. Henry James once described Genoa as "the most winding, incoherent of cities".

Genoa, or Genova as the Italians call it, has a mighty and historic past. It was Christopher Columbus's home, it was the birth place of the famous violinist, Nicolò Paganini (1781 – 1840) and was the port from where Garibaldi launched his unification of Italy. It is one of Italy's largest cities and in 2004 was selected as the European Capital of Culture.

It is fun wandering through the historic central maze (centro stórico) of medieval alleys which stretch from the old port to Piazza de Ferrari and Via Garibaldi, but do not enter into them after nightfall. Along your way will be informative panels tracing the history of the area in various languages. There are a multitude of Romanesque and Baroque churches to see as well as many museums housed inside former palaces. Don't forget to climb the 375 steps to the top of The Lanterna (the Lighthouse) to get a wonderful view over the whole port of Genoa.
Genoa spreads itself for miles along the Coast of Genoa.

Genoa's cuisine is superb (it's the home of pesto) but beware – the best restaurants are often those tucked hidden away in the back streets. The people are very friendly with a wonderful mix of cultures.


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