Nestled in the center of the Italian Riviera, lies Genoa, stretching for several miles from the hills to the coast, it lives up to its reputation as the cultural capital of Europe, a title won in 2004 due to its theaters, museums, restaurants, cafes, shopping centers and Europe's largest aquarium. Genoa's historic center is said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe and has a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums. During the time of the Romans, it served as an important maritime center for the empire and, during the period of the Renaissance, was known as one of the richest cities of Renaissance Europe. An old port city, Genoa is a mixture of the old and the new, the elegant and the squalid, the historic and the modern. Remnants of the Roman Empire are still available within the town's medieval walls right next to the tenement homes. It is the biggest commercial port of Italy and the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
At least 2 nights
The Carruggi (the narrow alleys of the old town of Genoa); Strade Nuove and Palazzi dei Rolli (an extraordinary architectural work of the 16th Century built to host politicians and aristocrats); Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria (paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Bernardo Strozzi); Palazzo Lercari Parodi; Palazzo Campanella and Palazzo Podestà; The Aquarium (one of the most complete and technologically-advanced marine life centers in Europe. It houses an entire marine world, in enormous and varied pools behind large windows: dolphins, seals, sharks and colorful fishes of all shapes and sizes)