In summer, the historical Italian port town of Genoa is bursting with festivals, food and fabulous weather. Here's your guide to enjoying it all!
In summer Genoa becomes a city of festivals. Its climate and setting beside the sea make it the perfect place to enjoy all kinds of cultural activities al fresco.
The annual Porto Antico Estatespettacolo Festival runs from 1 July – 6 August and features over 250 live concerts and performances in Genoa’s recently redeveloped Porto Antico. The Summer Night Festival (14 July – 13 August) offers evenings of music, theatre and dance performances in the beautiful setting of the medieval Piazza San Matteo.
Piazza San Matteo at night (Shutterstock.com)
2016 sees a focus on dance with the International Ballet Festival (7 May – 24 July) taking place across 18 different locations in Genoa and the 17th International Tango Festival taking place on 23 June in the Palazzo Ducale.
There is also a photography exhibition ‘Serge Lido: Danza con me,’ put together by Serge Lido, one of the most famous dance photographers of the 20th century.
Since being redeveloped in 1992, Porto Antico has become a mecca for locals and tourists alike to enjoy an aperitivo, evening meal, shop and take a dip in the pool. It really is the perfect location to enjoy a warm summer stroll or a cooling evening drink overlooking the sea.
Wooden ship in the old port (Shutterstock.com)
The city’s lighthouse at the end of the pier offers an impressive panorama of Genoa and its gulf, brightly coloured by day and lit up at night.
With its colourful houses, fishing boats and picturesque beach coves, Boccadasse, located on the east side of the Corso Italia stroll, is a classic representation of the Italian fishing village.
Sunset in Boccadasse (Shutterstock.com)
Located 20 minutes from the Porto Antico, the neighbourhood is a popular spot for families to indulge in a dinner of fresh local seafood or to enjoy a refreshing drink overlooking the sea after a summer’s day.
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. With its English lawns, palm trees, fountains and rose garden, the park has managed to retain the original layout of the three estates.
The seafront at Nervi (Shutterstock.com)
The grounds also slope towards the cliffs of Capolungo and overlook the stunning views of the Gulf of Genoa and Portofino. The Parchi di Nervi is opened daily from 8am until sunset and admission is free.
As a port city in the north of Italy, Genoa has always been an important trade centre. It was the birth place of Christopher Columbus and you’ll find reminders of its illustrious at every turn: the Palazzi dei Rolli, the historic centre, the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno and the Genoese Fortifications. And because it is a port, it is also compact, making it the perfect city to explore by foot.
Café in old part of Genoa (Shutterstock.com)
You can simply set out on your own and discover the hidden corners of the city by chance. Audio Guides are also available from the tourist information centre in seven languages.
Several companies offer guided tours, often focusing on specific themes like the barbaric executions of the Middle Ages and urban ghost stories to a romantic journey through the city’s alleyways or a path around the traditional shops in the old town.
Whichever way you decide to discover the city – by foot, by bicycle or by Segway make sure you stop to enjoy a restorative gelato!
For more information on visiting Genoa, visit www.visitgenoa.it.
Main image:The historical centre of Genoa (Shutterstock.com)