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Sprawled over Liguria's picturesque hills as they descend toward north-western Italy's Mediterranean coast, Genoa, the region's atmospheric capital city, justifies its nickname: la Superba.

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3.8 stars(117 reviews)
9 days from
£1,299 pp £1,249 pp
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  • DestinationFrance, Italy
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Our customers love our Genoa tours
The Italian Riviera
Mrs Valerie Moss
4 stars
“Really enjoyed our recent trip to Italy and Claire our Tour Manager was absolutely brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble, she was very organised and helpful, always around if you had any queries. Went the extra mile on several occasions, even suggesting extra trips on our 2 free days. The Group were a great bunch of people and everyone got on really well, but on the down-side we thought the group number at 43 was too big. This sometime caused problems getting on and off the trains with luggage, making you feel under pressure. All of the hotels were very nice and the food served was good. We had 2 long days of travel, both on Saturdays when the trains were very busy, particularly from Genova to Ventimiglia with no reserved seats on a regional train and no specific luggage space. The onward journey to Nice was by coach arriving around 5.30pm and with dinner at 7.30 it gave you no time to look around Nice as we departed the next morning at 7.00 am. What really was the point of putting Nice in the itinerary, we should have been heading north back towards Paris. Arrival in Paris at Gare de Lyons was 13.34 and our Eurostar from Gare du Nord was 18.13. Even allowing for transfer across Paris and the 60 minutes booking in time 4.30 hours was a long time to kill. Fortunately Claire liaised with the Rail Discovery office and they managed to organise a free lunch for us at a nearby restaurant. Thank goodness as it would have felt like an even longer day as we did not arrive back at St Pancras until 19.30. Being a Sunday this added another overnight stay in London as our last train had already departed. Photos of beautiful Chiavari and some very wet sailors who were out on the bow on our trip back from Portofino !!
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Like many of Italy's great cities, Genoa has a rich and illustrious history. Occupied by the Greeks in the sixth century BC and later by the Romans, Genoa was destroyed by Carthaginians during the Punic Wars and rebuilt to become, by medieval times, a prosperous financial, shipbuilding and trading port. Subsequently beleaguered by the Black Death, ongoing wars with Venice, economic decline and the continual threat of piracy, Genoa's 'golden era' only arrived in the sixteenth century, when many notable artists and architects including Alessi, Rubens, Caravaggio and Van Dyck were drawn to the city.

This colourful history has shaped modern-day Genoa, its legacy evident in the city's wealth of magnificent architectural styles. The grand sixteenth and seventeenth century 'palaces' collected around the Via Garbaldi have earned UNESCO World Heritage status, whilst many more architectural gems are tucked away in the maze of narrow medieval streets that forms the Old Town at Genoa's heart.

These highlights and the city's many fine museums and galleries, its magnificent cathedral and ancient churches and its beautiful waterfront which combines the historic harbour with a thoroughly contemporary dock area demonstrate why Genoa is such a popular and rewarding destination, and referred to as 'the Superb one'.

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

Genoa's Romanesque twelfth-century cathedral easily rivals those of Italy's other major historic cities, having retained its magnificence despite partial destruction by fire and by war and significant restoration and extension over the centuries. The cathedral's stunning internal decoration includes many fine sculptures and carvings, an exquisitely-painted high vaulted ceiling and pictorial stained-glass windows.

Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola

Housed in one of the many grand mansions ('palazzos') that were built by the aristocracy in Genoa during the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the National Gallery of Spinola Palace is set over four floors and contains original masterpieces by painters including Rubens, Tintoretto, Van Dyck and Strozzi, as well as ceramics, frescoes and period furniture.

Acquario di Genova

Located on the city's waterfront, Genoa's aquarium is the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Opened in 1993, the aquarium showcases biodiversity in seventy-one separate tanks which replicate natural marine environments including the Antarctic, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Amazon, and the Indian Ocean and contain more than six hundred species of animals and plants including dolphins, sharks, seals and penguins as well as rare and exotic fish.

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