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Why Fly to Genoa?
Genoa is located along the coast of the Ligurian Sea in northern Italy. It has historically served as one of the nation's most important trade centers thanks to its busy port. The history of Genoa stretches back to ancient times. Much of the city's illustrious past is visible today in the form of landmarks and monuments. For instance, La Lanterna is the city port's main lighthouse. Its origins date back to the 12th century, and, today, it serves as the symbol of the metropolis. Famous explorer Christopher Columbus was a native of Genoa. Visitors can tour the house where Columbus is rumored to have been born. Religion has played a significant role in Genoa's history. As a testament to its importance, the city claims many historic churches whose ornate architecture is world-renowned. One of the most famous churches is the St. Lawrence Cathedral. Built in the Romanesque-Renaissance style, its construction lasted approximately 500 years. The city's main square, Piazza de Ferrari, divides the modern cosmopolitan part of Genoa from the historic center. Its central fountain is a popular tourist site, while the surrounding area is a main destination for business travelers thanks to the number of companies and banks headquartered there. Family travelers can take an excursion to the Aquarium of Genoa. The gigantic facility is the largest aquarium in Italy and the second largest in Europe. Meanwhile, art buffs can patron one of Genoa's many arts institutions, of which there are more than a dozen. Like many Italian cities, Genoa claims designer boutiques and antique stores, making it a prime shopping destination. As for food, there are an array of traditional Italian restaurants and cafes throughout the city. You can find affordable Genoa hotels and cheap flights using Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Genoa?
The Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport (GOA) serves the Genoa region. The facility receives flights from several international departure cities. There are no direct flights from the U.S. You can search for low-priced airfare from London on British Airways and Ryanair. Or buy plane tickets from Paris on Air France or ItAli Airlines. You can also compare flight deals from Rome on Alitalia, Blu-express and ItAli. Other airlines that serve Genoa include Air Italy, Air Malta, Iberia, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
Genoa Flight Tips
Alternatively, you can search for flights to a nearby European city and drive across the countryside to Genoa. For example, you can search for airfare to Parma, which is only about a two-hour drive to Genoa. Or compare plane tickets to Bologna, which is only a three-hour drive. Or find cheap flights to Nice and drive a little more than two hours along the breathtaking Mediterranean coast to Genoa. The city of Pisa, which receives flights from a handful of international carriers, is less than a two-hour drive from Genoa.
Quick Travel Guide to Genoa
Acquaint yourself with the city of Genoa by visiting the Piazza de Ferrari, the main city square. The cultural hub is surrounded by domestic and international businesses, banks and historic attractions. It also serves as the buffer between the old, historic part of town and the newer, trendier part of town. Walk around the plaza and you will spot several famous Genoa institutions. For example, look west and you'll see the Palace of the Doges, a former house of royalty that today serves as a museum and major cultural center. Look north and you'll spot the Teatro Carlo Felice, the city's principal opera house. The large neoclassical structure hosts ballets, symphonies and recitals. Also located north of the square is the Museum of the Ligurian Art Academy, one of more than a dozen art museums in the city.
Head deeper into the historic part of the city toward the waterfront. Here, along the seaside, you'll find the Old Harbour, also known as Porto Antico. This entertainment hub formerly served as the ancient part of the Genoa port. Today, the area features a number of tourist-friendly activities, including museums, movie theaters and cafes. One not-to-miss feature is the beautiful promenade that provides visitors an excellent place to take a stroll throughout the day.
Adjacent to the Old Harbour is the Aquarium of Genoa, one of the city's top tourist attractions. Designed in part by world-famous architect Renzo Piano, the aquarium's mission is to educate the general public on the conservation and responsible use of aquatic environments. Nearby, visitors can patron the Museum of the Sea. The large maritime museum features more than six-square miles of exhibit space, making it the largest such museum in the Mediterranean region.
Looking out across the cityscape, travelers will notice a series of fortifications along the surrounding hillsides. These centuries-old structures, some of which date back to the 9th century, formerly served to protect the city from outside intruders. These historic walls, which stretch for miles, make up the largest set of fortifications in Italy.
For some of the best shopping in Genoa, visitors should head to Via XX Settembre, the city's main shopping district. The strip begins at the Piazza de Ferrari and ends at Piazza della Vittoria. Stores include fashionable boutiques, bustling food markets and other upscale specialty retailers. The narrow winding streets of the historic district are also filled with a variety of shops and are a great place to find authentic Genoese handicrafts.