The magnificent city known as “La Superba” (The Superb).
Genova introduces you to the deep blue Mediterranean, refined art and cultural traditions, fresh green gardens, surprising old port, and cool innovation technology.
Genova grants you the true pleasure of bleisure and the Convention Bureau Genova is “your first port of call”.
A charming place
The historically rich city of Genova is full of palaces, monuments and museums, giving you the opportunity to fill any available time between business meetings with experiences to remember. So, whether it’s an insight into the past of this charming place that intrigues you, or you just need a place to clear your head, we will be your guide.
Where to start?
If you’re lucky enough to find some time between meetings or once your working day has finished, aim to get yourself down to the Porto Antico, the old port of Genoa. As the largest in Italy, its importance cannot be understated and the ancient harbour has seen massive development over the years. It is now a bustling hive of activity with cafés, bars and restaurants lining the promenade with the famous Aquarium of the city (Acquario di Genova) and the ancient spaces of a cotton warehouse turned into one of the most famous congress centres of Italy (Magazzini del Cotone Congress Centre, a unique convention venue that can host up to 1.500 pax).
What will be immediately noticeable is that the old district of Genoa is made up of lots of tiny streets and alleyways (known as Caruggi to the locals) and it’s worth keeping your eyes open for the gems that can be found hidden in any one of them as you travel.
A city packed with history
Once you’ve seen some of the port area, take Via San Lorenzo towards the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. This cathedral, also known as Genoa Duomo, has existed since the 12th century. Inside, you can get a glimpse of both the dish that was supposedly used by Christ during the Last Supper and a World War II bombshell that failed to explode when it was dropped on the cathedral.
A little further along you’ll find the renovated birthplace of Genoa’s, and one of the world’s, most famous explorers, Christopher Columbus, and you can continue up the narrow street of Via San Lorenzo until you reach Piazza Ferrari. Check out the impressive bronze fountain in the center.
As you return along the other side of Via XX Settembre, cross over Piazza Ferrari again, having a closer look at the fountain, and then on to Palazzo Ducale.
The palace is described by some locals as the ‘beating heart’ of the city’s culture, linking the old with the new. Dating back to the 14th century, it has been the residence of those that ruled the Republic of Genoa, the Doges (usually selected as the shrewdest elder in the city), and now plays venue to grand exhibitions, festivals and events.
Check out what’s on offer if you have a night off at a conference, or if you’re lucky enough to be able to tack on an extra day to your business trip.
From the palace you have a choice: head back down beside the water or venture a little further inwards visiting the gothic Church of San Matteo – which gives you a real sense of the medieval history of the city and where you can see the original 18th-century organ. Then you can adventure through Genoa’s small streets till you reach the historic street of Via Garibaldi with its magnificent Palaces (Palazzi dei Rolli), belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage List. A major highlight is what is now city hall, Palazzo Tursi, home to one of Paganini’s violins.
While you’re in the area, don’t miss out on the chance of taking in the best view of Genoa as an elevator takes you to the top of Belvedere Casteletto. Gaze out over the various layers that make up this medieval city while possibly refueling on-the-go like a local: tripe slices out of a paper cone.
A crucial connection to the sea
Back down at the bay, you have several options to fill up whatever free time you have in between sessions. Just a few hundred meters up the promenade from the Aquarium hotel is the largest maritime museum in the Mediterranean – have you noticed how vital a role the sea plays to this city?
The Galata Museo del Mare tells the incredible story of seafaring adventures over the centuries and includes an authentic Genoese galley and a vivid ‘storm room’ to give you an idea of life aboard a ship. This unique museum is a great way to completely switch off from any business activity and it can be followed by an exquisite lunch or evening meal close by.
Coming back past the hotel you’ll see the magnificent Acquario di Genova. As one of the largest aquariums in Europe, it has captured the imagination of well over a million visitors a year since it was redesigned by famed local architect, Renzo Piano. It provides a journey to discover around 12,000 specimens in a wonderfully presented exhibition. Its spacious walkways also make it an alternative way to hold informal work discussions or allow time for personal reflection on the points made by this morning’s keynote speaker.
A gift to remember it by
Even though you’ve been working hard while you’ve been away, your friends and family back home will still expect something, so make sure you’ve got time to pick up some gifts. Or maybe you’d like your own memento of the trip. Piazza Ferrari is the door to the beautifully arched Via XX Settembre lined with stylish jewellers and perfume boutiques as well as famous fashion houses. And remember, Genova is a traditional Italian city so there is a multitude of excellent historical cafés ahead of travelling back.
It’s fair to say that we have only scratched the surface of what Genoa has to offer a business traveller but we hope this guide gives you a chance to meet the city while you’re here. As you’ll see, Genova stands proud alongside the more illustrious cities of Italy as a fabulous place to combine business and pleasure.
“The city of Genoa, my birthplace, defined as The Superb, is a gem to be discovered, discreet and magnificent at the same time, with an extraordinary history as one of the major Maritime Republic since the year 1000. Genoa has a strategic position in the Mediterranean and in Northern Italy and has developed excellent facilities and experiences for meeting and incentives.”
Maria Elena Rossi, Global Marketing and Promotion Director, ENIT