With its 113 hectares of land it is one of the most extensive medieval historical centres in Europe and with the highest population density. The historic center of Genoa is a maze of narrow alleys (caruggi) that open unexpectedly in small squares, often linked, as the churches that overlook them, to important noble Families.
The spirit of Genoa resides right in the alleys, where you always mix smells, flavors, languages and different cultures. And the old town, more than any other part of town, has always been a melting pot.
In these cramped spaces, close between the hills and the sea, the pride of the rich merchants and the Genoese nobles built splendid dwellings, where works of art were collected and kept for centuries, still visible within some of the palaces, today open museums to the public.
In this compact set of buildings, where the windows of the houses are so close that they almost touch each other, the architectural styles overlap: the medieval wall is the base of a Fourteenth-century building, Gothic loggings are now transformed into fashionable clubs. In the historical centre of Genoa the past is a foundation for the Present.
In this place where time seems to have stopped, noble palaces and splendid churches are interspersed with workshops in activity for over 100 years, where the specialties are still prepared according to ancient recipes and handicrafts are worked according secular traditions. Genoa is a city rich in historical shops and also the names of the streets often recall a past linked to crafts and corporations, such as Via degli Orefici or Vico del Ferro. Those who raise their gaze at the crossroads will appreciate the magnificent votive newsstands that were donated by the ancient corporations to illuminate the streets at Night.
The oldest part of the city is visited mainly on foot: it is nice to get lost among the alleys and stroll in the areas full of life or choose an organized itinerary to visit in a detailed way churches, palaces and monuments, perhaps following a Theme: from the Genoa of De André to the medieval City.