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Genoa Places And Charm, Italy
The porticos of Sottoripa
A once-controversial area, Via Sottoripa was constructed in 1135, when a verdict handed down by the Comune forced the proprietor of the nearby houses on the port to build a colonnade strictly for commercial activities. Today, it's a must to walk along these porticos to take in that which remains of the ancient atmosphere of the port: colored shops full of spices and dried fruits, and the old fried fish shops, where you can find Genoese specialties and a lively multiethnic atmosphere. Continue your walk alongside the harbors, and mingle with visitors from exotic lands.
Piazza dei Banchi
The area of i Banchi, behind via Sottoripa, took its name from the "Banchieri", the money-exchanges of the Medieval period, with banks located under the houses surrounding the piazza. This piazza was the commercial center of Genoa until the 19th century, and it was the home of one of the three biggest markets of the city, the grain market. The piazza is dominated by the Loggia dei Mercanti, built at the end of the 16th century, which became in 1855 the home of the first Borsa Merci in Italy.
Vie degli Orefici is always alive with a colorful and varied crowd. It is blessed with one of the most beautiful portals of the historic center, and by various votive tabernacles.
Don't miss the old Confetteria di Pietro Romanengo, a sweet shop which opened in 1780 and continues to be family-operated through seven generations. This part of the city, noted for the prevalence of precious marble and wood, has its origins in the early 19th century, and has remained intact up until the present day.
From Corso Italia to Boccadasse
Among the Genoese, Corso Italia is a favorite walking route to the sea, made incredibly lively on sunny days by roller skaters, bicyclists, joggers, and those who simply enjoy a nice walk, admiring the splendor of the sea. In the warm season, the Genoese flock to bathing establishments and nightclubs located just 3 kilometers from Corso Italia.
Located in the easternmost part of Corso Italia is Boccadasse, an old fisherman's village, which remains untouched by the tumultuous development of the city. Boccadasse is truly a peaceful oasis within the city: a small piazza, the tiny port with its fishing boats, a small beach, and a grand panorama from the promontory of Portofino.
The park of Genoa's walls
Located in the hills behind the city of Genoa is a long chain of 17th century walls, enclosing a large part of the city. This defensive structure was fortified in the 18th and 19th centuries by powerful fortresses, one of the vastest systems of fortifications in Europe. Some of the fortifications are well-preserved and open to visitors, allowing gorgeous panoramas of the city:
- Fort Sperone: an articulated compound of fortifications on three levels, with officer's quarters, ammunition and other features.
- Fort Diamante: at 670 meters high, this fort is the highest in Genoa, and unique with its star-shaped configuration of walls.
- Fort Puin: One of the best-preserved forts in Genoa. From here, you can look out over the entire Parco delle Mura.
- Fort Castellaccio: the easiest fort to reach, thanks to funicular that leaves from Largo Zecca. There are paths and streets leading out from the Stazione a Monte which lead to the other forts.