After Monaco, our port of call was Genoa (Genova in Italian). A sprawling, busy cosmopolitan city, Genoa is full of history with its magnificent palaces, art, and an elaborate network of ancient hilltop fortresses. Genoa is one of Italy’s major economic centers.

The city’s name came from the Latin word genu, plural genua, which means knee because of its geographical position at the centre of the Ligurian coastal arch. Genoa is nicknamed “la Superba” which means “the Proud One” because of its glorious past.

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Home of Christopher Columbus, it is also famous for its markets and for one of Europe’s largest indoor aquariums. Genoa also boast some great designer fashion shopping sites. It is adjacent to two popular Ligurian vacation spot, Camogli and Portofino.

The framework of Christopher Columbus’ house
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The narrow alleyways of the old center which is the largest in Europe covered with centuries of grime is a proof of the city’s faded glory. As we walked through the city, we took notice of the rich architecture of the buildings.

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Plaza Genoa (Piazza Ferrari)
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There was so much going on in the city and although I love to shop, the city was too much for me. I was overwhelmed by the crowd and the noise. It was also hard to converse with the residents as we are not fluent in Italian when we looked for a local restaurant. Frustrated, we ended up eating in the first restaurant we found which turned out to be an English pub and all their staff there spoke English. The only salvation for me that day was the grandeur of the buildings and the city’s rich history.

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The front of the Palace of St. George
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Porta Soprana, best known gate in the ancient Genoa city walls
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In a way, this was the first time I felt relieved to be back on the ship looking forward to our next port of call.