In the heart of the Italian Riviera, the medieval port town of Genoa is famous not only as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but also for its regal heritage. Here are our picks for the city’s must-see palaces.
Via San Lorenzo
Genoa, Italy, 16123
During the Middle Ages, the piazza in front of the San Lorenzo Cathedral was the only public square in Genoa. Today Via San Lorenzo makes a straight shot from the San Giorgio metro station to the 18th-century reconstruction of the home of Christopher Columbus, though along the way the street name changes to Piazza Giacomo Matteotti and Via di Porta Soprana. Most hop-on hop-off tours of Genoa include a stop at Via San Lorenzo along with other city landmarks such as Piazza De Ferrari and Via XX Settembre.
Things to Know Before You Go
Via San Lorenzo is lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants.
The street (and those around it) are cobblestoned so wear comfortable shoes to navigate the uneven surfaces.
Wheelchair users and those with limited mobility may find it difficult to navigate the area due to the street’s slight incline and cobblestoned paths.
How to Get There
The entrance to Via San Lorenzo is just a 5-minute walk from the Old Port and a mere 400 feet (122 meters) from the San Giorgio metro station. You can also take city bus number 13 to the Turati/Metro San Giorgio stop, located at the beginning of Via San Lorenzo; or bus 1, 9, 32, or 635 to the Caricamento stop, about a 5-minute walk from the street entrance.
When to Get There
Genoa is generally very crowded between May and September. The best time to visit the city, and Via San Lorenzo, is during spring and autumn, when the weather is pleasant. In December, many small Christmas markets open along the sidewalks of Via San Lorenzo.
Notable Attractions near Via San Lorenzo
Aside from the beautiful San Lorenzo Cathedral, several important Genoese attractions lie close to Via San Lorenzo. The Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) stands just behind the cathedral along with the Saint Ambrosio Church (Chiesa dei Santi Ambrogio e Andrea detta del Gesù). At the Christopher Columbus House (Casa di Cristoforo Colombo) you can see a reconstruction of where the explorer lived as a boy, and nearby is the 12th-century Porta Soprana with its two circular towers.
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- Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
- Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello)
- Piazza de Ferrari
- Galata Maritime Museum (Galata Museo del Mare)
- Piazza Caricamento
- Palazzo Rosso
- Aquarium of Genoa
- Palazzi dei Rolli
- Palazzo Bianco
- La Biosfera
- Genoa Via Garibaldi (Via Giuseppe Garibaldi)
- Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art (Museo d'Arte Orientale Edoardo Chiossone)
- Spianata Castelletto