The official currency is the Euro.
Automatic exchange machines are located at the airport and at most important banks.
Credit cards are generally accepted in shops and restaurants.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday until 1.00/1.30 pm with flexible opening hours in the afternoon.
Day-light saving time
Day-light saving time starts in spring (end of March), when clocks are set one hour ahead, and they are set one hour back to standard time in autumn (end of September).
Electricity is supplied at 220 volts. The sockets are for plugs with two or three round pins in a row.
The international code number from abroad is +39 followed by the number code of the person you are calling, comprehensive of the “zero” of region. The mobile phone network covers the whole country.
On Monday most Museums, some attractions in the Old Port, the majority of restaurants and hair salons are closed. Shops and large stores are closed only on Monday mornings. Food shops are closed on Wednesday afternoons, except for supermarkets. Laundry/dry cleaner’s shops are closed on Saturday.
Shops’ Opening Times
Many shops still close from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm, however, in the city centre many of them and all large stores stay open all-day.
The "Genova Centro" (city centre post office), in via Dante 4B/r, is open every day from 8.00 am to 6.30 pm, on Saturday from 8.00 am to 1.30 pm and is closed on Sunday. To find out about opening times and addresses of the other post offices visit the official site of the Italian post office.
What to See
Ponte Spinola, Area Porto Antico
A naturally exciting experience awaits you at Europe’s largest marine park: 71 tanks, 800 species, and over 10,000 specimens set against the incomparable backdrop of the Gulf of Genoa.
Piazza Matteotti, 9
Since 1339 the Doges’ residence, it is a venue of excellence for major events and prestigious activities.
The system of the “Palazzi dei Rolli” – Part of Unesco’s World Heritage List
The wonderfully ornate and very original private residences belonging to the city’s aristocratic families which, in 1576, started to host the distinguished guests of the Republic of Genoa.
Via Garibaldi e i Musei di Strada Nuova
In the splendid Via Garibaldi (sec. XVI) (aka Strada Nuova or "The golden street"), there is an extraordinary museum corner, with the “Strada Nuova museums”: Palazzo Bianco, Rosso e Tursi.
San Lorenzo Cathedral
Piazza San Lorenzo
Built about 1098 then widened, the San Lorenzo cathedral is dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, city patron and hosts two beautiful Museums: Museo del Tesoro and Museo Diocesano
Via Balbi, 10
Noble class residence, “reggia sabauda”, with the splendid Museo Nazionale in the centre of the manumental Via Balbi (sec. XVII). Evocative garden and terrace.
Palazzo del Principe Doria
Piazza del Principe, 4
Built in sec. XVI for the famous Andrea Doria
Belvedere Luigi Montaldo
Spianata di Castelletto
Gorgeous "terrace" hanging on the Historical center district, with fabulous view on the city and the port. Get there with the liberty style lift for an extra emotion.
Museums and Gardens in Nervi
Via Capolungo, Genova Nervi
Historial villas, with relevant modern art museums in a landscape of gardens and extraordinary natural beauties.
What really strikes tourists in Genoa is undoubtedly the city’s all-pervading liveliness
During the day, visitors can admire the glittering windows of the most prestigious shops in town - great designers and historic world-class
craftsmen’s shops are real temptation for all shopping-lovers. There are also, obviously, department stores and brand-new malls, as well as many small markets with stalls offering a wide range of items, from antiques to typical local specialties.
And then a multitude of small, ancient historical shops holding real treasures of ancient objects, workshops of creative, dynamic craftsmen proposing unique and precious works, such as mezzari (printed cotton spreads) and silver filigree objects, all the way to tasty surprises that can be found in historic patisseries.
Genoese sweet specialties are a real triumph of tastes and smells: from candied flowers to rose cordial, from the most surprising and original chocolates to rare, delicious delicacies like pasta di altea (marshmallows) and cinnamon sugar-coated sweets, whose unique flavors remind of magic Eastern tastes.
Genoa is also increasingly lively from a cultural viewpoint, thanks to its drama theatres - which boast interesting calendars ranging from classical to avant-guard theatre, as well as performances for children - and the Opera Theatre Carlo Felice, a real gem of state-of-the-art technology and a prestigious venue for the city’s classical music and opera season.
Besides being an increasingly favorite filming location for the cinema and the advertising sectors, Genoa has its own long-standing cinema culture and traditions: a film was indeed screened for the first time in Genoa as early as in 1886, in the historic Sala Sivori. Today, the city can boast a wide range of cinemas, Cineplex and multiscreen cinemas, and cinema clubs scattered throughout the town. Moreover, many events and festivals are held, devoted to this unique form of art.
Genoa’s excellent climate – generally mild throughout the year – makes it very pleasant to hang out in the many bars and cafés scattered around the town. From breakfast through late-afternoon pre-dinner drinks, these places are constantly crowded.
The nights in Genoa are lively and cheerful: lots of people literally “invade” the old town streets, where all kinds of places have opened over the last few years: American bars, pubs, blues clubs, piano bars, cabarets, and places featuring all sorts of live music, from jazz to rap, from fusion to singer-songwriters music.
Also the promenade of Corso Italia is lined with charming night clubs overlooking the sea. In summer, private beaches host shows or turn into music clubs.
There are also, obviously, disco clubs, often featuring wonderful outdoor terraces. And then “trendy” clubs with music and “off” theatre performances, for anyone looking for some unusual nights out.
Wonderful opportunities to celebrate or simply to take part in really unique events are also offered by what can probably be defined as true local heritage: Genoese traditions.
Many traditional celebrations take place in town during the year – from religious ones, like the processions held by religious confraternities to celebrate St. John the Baptist, to purely historical ones, such as the impressive historical parade for the Italian Ancient Maritime Republics Regatta; Genoa has also long-standing traditions as regards nativity scenes, and the decoration of the “Altars of the Deposition” during the Holy Week; not to mention the celebrations devoted to Christopher Columbus, those for the Birth of St. John the Baptist – the city’s Patron Saint -, and many other festivals and events with typical food specialties.
Genoa also offers a lot to sport lovers in all seasons. Thanks to the city’s unique location, you can practice both land and sea sports: from windsurf to golf, from swimming to cycling and sailing, and even ice skating, on a wonderful winter ice-skating ring surrounded by the sea.
And let us not forget the many different facilities where you can both practice or watch sports like athletics, soccer, bowls and water polo. Genoa is no doubt a wonderful city to enjoy and discover throughout the year and throughout the day and the night.
Spending time in a café or a restaurant is an especially pleasant experience in Genoa, as these places often bear testimony to the history of the city. Indeed, they are, for the great part, located in buildings which either date back to the middle ages or are particularly noteworthy and/or have witnessed some event or other.
A map of these mouth-watering and stimulating opportunities would range from cafés to patisseries and ice cream parlours, from restaurants to the more traditional trattorie and osterie, from friggitorie (fried-food shops) to chocolate factories, candied fruit and flowers, and much more.
The tradition of cafés as a popular hangout and meeting place became established in Genoa during the 19th century and led to the opening of more and more meeting places, often in old and fascinating environments steeped in history and culture.
Places where to enjoy hearty brunches, cheerful happy hours or lounge-style relaxation are popping up at an increasing rate, combining tradition and innovation, quality and creativity.
For those wishing to venture out, Genoa offers many attractive possibilities.
In the Old Town there is a myriad of bars and restaurants where numerous bands and individual musicians
and/or entertainers carry on the great music tradition of Genoa, the undisputed capital of singer-songwriter music.
It is an interesting blossoming of live music, shows, cabarets, disco pubs, rock clubs, blues clubs, singer-songwriter music,
jazz, rap, fusion and poetry to experience as much as possible in one night.
Piazza delle Erbe and Via San Bernardo are the heart of Genoa’s nightlife. Over the last few years, many bars and cafés have sprung up around them, which are always crowded with people, particularly on a Friday or Saturday night. This part of the old town has become the most popular hangout for the late-night revellers of all ages.
There are many events that liven up the whole of the old town at night:
from its historical palaces to the museums, from the squares to the theatres, from the art
galleries to the streets and their shops. On the so-called "coloured" nights, "Notte Bianca” (White night) and “Notte Rosa” (Pink night) - dedicated to women –, the theme events multiply: from photographic and art exhibitions to aperitifs, from film screenings to theatre shows, from music nights to fashion shows.
Also the promenade of Corso Italia – which is about two kilometres from the centre and running along the rocky cliffs overhanging the sea – is lined with night clubs (with live music), private beaches, small bars, but above all it is a meeting place.