Genoa has several piazzas that are tucked into the dense city fabric. They are each unique and distinct. Each has its own personality, nature, and they each draw their own type of crowd.
The Porto Antico has 1000 years of history, but in the past 20 years the Porto Antico has been revitalized and transformed into a hub of tourism, culture, shopping, entertainment, and festivals. It is a great place to enjoy a sunny day by the water, like a local.
Piazza de Ferrari
Piazza de Ferrari is the center of the city. The surrounding area offers the museum in the Palazzo Ducale, the Carlo Felice Opera House, and the main shopping street, Via XX Settembre. On a typical day, Piazza de Ferrari does not have a lot going on. However, locals can be seen spending some leisure time throughout the day, and it becomes a hangout for young people and students in the evening, particularly Thursday-Saturday. On occasion, Piazza de Ferrari is host to festivals.
Piazza San Lorenzo
Piazza San Lorenzo is in front of the cathedral or Duomo of Genoa. During the day this piazza is a great place to sit on the steps and people watch.
Piazza delle Erbe
This is the most active piazza for university students and young people, with several bars to choose from. Always busy for lunch and in the evening, but particularly Thursday - Saturday night it fills with young people drinking, eating, and having a good time. Don’t bother waiting to be seated at an outside table. As soon as a table opens up, grab it! The crowd is usually younger people between the ages of 17 and 20-something. Also the streets around Piazza delle Erbe are very active on Friday night, particularly Via San Bernardo.
Piazza della Lepre and Piazza Lavagna
Perhaps not a lot of people know about them, but these two piazzas are very popular with the hipsters and locals between the ages of 20-30. Piazza Lavagna has a few different bar options to choose from. Also, it has been said that Piazza Lavagna is a favorite among architects and professionals. Piazza della Lepre is a smaller more intimate setting with a great view to a medieval tower. The piazza is home to the bar La Lepre. This little gem is a popular choice among the artsy alternative crowd.
Piazza Giardini Luzzati
Giardini Luzzati is another popular bar near Piazza delle Erbe. It is an elevated piazza with plenty of space to hangout and one bar with live music. Despite only having 1 bar, Piazza Giardini Luzzati is often packed with young people at night.
Piazza San Cosimo
Off of the famous Via San Bernardo, Piazza San Cosimo offers a more relaxed setting than the other piazzas. Home to the medieval church of Santi Cosma e Damiano, Piazza San Cosimo is a great place to grab a drink in the nearby bar and sit on the steps to socialize with people.
The Space Cinema - Porto Antico - Via Magazzini del Cotone, 10 rooms - Tel: 199 199 991
Ariston - Vico San Matteo, 16r - 2 rooms - tel: (+39) 010 2473549
Sometimes has movies in original language.
Olympia - Via XX Settembre, 274r - tel. (+39) 010 581 415
Cinema Sivori - Salita di S. Caterina, 48r
Sometimes plays movies in original language, check schedule
Kitchen! - Via di San Donato, 13
A trendy 3 floor bar. Serves aperitivo, dinner, and after dinner.
Beautiful loser - Piazza Marsala, 8r
Elegant and stylish bar. A classy crowd.
Storico - Piazza de Ferrari
The best value for aperitivo. Most drinks are 7 euro.
Banano Tsunami - Ponte Embriaco
Good drinks and live music on the water.
Louisiana Jazz Club - Via San Sebastiano, 36r
Estoril Club - Corso Italia, 7d
Monday and Wednesday: tango nights. Saturday: salsa and merengue. Sunday: live rock, blues and soul. Thursday nigh: house and techno.
Casa Mia Club - Via XII Ottobre, 182/r
Friday and Saturday electronic dance music.
Parchi di Nervi - Via Capolungo, 1, Nervi
Largest area of accessible open fields of grass with trees and small gardens within the city limits of Genoa. Take the train from Genova Brignole or Genova Pizza Principe to Nervi (a valid bus ticket will suffice).
Piazza Corvetto Parks - Piazza Corvetto
This includes Acquasola and the garden of Villetta Dinegro where there is the Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art.
Villa Gruber - Corso Solferino, 25
Villa Croce - Via J. Ruffini, 3
The grounds of the villa containing the Museum of Contemporary Art are a public park.
And more garden than park:
Giardini Reali - Via Balbi, 10
Overlooking the old harbor dock, located within baroque Palazzo Reale, in Via Balbi.
Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria Tursi - Via Garibaldi
Italian hanging gardens, set between two of the most famous Palazzi dei Rolli of Strada Nuova.
somewhere between a piazza and a park, with a beautiful view of the city and the sea:
Spianata di Castelletto
Beautiful view of the city and the surrounding area. Take the ascensore (elevator) Portello in Piazza Portello. You can also get there by taking Via Salita alla Spianata di Castelletto
Zecca-Righi funicolare (cable car train)
From Piazza Zecca one can take the funicolare or funicular (cable car) train to "Righi", the ridge that encloses the city. Excellent views of the city and landscape inland. Use a regular bus ticket.
Hiking the city walls and forts
From the funicular train stop at Righi (see above) you can hike along the ridge capped by the Mura Nuove, or New Walls, built between 1626 and 1639 to defend the city. Now protected as the Parco delle Mura, you can hike along the city walls and then out to the 17th century forts with stupendous views across a rolling open landscape inland and with the city and sea to the south.
Parco Avventura Genova-Righi - Via Cima di San Pantaleo
The best way to get to the adventure park is the funiculare Zecca
Kayaking in Nervi - Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi 23, Nervi
Enjoy the beauty of the Ligurian coast in a kayak. Cecilia and Diego, the owners of Lo Scalo, will provide you with all the equipment and information to experience such an adventure. You can rent a kayak for a couple of hours, or the entire season.
Take a train down the coast and visit the beautiful Cinque Terre, five small towns on the sea with terraced vineyards above, now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the major attractions in Italy. Hike along the coast from one to the other and see them all or take a train and spend the day at one. (Vernazza above)
Palestra Empire - Via Fieschi, 63r
Il Tempio della Salute - Via alla Porta degli Archi, 54
Palestra Squash di Colasuono Mavi’ - Piazza Sarzano, 50
Although the city center of Genoa is not the ideal place for jogging, there are great areas for running and exercise. Both the old port area and Corso Italia have continuous flat surfaces suited for jogging along the sea, with plenty to look at and enjoy.
From a site made by runners of where to run in various cities, this is for Genoa:
Note the 8th on their list, a 9.1 km route going from the port area and marina around the city and then along the coast and Corso Italia. Could be used in its entirety or in part.