Genova ItalyGenoa is one of the closest Mediterranean coastal towns to Lake Garda and is a drive of around 2 ¾ hours away. The city is proud of its unique history and legends. There are many fine palazzos along the Via Balbi and the Via Garibaldi, the towns most beautiful street.
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Christopher Columbus GenovaThe old seaport of Genoa was once the family home of the 15th century explorer Christopher Columbus, and visitors are unlikely to forget that as his name is everywhere. His statue greets you at the entrance to the Piazza Acquaverde, and the airport and many buildings are named after him. His life story is shown in a series of frescoes by Genoese artists Tavarone and you can see three of his handwritten letters in the city hall. You can even visit the home where he is thought to have lived, on Porta Soprana.
Many of the palaces are open to the public and contain fine furnishings, collections of paintings and wonderful architecture. The Palazzo Reale has a fabulous rococo style interior with a grand ballroom and a Hall of Mirrors. The garden slopes down to the old port and has cobblestone mosaics around the fountain which depict houses and animals.
Genoas finest paintings can be seen in the Palazzo Bianco and it includes works by Van Dyck, Filippino Lippi, Veronese and Rubens. For those who appreciate fine frescoes, the Palazzo Rosso has a piano nobile which is elaborately decorated with 17th century frescoes by local artists of note. It also has a fine ceramics collection and antique furniture.
Just as grand as the architecture is Genoas Staglieno Cemetery on the banks of the Bisagno River. It is so large that it has its own bus system! It is a fantastic collection of tombs and monuments designed as Art Deco palaces in miniature, Egyptian temples and model cathedrals which are now the last resting place of former wealthy citizens of Genoa.
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