Genoa (Genova in the Italian language), the capital of Liguria province, Italy, is often compared to a theatre. The metaphor is clear: the colourful Genoa port is a parterre, surrounded by the boxes - the famous Italian palazzos, so splendid in their luxury... The more moderate houses of Genoa dwellers run down the city hills, making up an amphitheatre that ends with the Bay of Genoa.
Liguria is one of the northern provinces of Italy. And, should we add, one of the most beautiful. Liguria is not just mountains and sea - it is The Mountains and The Sea, both of unbelievable beauty... Cliffs here seem to grow right out of the Tirren Sea surface, and together they constitute a monumental and exciting picture.
This natural treasure is carefully preserved by the Italian state. In the year 1999 Liguria was awarded the first place for the clearest sea in Italy, and also for the beaches that are kept in perfect condition. And it is duly appreciated - for example, the Ponente Riviere in the district of Savonese (Liguria), attracts around a half of all tourists visiting Italian resorts. There are 355 beaches on the Ligurian seaside, and they are never empty!
Liguria is filled with the spirit of The Sea; same with its capital Genoa. The soul of this incredible city is marine to the bone. It is just enough to say that Genoa was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus... And it is certainly nowhere else but the Genoa port where the great seaman could start his voyage that led to the discovery of America!
Of course, you can limit your acquaintance with Genoa with lazy beachtime and a random cocktail in the nearest bar (apropos, the Italian cuisine is delicious, and so are the Italian wines and cocktails made by old Medieval recipes). But we warn you that it is, first, a disrespect towards magnificent Lady Genoa and, second, simply a great mistake. No matter whether you are on a short stop during a cruise (cruise liners in Genoa are frequent), or on a thorough trip, there are certain things you just can not miss!
The Aquarium. It is the largest marine zoo in Europe. You can spend all day long staring at exotic sea dwellers. 48 swimming-pools and aquariums offer a wide variety of marine life forms: 500 different species of animals and fishes and a kaleidoscope of beautiful sea flora.
The Transatlantic liners exposition. The Genoa port is not only a travelling, trading and transport centre, it is sometimes as well a vanity fair. Each year the greatest examples of modern ship industry gather in Genoa port to amaze spectators from the whole world.
But, should we say, the most spectacular event of Genoa shipping life is the Annual International Marine show. Each year, in the beginning of October, in Fiera di Genova presents the newest and best examples of "small ships" (from inflatable rubber boats to luxuriously decorated ocean yachts). This year the Exhibition celebrates its' 45th anniversary date. The sight is really terrific! A couple of years ago, for example, it took 69,19 acres to place all the exhibitions; over 1,900 ships were shown. The event is considered to be the most important happening of the season, and it undoubtedly dictates the haute couture of marine traveling and rest.