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48 Hours in Genoa and Camogli

48 Hours in Genoa and Camogli

Escape for a getaway to the beautiful seaside region of Liguria and anchor yourself in historic Genoa (or Genova in Italian) to escape quaint fishing villages, art and culture, and of course the best pesto and focaccia you will ever taste.

How to Get to Genoa

From Milan, it will take no more than 2.5 hours by train or by car. You can get there in about 90 minutes on one of the fast trains for under 15 euros per ticket, or arrive in about 2.5 hours via car. For train options, visit Trenitalia or Omio. As you can see, Genoa could also be explored within one day from Milan, but as with all Italian towns, it is better to opt for the slow stroll and take in this beauty slowly.

Where to Stay in Genoa

For first-timers, you can choose to stay near the train station (for easier transportation) or near the bustling historic center. And as one of the largest historic centres in all of Europe, you can imagine all of the many choices you will have! Or, you can stay near Boccadasse, the charming fishing village, near the sea. More to come on discovering both of these locations later! Options for a cozy spot near the train station include B&B Hotel Genova with a breakfast served on site and only a few steps from the train station and the famed aquarium! Budget-friendly stays in the historic centre include Ostello Bello Genova or for a more luxury (but still not too hard on the wallet) feel, check out Hotel Bristol Palace. But if you’re still itching for a more relaxed, beachy-feel, don’t forget to view this seaside apartment Genovainrelax at only a few steps from Boccadasse beach or nearby il Ciliegio di Miki with added amenities like onsite tennis and garden views. 

Day 1 Itinerary

After arriving in Genoa, perhaps ordain your trip by walking through the massive arch in the Piazza della Vittoria Genoa dedicated to the fallen Genoese in WWI. It’s a beautiful sight that is a nice mark to the beginning of your Genoa exploration. Next, you’ll want to explore most of the main attractions the first day and depending on how much you can accomplish, perhaps (and hopefully!) you will have enough time to venture out from Genoa to explore the popular Ligurian town, Camogli. But, you will need to carve out a few hours to get lost – because you will – in the maze of the city’s historic centre.

Piazza De Ferrari / Photo from Wikimedia Commons

As one of the largest in Europe, you could spend all day wandering but in order to make the most of your time focus on a few of the most popular spots. Piazza De Ferrari, the central square with its big bronze fountain, is surrounded by the famed teatro Carlo Felice and Palazzo Ducale. Next, make sure to step into the majestic Cattedrale di San Lorenzo. Built between 1100 and the end of 1300, it became well-known because it was bombarded by the English fleet during WWII.

Cathedral of San Lorenzo / Photo by Mary Catherine Holcomb

Now, everyone’s favorite part of the itinerary: where to eat in Genoa! This recommended gem, Cavour modo21, will most definitely have a long line of hungry people waiting, but if you are a fan of mouth-watering food, it is worth it! Reservations are also accepted, which you will probably want to do for the next day, as well, after having just one bite. Since Liguria is the birthplace of focaccia and pesto, you have to try it at Cavour alongside your meal. If you’d rather save this spot for a night time dinner, then try heading to the massive food market MOG Mercato Orientale for good bites and drinks. 

Most likely you will want to walk off all of your delicious lunch, and a great place to do that is at the Porto Antico. In the Porto Antico area, you can fulfill your heart’s desires with museums, cultural centers, shops, shopping galleries, restaurants, bars, and cinemas.

Porto Antico / Photo from Porto Antico Di Genova

You will find a pool in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter, but year round, you can also visit one of the top spots in Liguria, the Genoa Aquarium. Also, you can check out Genoa in the Bigo (which offers you panoramic views of Genoa), take boat tours from the port, or step behind the walls of the San Marco al Molo church, built in 1100 as a refuge for incoming sailors. 

You may be a bit thirsty after your exploring, so you can stop for an aperitivo at one of the hot spots in the Port Antico area, or you can make your way to Les Rouges Cucina and Cocktails. Located in the Imperial Palace in the historical centre, this place not only boasts delicious cocktails but also an atmosphere not quite matched in Genoa, which is the best recipe for ending your first night in Genoa

Day 2 Itinerary

Since you made it to Liguria, it would be a shame to not visit the charming seaside villages, so the second day is just for that. First stop: Boccadesse. This famous ancient fishing village is the perfect spot to relax. Although small and can become bustling with activity during high tourist season, it is one spot not to be missed. Grab yourself an ice cream, snack on a local delicacy or sip a glass of bubbles or espresso as you relax, whether it be on a chair or near the sea.

Boccadesse / Photo by Mary Catherine Holcomb

Depending on the amount of time you have for this day, you should make sure to head to the next beauty on the sea: Camogli. This town in the Italian Riviera di Levante is known for its exquisitely-painted houses, ancient buildings, and of course, beautiful views while strolling alongside the sea. It can’t get any better than that. Make your way to the seaside port, the heart of the town, and walk along the promenade (prepare to stop and take several photos) all the way to Castello della Dragonera, the fortress built in the medieval time. And of course, as like all Italian towns, don’t forget to explore the churches, especially the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back to the 12th century. 

Camogli Seaside / Photo by Mary Catherine Holcomb

If you weren’t able to take a ride on the waters in Genoa, try to squeeze in some time in Camogli, as viewing the island from afar is one of the best ways to take in its beauty. Here are some boat ride options to explore. And perhaps, you can make your way via water transport to see the San Fruttuoso Abbey and set your eyes upon the famed Christ of the Abyss, the underwater bronze statue dating back to 1954 at 17 meters / 56 ft deep. 

Before you leave Camogli (unfortunately), you still have to eat! Try to grab a seat at Ostaia da ò Sigu for one of its seafood or pesto dishes. But if you don’t have time to sit and linger, grab a focaccia to-go at the Revello (be prepared to wait in line though!) 

Whether or not you are leaving these Ligurian cities to return home, it is without a doubt that after these past days you will return – because only 48 hours of eating the best pesto and focaccia you will ever have and taking in some of Italy’s best views is definitely not enough time. 

Article by Mary Catherine Holcomb for Easy Milano

Featured Image by Mary Catherine Holcomb

Easy Milano

Easy Milano is the online publication for the international community of Milan. We offer practical tips, key information and essential insights about living and working in Italy. Easy Milano has been assisting English speaking expats in Milan since 1999.
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