PIAZZA DE FERRARI – VIA XX SETTEMBRE – SANTO STEFANO – PONTE MONUMENTALE – CORVETTO – SANTA CATERINA – GALLERIA MAZZINI – PIAZZA DE FERRARI
On foot: 1 h
Subway: De Ferrari
The Genoa city center can easily be visited on foot starting from Piazza De Ferrari. This circular route starts from the main square of Genoa and touches some of the most interesting things to see in the city center. Take Via XX Settembre, the main road of the city (ends in the area of the Genova Brignole station), and walk under the arcades with its Art Nouveau buildings and the constant coming and going of Genoese people at any time of the day. Keep left as far as the junction with Via Salvatore Viale (an impersonal stairway) which leads to the precious Piazza di Santo Stefano, where, it is said, Christopher Columbus was baptised. Just like a wonderful magpie on the high-voltage cable, the ancient church (the first documents date back to 972) breaks the city’s fast rhythm and the breeze regenerates the body.
Only a few steps away are the steps climbing up to Ponte Monumentale, the marble giant with an empty stomach. Guided tours allow you to reach the bowels of the bridge and turn into improvised speleologists through the city’s underground tunnels. Ten thousand skeletons have been lying in wait in a stone grave for over 400 years, thus witnessing the terrible plague that slaughtered Genoa’s population in 1656. Even the old city walls can be found there.
The wide view from the bridge excludes the sea, a rare occurrence in Genoa. It mainly focuses on the modern city as it was reorganised in the 1800s … In front of Piazza De Ferrari, go past Santo Stefano’s grey back and walk along Viale 4 Novembre along the historic Acquasola park. Viale 4 Novembre and the last section of Via XII Ottobre lead you to Piazza Corvetto (on the other side of the square, you will find the access to the beautiful Villetta Di Negro, connect to route 7).
Keep left and take via Roma / Largo Eros Lanfranco dominated by the facade of the Palazzo Antonio Doria, today the seat of the Prefecture. The palace is just an appetizer. Literally surrounded by the Palazzi dei Rolli, descend into the historical center by Salita Santa Caterina up to Piazza Fontane Marose and Strada Nuova (connect to route 1 and route 2).
Go back to Via Roma going up Santa Caterina again and, from Largo Eros Lanfranco, to the regal entry into Galleria Giuseppe Mazzini. Genoa’s salon from the 1800s, with its cafés populated by poets and intellectuals wearing waistcoasts, with moustaches and pocket watches. Today it is the emblem of a city which has never stopped looking at itself in the mirror.
Translated by Daniele Canepa