Visit Genoa with children
Porto Antico and city center, Genoa for kids: museums, experiences and excursions
Starting from the city center, a good area to visit Genoa with kids is definitely the Porto Antico, a few steps from the Old Town. In addition to the famous Aquarium of Genoa, a must for young and adults, the Porto Antico houses three museums that will please children. The first is Fantacinema – Mostra del Cinema Fantastico dedicated to fantasy cinema, from Star Wars to Dracula, from Superman to Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, Frankenstein and Joker (free until 12 years). Another museum to visit with kids is the Galata Museo del Mare, the largest maritime museum in Italy: the exhibition is suitable for children with games and creative reconstructions, you can climb on ancient ships, direct rudders and see a galley up close (free up to 6 years, possibility family pack). In front of the Galata museum is the submarine Nazario Sauro (for children aged 4 and over), today the only Italian submarine that can be visited at sea, where you can make a fascinating experience between engines, sonar, radar. For football fans, in Porto Antico there is also the museum of the history of Genoa Football and Cricket Club, the oldest football team in Italy among those still active, founded by English pioneers in 1893.
In addition to museums and the Aquarium, the Porto Antico offers attractions for kids (and not only) as Biosphere of Renzo Piano, the panoramic lift “Bigo” and, in particular, the “Città dei Bambini” (City of children), an experience museum dedicated to the 5 senses recently reopened after a few years of closure. To mention in the area of Porto Antico also the play areas and inflatables in Calata Salumi.
A few steps from the Aquarium and the Galata museum is the iconic Galeone (galleon). It is a reproduction of a late 17th century vessel used as a set for the film Pirates by Roman Polański. You can visit two floors, one below deck and the one discovered on the bridge (entrance fee).
From Porto Antico, while staying on the subject of navigation, you can leave for boat excursions. A different day, far from the city traffic, that children will appreciate and not only them; because, as the artist Guy de Maupassant said “Genoa view from the sea is one of the most beautiful things in the world“. You can use the public service, it is called Navebus, a boat that starts from the Ancient Port and docks in Pegli (go to the itinerary) or you can choose private transport and sail for a Whale Watching experience in the Sanctuary of Cetaceans: excursions starts mainly in summer and it is not uncommon to meet dolphins, whales and other marine species in their natural habitat.
Moving from the Ancient Port and remaining in the center, among the museums of Genoa to visit with children there is definitely the Museum of Natural History (free admission up to 18 years), a must for families, a journey through animals, fossils, plants and minerals. And finally, you can not fail to mention the train of Casella, whose station is located in Manin square a few minutes from Corvetto square (go to the itinerary). It is a historic narrow gauge railway that crosses the Bisagno Valley and the Polcevera Valley and reaches the Scrivia Valley in open countryside; 25 km of tracks along valleys and woods.
Parks of Genoa to visit with children
Public parks are the meeting place of all Genoese kids. Among these the most beautiful and frequented are the famous Parks of Nervi: children can have fun in the playground in the north entrance, in the large meadows where you can play ball or along the paths in the shade of trees, looking for some squirrel to throw a peanut at.
Remaining in the eastern area are very popular the gardens of Quinto, the Govi Gardens in Corso Italia and the “Pratone” (large meadow) with access from Via Carrara, with swings and inflatable slides. The Parks of Nervi and “Pratone” can be reached from the center by bus 17, while to reach Quinto you take bus number 15.
Not to move from the center of Genoa, however, you can go with the children to the Spianata dell’Acquasola, public park with a large playground, a bar, a pond with swans and rides. In the district of Castelletto, not far from the center, children can spend a few hours in the greenery at Villa Gruber De Mari and, always in the same area, you can participate in a guided tour for young and adults at the botanical garden of the University of Genoa. In Righi, reachable from the centre by the Zecca-Righi funicular, children can have fun at the Peralto adventure park.