The ancient Piazza Banchi, commercial heart of the Old Town of Genoa, is located a few steps from the Porto Antico (Ancient Port) and is one of the first things to see in Genoa if you start from the Aquarium area along with the nearby Palazzo San Giorgio and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. From Piazza Banchi you can continue to San Luca or Soziglia and visit on foot in a day the Old Town (here you will find the route that cross Piazza Banchi and here the route that touch via San Luca).
The monumental aspect of Piazza Banchi, still perfectly preserved, dates back to the end of the 16th century. The square hosts the S.Pietro in Banchi church a peculiar building which stands on a ground floor occupied by shops, and the famous Loggia della Mercanzia, built at the end of the 16th century and used for buying and selling. Later on it became the headquarters of the Italian commodity exchange until the beginning of the 20th century, when it relocated to De Ferrari square. Today the Loggia is the seat to the Museo della Città and is enriched by the archaeological complex discovered under the ancient pavement.
Palazzo Ambrogio Di Negro overlooks Piazza Banchi, one of the Palazzi dei Rolli, UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here starts Via San Luca one of Genoa’s oldest districts and center of the Genoese nobility (go to historical insight). San Luca church (1188), the Spinola family’s mediaeval house-tower in Vico alla Torre di San Luca and wonderful Palazzi dei Rolli from the 16th century can be found here, including the beautiful Palazzo Spinola which is located in the nearby Piazza di Pellicceria and hosts the National Gallery.