By: Marcela Ines Luna

When I decided to go to Genoa for my last vacation, many people told me: “Genoa? But it is a very ugly and old city! What are you going to do there?” They told me the same thing when I went to Marseille…

But these old, decadent and dirty cities have a lot of hidden history, you just have to know how to find their hidden beauty and understand their history to be able to appreciate them.

As soon as you arrive in Genoa, the darkness of its alleys scares you, the variety of people from many countries who have arrived as refugees, its streets full of graffiti and its mystery. You don’t know where to go to be safe. At least that’s the feeling I had.

We stayed in a “Palazzo” from the middle of the 16th century with incredible marble columns and a lot of history behind it, it was there that I began to discover the wonderful Genoa.

Everything in Genoa is behind its medieval doors and gates, all its palaces (which are many) are from 1500 to 1700, but their facades do not say much; they are dirty, poorly maintained and sometimes written with graffiti. Just open them to find wonders of immense frescoes, spectacular marble sculptures and hidden gardens.

We have also discovered its main streets, which at first glance seem like so many other large cities in Europe, but Genoa hides wonders among its alcoves and palaces on Calle 20 de Septiembre. Its floors are works of art in themselves, with marbles of different colors and its frescoed ceilings vary in their design from block to block. Walking this street is an incredible experience.

Genoa has many places to discover, beautiful beaches near Boccadasse along Corso Italia, incredible churches, the Palazzo Reale with its sumptuous rooms full of frescoes, mirrors, ceilings with sculptures and also its Staglieno (translated “is full”) cemetery which is immense and crammed with tombs.

The cemetery is a separate issue, very poorly maintained and with the tombs on the floor, it gives a very gloomy and terrifying impression to enter it. Stepping on the tombs to go through it gives an unpleasant and painful feeling; Its magnificent sculptures, being dirty and neglected, cannot be appreciated in their total beauty.

But it is worth going and becoming aware of the golden age that Genoa had where its powerful inhabitants could afford to make these impressive works of art in tribute to their loved ones.

All this and more has Genoa to offer us. Its small restaurants hidden in narrow and dark streets where you eat very well and a lot for a very low price. It gave us the impression of eating at our grandmother’s house.

Do not be fooled by decadence and darkness, let yourself be carried away through its streets and discover the wonderful Genoa. Know your story, believe me, it’s worth it!!

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