Let your instincts guide you. Walk without a map. Be daring!
These kinds of streets are a good reason to get in lots of cardio exercise at your local gym, before traveling. They can be quite a workout, when you spend a day walking them.
Piazza Banchi is where you will find the beautiful Church of San Pietro in Banchi. According to legend, the first church was built on the spot in 862, but was almost completely destroyed at one point by a fire in 1398. It was rebuilt in 1583. At the time, a very unusual ceremony took place. A vase full of oil and adorned with a bronze plaque, with the names of the Senators (3) and the Doge of the city, Gerolamo de Franchi, engraved on it, was walled up inside of the church’s doorway, where it remains today.
From there, I headed back towards Piazza San Lorenzo, to visit the Cathedral.
The marble work, on the facade of the church, is breathtaking! The Chiesa di San Lorenzo was built in the second half of the 9th century, but was not completed until 1130. Visiting this church is a MUST, when in Genova. Once inside, it is also possible to visit the Treasury, where you will find priceless items, such as Calcedonio’s plate, a plate decorated with the head of Saint John the Baptist, all done in gold and enamel. Until recently, this was also the home to the Holy Grail, the cup supposedly used in the Last Supper. But, this item has been moved to a new location, which we will talk about at a later point.
A short walk away is the Museo Diocesano, in the Chiostro dei Canonici di San Lorenzo, built between 1176 and 1184. This is also something that I highly recommend doing. The artwork is fantastic, but even more exciting for me was just the fact that I was in this space. It is truly magical!
There was an incredible room, where the artwork on the cloth hanging on the walls was so faded that it was necessary to look at it with blue light, which then brought out all of the images. It was very exciting to see!
A few steps away from the museum exit is Palazzo Ducale.
If you venture off into the side streets of this area, you find yourself in a zone full of shops, art galleries, and bars/restaurants.
Porta Soprano is one of the symbols of the city. Next to it, you will find the lovely Chiostro di Sant’Andrea, all that is remaining of the Church of Saint Andrew.
From here, it was just a short walk downhill to Piazza delle Erbe, my favorite place to grab a drink before dinner. This is a lively piazza, always full of locals. The streets around the square are lined with restaurants, one of which, Il Balcone, being where I had dinner that night. The food was good, if uninspiring, and while it was nothing special, it was not horrible either.
Next up: More from Genova!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Genova, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!