Genoa, Italy

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Cruising to Genoa, Italy

What does one expect when visiting the Italian city of Genoa? Is it the wide sweeping broadways with Italian pizzerias stationed along either side? Is it an endless mix of languages in the air as tourists from all over the globe engulf the streets? Prepare yourself for a shock - Genoa is vastly different to any other Italian city and could not be more unique.

Clinging to side of the cliff as it does, with the sea to one side and the Ligurian hills on the other, this is a city that spreads upwards from its port, where it drinks in the trade from surrounding nations. That is how it made its money - and now, the wealth is put towards excellent cuisine, superb galleries and restaurants, as well as an unbelievable nightlife. Visitors can also explore the largest aquarium in Europe and a fantastic shopping scene that attracts all the big names.

But more than that - there is something about the atmosphere here that is delightfully Mediterranean. Perhaps it's the way the sea laps lazily at the shore, the sun gently sparkling above. Or maybe it's because the shops close while the owners engage in a three-hour lunch. Everything seems to contribute to that laid-back attitude that makes Genoa the most marvellous place for a holiday.

That's not to say there's nothing going on, though. The city was named the European Capital of Culture in 2004, and it's still got a thriving scene to explore. From the bustling markets to the magnificent buildings, you can expect to see and experience all manner of attractions. A wander along the road could present any number of worthy occasions for the more intrepid explorer.

Otherwise, simply choose a cafe, lean back in your chair and drink it all in. This is a destination to be savoured.

Genoa, Italy

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