Twilight over one of the city’s marinas. Credit: Sabas 88 CC-BY-SA-4.0
There are a whole host of compelling reasons to visit this city on the Italian Riviera by yacht, or even to base a boat there in the longer term. It’s one of the most popular spots in north-western Italy, with seven marinas providing around 2,700 berths for boats from very modest craft to superyachts of 150 metres length.
Around half of the marinas are close to the revitalised Old Port area, with its many bars, restaurants and top-notch shopping, while the others are close to the airport. Genoa’s numerous boat yards are concentrated in the more industrial parts of the port. Given the number of boats based here, all marine services, from valeting to comprehensive refits are available. The 140-year-old Yacht Club Italiano boasts more than 1,000 members and hosts major races including the 2017 Giraglia Rolex Cup.
One of Genoa’s old town marinas Credit: Andrzej Otrębski CC-BY-SA-3.0
The city is also an excellent base whether for day sailing or short passages with the stunning back drop of the Apennine Mountains. The resort town and port of Varazze is 15 miles to the west, while to the east the stunning towns of Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino are around 20 miles by sea. Alternatively, for those who want to head further afield the islands of both Corsica and Capri are within 100 miles.
Genoa is the provincial capital and, as befits a cosmopolitan city with a heritage dating back more than 1,000 years and population today of almost 600,000, has a wide range of attractions. These include more than two dozen museums, plus extensive public parks, beaches and coastal walks. Over the past 40 years the city has been extensively rejuvenated, with many of the old buildings and plazas restored to their former glory.
Transport links are excellent – the city is on the main coastal road, with the French resort of Nice only a three-and-a-half hour drive. Genoa’s international airport, with flights to 25 different regional and international airports in season is right next to the port. Milan, with its three larger international airports, is little more than two hours away by train.
Genoa’s climate is moderated by the mountains to the north and is therefore not as hot in summer as many Mediterranean destinations and warmer in winter. The annual average rainfall of 1,079mm is higher than that of most Med towns, but even in the wettest months – April and October – there’s only rain on eight days per month on average.
Satellite image of the marinas near Genoa’s old port.