Between the sacred and the profane

Discovering treasures in the heart of Genoa's historic centre. Extending over about thirty kilometres in length, Genoa, from Nervi to Voltri, holds treasures for all tastes: from art museums to ethnographic museums, from science museums to the rediscovery of nature, from the history and memory of the city to music and entertainment museums. This itinerary in the heart of the historic centre is ideal for every curious traveller who loves hunting for hidden treasures to discover two gems set in unique settings.

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Santa Maria di Castello

From Piazza Cavour, in a few minutes you will arrive in front of a small universe: the Santa Maria di Castello complex. The museum is worth a special visit for its mystical atmosphere, peace and silence. You will find beauty in the sacred vestments, in Ludovico Brea's astonishing All Saints' Altarpiece, in the 15th-century Madonna and Child in painted marble, and in the splendid illuminated choir books, which over the centuries witnessed the patient and refined work of the amanuensis.

Genoa, the city of Janus

A good pair of legs to climb further. You will arrive in Piazza Sarzano, a sudden widening on the square where the city's first inhabitants settled, dominated by the Sant'Agostino complex, housing the Museum of Ligurian Architecture and Sculpture, which is temporarily closed. Note the unique bell tower covered in polychrome majolica. Here is the pagan temple of Janus Bifrontes, who, according to legend, founded Genoa and gave it its name. Further on, via di Ravecca, with its cafés, focaccerie and tall houses, will lead you to the towers of Porta Soprana.

The Cloister of the Canons

Past Piazza Matteotti, you will reach the medieval Cloister of the Canons of San Lorenzo, which opens up to you like a treasure chest: stairs, passageways, the chapter house and the frescoed rooms of the Canons. Precious and fragile works requiring special care find a home here, such as delicate altarpieces and then silverware, silks, sculptures. The cloister is also a venue for events and on summer evenings able listening to a concert in the cloister, only the stars above you, is pure magic.

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