Discovering the Caruggi

Genoa’s caruggi refers to the narrow alleys and arcades that represent the city’s historic center, in fact constituting the road network of the Ligurian capital, once controlled by Genoese merchant families.

In this article, let’s see which are the most popular caruggi that you absolutely cannot miss while in Genoa.

Why Caruggi exist

You should know that Genoa, in times long past, was often attacked by pirates.

The construction of the caruggi, and the palaces that connected them, allowed Genoese citizens to easily build barricades to defend themselves from pirate raids.

Even today, the caruggi system has remained virtually unchanged, and visiting them on foot is definitely a way to feel part of one of Europe’s largest historic centers that has been home to different people, cultures and languages over the years.

Popular and aristocratic caruggi of Genoa

Genoa’s caruggi are truly many, and as you move from one caruggio to another, you may come across the popular ones: these are the ones that are home to cultures of all kinds in which different voices, scents and languages blend together, but in which there is a need to keep a slightly more watchful eye.

Then there are the aristocratic ones: these are the caruggi overlooking Via Garibaldi and Piazza De Ferrari, in which the prestigious Palazzi dei Rolli emerge.

You can only walk or bike through the caruggi: all the better. This will give you time to observe the tall buildings, which, squeezed tightly together, seem to almost touch each other.

A bell tower, a flight of steps, a small square. Just turn the corner, et voila: you never know what awaits you at the next glance.

Wandering around the caruggi, you’ll come across ancient artisan stores, you’ll be able to observe pastry shops, medieval churches, such as the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, with their scents of incense, Gothic loggias-in short, you’ll be able to breathe in the real Genoese air.

The names of Genoa’s caruggi

Wandering around the caruggi, you will notice the strangeness of their names: you will come across Via degli orefici, Vicolo chiuso della Rana, Vico Cicala, Vico dell’Olio, Piazza di pellicceria, Vico Macellari and Salita Pollaiuoli.

Funny names, aren’t they?

In fact, their names are inspired by the jobs that were practiced in that particular area of the Ligurian city.

Via del Campo

Among the best-known caruggi is undoubtedly Via del Campo.

Via del Campo is the street that Genoese songwriter Fabrizio De André talks and sings about in the song of the same name.

It is here that in front of a small square, the caruggio opens, widening the view of the museum Via del Campo 29 red, known as the “home of Genoese songwriters.”

Here lives the memory and music of various Genoese artists, including Fabrizio De André himself: the same room where the museum now resides once housed the Musica Gianni Tassio musical instrument store, which De André frequented at the time.

As you leave the museum take a look at the left corner of the building in front of you.

You will notice a stone representation of De André’s face. One of the singer-songwriter’s most famous phrases accompanies the work, “From diamonds nothing is born, from muck flowers are born…..”

The legends of the Genoese caruggi

Do you know that there are some interesting legends around the caruggi? Here are two of them!

The ghost of the dastardly nobleman

Vacchero Square is said to be haunted by the ghost of Julius Caesar Vacchero, a nobleman sentenced to death for plotting against the Republic of Genoa.

It is said that the descendants of the nobleman built a fountain to hide the shame of the infamous column erected in memory of Vacchero: on it, at night, some say one can witness horrible visions illuminated by moonbeams.

The legend of the pomegranate

This legend tells of a pomegranate seed that, four hundred years ago, settled and grew on the balcony of the second floor of the Pomegranate Palace, until it became a majestic tree that flourishes to this day.

Pomegranate legend has it that Genoa will grow until the tree blooms. Conversely, if the tree dies, the Superb will also suffer the same fate.

Where to stay

Just under a kilometer from the city center and a hundred meters from Brignole train station, Urban Flora is the perfect place to visit Genoa and enjoy a stroll through the Caruggi.

With us you will experience a Scandinavian-modern look, where fresh and pleasant plants will make you enjoy as much relaxation as possible and for an unforgettable vacation. All rooms provide a private bathroom, smart TV and free Wi-Fi that will make you feel right at home. Book your room now or contact us to ask for more information.


villa Durazzo Pallavicini

Villa Durazzo Pallavicini: fascinating open-air theater

The Villa Durazzo Pallavicini is one of the most fascinating and historically rich mansions located in Genoa. Built in the 19th century, the villa is an outstanding example of neoclassical architecture and landscape design.

ponte di sant'Agata

The legendary St. Agatha’s Bridge

Not far from Genoa Brignole Railway Station, we can find a gem amidst the hectic city traffic: the medieval St. Agatha Bridge.
Placed alongside the more linear and modern Castelfidardo Bridge, it connects the city center with the San Fruttuoso district.


Pànera: the delicious coffee parfait of the Genoese

We are accustomed, in ice cream shops in Genoa, to always find, next to the traditional flavors, “Pànera” semifreddo. Perhaps not everyone knows, however, that this is a typically Genoese specialty that is difficult to find in other Italian regions.

spostarsi a genova

How to get around Genoa by not using a car

Our advice for getting around Genoa, and fully visiting its wonderful sights with the extensive historic center is certainly to do so on foot. Alternatively, the city is served by all kinds of public transportation.