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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Europe:
The Mediterranean
Sights to see & things to do

 Genoa & Portofino, Italy

Genoa’s rough-hewn reputation as a commercial sea power masks its importance as the home of major arts patrons. By contrast, Portofino is a quaint fishing village with an exclusive harbor full of luxury yachts. 


Many cruise passengers come ashore in Genoa to immediately leave on shore excursions to Portofino or head west to the stylish beaches of the Italian Riviera. Some ships tender passengers directly into Portofino where automobiles are not allowed in the village proper.

Visitors who look for activities in Genoa are rewarded with strolls past elegant palazzos and majestic churches. The exterior of San Lorenzo, the Duomo, combines a variety of architectural styles, but it is the interior that dazzles with a sumptuous chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The Museo del Teoro di San Lorenzo houses such important religious relics as a Roman green glass dish reportedly used at the Last Supper and a blue plate on which St. John the Baptist’s head was presented to Salome. In addition to the many statues and monuments to their favorite son, the home of Christopher Columbus can be seen outside the old city gates.

The quiet village of Portofino is a destination in itself for visitors. Lush vegetation and frescoed houses hugging the harbor make it picture postcard perfect. It’s easy to see why wealthy yachters make this their port of choice and why cruise passengers enjoy spending the day here wandering its quaint streets and relaxing by the sea.


Items in Portofino’s art galleries and jewelry shops can carry hefty price tags, but window-shopping in the narrow streets is a pleasant diversion. 


The coastline west of Genoa, known as the Riviera Ponente, is an area of pleasant gentile mansions by the sea, stylish resorts, and pretty seafront villages.

Back to Mediterranean Ports of Call

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