The Ligurian coast is home to Italy’s largest seaport as well as some of the country’s tiniest fishing villages. Take in both these extremes by spending a day in bustling Genoa, then heading out along the coastline to explore picturesque Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Here's how.
Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato
Like many of Genoa’s important churches and palaces, the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato is rather plain on the outside. Inside, however, magnificent Baroque interiors surprise with enormous frescoes framed by sumptuous gold stucco—a dramatic testimony to the former wealth of this historic marine republic.
Piazza della Nunziata, Genoa, Italy
Although the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato was begun in the 16th century, the interior was finished almost a century later, at the height of the Baroque period. The richly frescoed and gilded ceiling and dome are the headliners here, with works by some of the most celebrated artists in Genoa in the 17th century. The Neoclassical facade, however, was added in the 19th century, although the original was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt after the war.
The basilica is a popular stop on private city tours or hop-on hop-off bus tours, along with the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Palazzi dei Rolli, Doge’s Palace, and historic port (home to Genoa’s Aquarium, the largest in Europe). Genoa tours can be combined with day trips to nearby destinations along the Ligurian coast, including Portofino, the Cinque Terre, and Santa Margherita Ligure.
Things to know before you go
- Photography without flash is allowed in the basilica.
- Modest attire that covers the shoulders and knees is required to enter the church.
- The church’s interiors are particularly interesting to art lovers.
- The basilica has a short flight of stairs at the entrance so is not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
The Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato is located on Via della Nunziata in the historic center, about a ten-minute walk from both Old Port and the Genova Piazza Principale train station.
When to get there
The church is just a short walk from the busy waterfront and port, so duck in to admire the interiors during the busiest hours of the day for a quiet break from the tourist crowds.
San Lorenzo Cathedral: Beautiful Outside
Genoa’s historic churches and palaces tend to have understated exteriors and magnificent interiors, but the city’s San Lorenzo Cathedral (Duomo) is an exception. This Gothic and Romanesque architectural masterpiece has a striking facade featuring bands of black and white marble, an enormous rose window, and intricately carved reliefs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato?
Attractions near Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato:
What else should I know about attractions in Genoa?
- Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale)
- Dialogue in the Dark Exhibition (Dialogo nel Buio)
- Piazza Caricamento
- Spianata Castelletto
- Palazzo Bianco
- Palazzo Rosso
- Aquarium of Genoa
- Palazzi dei Rolli
- La Biosfera
- Genoa Via Garibaldi (Via Giuseppe Garibaldi)
- Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art (Museo d'Arte Orientale Edoardo Chiossone)
- Via San Lorenzo
- Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)