A few steps from the center of Genoa, in the heart of a cove overlooking a beautiful sea, is the fantastic district of Boccadasse.
You’ve never heard of it? In this article, you will find out what are its main attractions, where you can stay and some curiosities about this unique place.
You will also hear expressions of the “village of lovers”, to identify this fishing village in which you can breathe an almost magical atmosphere, walking through its streets where there are several colorful and elegant buildings that even frame a small but beautiful beach.
Let’s explore together and discover Boccadasse.
What to see in Boccadasse
The fishing village
First I would like to ask you not to make a mistake common to many tourists who, hearing about Boccadasse, consider it unnecessary to visit the village, as they simply consider it a small cove bathed by the sea.
Nothing could be more wrong as Boccadasse, which, besides hosting the characteristic houses of the inhabitants, also hosts clubs and restaurants and some historical, cultural and scenic attractions.
At the moment the village has about 500 inhabitants, who see an increase in the number of tourists especially during the weekend, which in recent years has given rise to the increase in accommodation facilities.
One of the main peculiarities of Boccadasse is that time seems to have stopped in the last century.
The evocative atmosphere of this part of the Genoese territory between Albaro and Genova Sturla is truly one of the most distinctive features of the Ligurian city, presenting to present examples of modernity in a place that has remained basically the same as it was in the past era.
Today Boccadasse is rightly one of the main attractions of Genoa, and you’re probably wondering what the reasons that lead many people every year to walk through the streets of this village are.
I’ll try to relay them to you briefly.
Church of St. Anthony of Padua
First of all, a visit to the Church of Sant’Antonio da Padova, which the local inhabitants call the church of the seafarers, is a must.
The origin of the church is ancient and dates back to the mid-seventeenth century when it was built by fishermen who already lived in the village.
It is a sacred place of unparalleled beauty, where a room is characterized by marble floors of different colors.
Crossing the church, divert your eyes to the walls along which you can admire several votive offerings that report different dramatic situations that occurred at sea.
Another characteristic element of the Church of Sant’Antonio da Padova is its bell tower that stands out against the blue sky and dominates the sea of the same intense color.
Another place of particular interest in this historic village is, needless to say, the beach.
I’m obviously talking about a strip of land not very wide, mainly composed of coarse gravel of gray color that creates a stark contrast with the deep blue of the sea.
The beach is located in front of Piazza Nettuno, and during the summer months is always crowded by locals who take advantage of it to find some ‘refreshment from the summer heat, while representing, in any case, a very suggestive and romantic place.
It is no coincidence that Boccadasse is called the village of lovers, who can enjoy a romantic and pleasant walk along the shoreline at sunset, letting their feet get wet by the sea and see the sun gently setting over the water giving a really intense and engaging view.
From the beach, in addition to the various fishing boats that are moored there, you can also admire the promontory of Portofino in the distance.
Head of St. Clare
On the Cape of Santa Chiara, in a position that allows you to look over the beach of Sturla and the village of Boccadasse, is the Castle Türke, another of the attractions of this resort.
This building was built in 1903 by the architect Gino Coppedè and represents one of the most beautiful landscapes of the city from which you can admire a unique view of the Ligurian coast that fears no comparison.
All this makes Boccadasse the ideal place for all those who wish to spend a few days of relaxation in the name of romance, visiting interesting places, and being delighted by the culinary delights of Ligurian cuisine.
This village represents the other side of the medal of Genoa, a chaotic and crowded city, becoming a real oasis of peace and tranquility, where you can restore both body and soul.
What are the best Hotels and B&Bs in Boccadasse?
If I succeeded in stimulating your curiosity about Boccadasse, I think at this point you’re wondering where to stay in this village and which are the best restaurants where you can enjoy the delicacies of the place.
Also on this point, I will try to provide you with useful information to allow you to find the best accommodation to suit your stay.
As I mentioned before, we are talking about a village that’s fairly small in size and therefore most of the accommodation facilities are not located directly inside Boccadasse but in the immediate vicinity.
In addition to some hotels that offer excellent quality service to customers, you can also rely on several holiday homes that are offered by the locals.
On Airbnb, you can find different solutions that can meet your needs with different proposals that can accommodate both a couple in love who come here to spend a romantic holiday and a larger family.
Let’s start with the latter case.
With a lovely view of the beach and the sea, you can book a beautiful apartment that can accommodate up to 5 people and has two bedrooms and an open space where you can spend most of the time that you are not engaged in outdoor activities between Boccadasse and its surroundings.
La Soffitta del Baiàn
Another solution that I recommend and that you will surely find very interesting is La Soffitta del Baiàn, an apartment that can comfortably accommodate 4 guests and that is located in the heart of Boccadasse.
Elegance and practicality are the distinctive elements of this holiday home that is ideal for a stay in this fascinating location.
Mattelìn – Un’antica Storia di Pescatori
If, on the other hand, you need to be a stone’s throw from the sea, I suggest you choose L’antica casa dei pescatori (The old fishermen’s house), which is situated at street level and in a little less than 40 square meters manages to provide all the comforts you’ll need.
If you don’t want to give up the comforts of the hotel, you can choose the Hotel Boccadasse, a structure that is characterized by cheapness and essential services and that is located just 5 minutes’ walk from the seaside village of Boccadasse.
Another optimal solution is represented by the Hotel La Capannina, which is located slightly further from Boccadasse, reachable in any case in just a 7 minutes’ walk, its strength is given by the optimal location that allows you to reach, thanks to the nearby bus connections, most of the attractions of the Ligurian capital.
B&B Le Stanze di Boccadasse
If you want to stay in a B&B I suggest you choose the B&B Le Stanze di Bocccadasse which is also characterized by an optimal location and for the staff who will welcome you in a unique way and will make you feel at home.
Historical Center Apartment
If you are looking for accommodation in the center of Genoa, convenient to reach all major attractions (20 minutes by bus from Boccadasse), I recommend the Historical Center Apartment, ideal for families with children and perfect for those traveling by car. Free private parking is included.
Where to eat in Boccadasse: the best restaurants
Now let’s move on to another aspect that will surely interest you: where to eat in Boccadasse.
In my opinion, a place where you can eat in an excellent way without spending a fortune is the Trattoria Osvaldo, which can be defined as a lounge where you can enjoy the typical Genoese cuisine.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, you’ll immediately know what’s on offer that day, thanks to the menu that is marked on a characteristic blackboard. The dishes that in my opinion can’t be missed are ravioli stuffed with sea bass, cod fritters or the tuna steak and at the end of a meal you can also enjoy the sugars soaked in grappa.
All of course accompanied with the friendliness of the owner who will welcome you as if you were a regular customer.
La Gabbianella e il Matto
If you want to experience the typical atmosphere of a restaurant here, you can reserve a table at La Gabbianella e il Matto.
Here you can always taste the typical dishes of Genoese cuisine proposed in a unique way and prepared perfectly; most of the dishes are in fact very refined and presented in a flawless way.
You’ll be blown away by the excellent taste thanks to the preparation of the recipes and the unique quality of the raw materials that are carefully selected.
In Piazza Nettuno, right in front of the beach, you can have an aperitif in the famous bar La Strambata and enjoy it by the sea.
The quantity/quality/price ratio is not very high, but the location is something magical.
Boccadasse Genoa: how to get there
Walking to Boccadasse
Let’s now take a look at the ways to reach this beautiful village.
If you are already in town, my advice is to reach Boccadasse by taking a pleasant walk, of course, if you are already in the immediate vicinity of the village.
If you are on the promenade of Corso Italia Genova, the village of Boccadasse is the point of arrival of this walk.
In addition to the seafront, the village can also be reached by crossing the characteristic creuze Genoese: these are the typical routes that cross the slopes of the Ligurian hills and that are distinguished by the fact that they are paved in the center by red bricks and with gray pebbles along the sides, depicting a red river, very similar to blood.
Another possibility to reach Boccadasse on foot is to start from the recent Belvedere Firpo, renovated thanks to the city works carried out on the occasion of the G8, and that allows you to get to the village along a characteristic staircase.
If you are in Vernazzola, you will still have the chance to admire the suggestive charm of Boccadasse, through interesting landscapes.
How to reach Boccadasse by car
If you intend to arrive in Genoa by car, I suggest you exit at Genova Ovest, proceed to Fiera del Mare and turn onto Corso Italia. At the end of the promenade of Corso Italia, you will find Boccadasse on your right.
How to reach Boccadasse by public transport
From Genoa Brignole train station, take bus number 31, which will take you to the heart of Boccadasse.
Some curiosities about Boccadasse
As I have described before, one of the peculiarities of Boccadasse is the feeling that you feel that you have remained practically still in the past.
Walking along the sea, you will see the fishermen’s nets stretched out to dry and the boats that are stationary on the beach, waiting to be taken out to sea.
One of these is immortalized by tourists in several photographs as it is assumed that this boat is more than 60 years old, further evidence of how the life of Boccadasse is still many years behind.
How did Boccadasse get its name? The origin of the name
Regarding the origin of the name, it seems to derive from the fact that if you look at the village from above it seems to have a typical shape of a donkey’s mouth, in Genoese Bocca d’Ase.
How was Boccadasse born?
Also, with regard to the birth of the village, it seems that this is due to the Spanish sailors who were surprised by a fierce storm, landed on the beach and never left, giving rise to the primordial village and the first urban settlements.
The district of La Boca, Buenos Aires
This village, as well as being simply wonderful, is famous because it gave its name to the district of Boca, in Buenos Aires.
During the period of Italian emigration overseas, a colony of Genoese from Boccadasse settled in Buenos Aires, creating the district of Boca, in memory of the village from which they came.
It is no coincidence that up until recently the website of the famous Boca Junior football team was translated into three languages: Spanish, English and…. Genovese!
The historical shops of Boccadasse
The atmosphere in Boccadasse is really intense and fascinating and you are bound to be pervaded by a sense of absolute tranquility walking along the lanes where there are several houses leaning against each other.
This is also due to the fact that there are no vehicles or the noise of everyday life in the village.
Over the years, several artisan shops have been created, including the Antica Latteria Igienica which became an ice cream parlor in the 1960s; open all year round and dedicated to the production of artisan gelato of great taste, it is considered one of the best in all of Italy.
Until a few years ago, not far from it, there was also another very important workshop, that of Lallo, where most of the boats of the place were made; unfortunately, the workshop has stopped its activity recently bringing with it an invaluable historical and working heritage.
Here we are at the end of this long article on the beautiful and charming village of Boccadasse, where I told you about the best hotels and restaurants, what to see and how to get there.
Now I’m going to turn it over to you: what do you think of Boccadasse? Have you ever been there?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.