Genoa is undoubtedly one of the most famous Italian cities in Italy, with an ancient architectural, historical, culinary and… commercial traditions.
Yes, because since the Middle Ages little seems to have changed, Genoa has been a commercial bulwark for centuries and continues to be so, offering enthusiastic visitors the opportunity to experience not only a wonderful city but also enjoy a healthy and pleasant shopping experience.
In this guide I would like to advise you which are the main shopping streets of Genoa and what you can expect, but also a general overview of what awaits you in the fantastic capital of Liguria.
Genoa: the shopping streets
Ties and shirts of haute couture, handmade pesto jars, a tray of baskets, handicrafts, characteristic souvenirs, tasty dishes that are the backbone of Italian cuisine… this and much more awaits you in the shopping streets of Genoa.
Let’s find out some.
The Mazzini Gallery is a covered commercial path located right in the centre near the Carlo Felice Theatre; it connects two of the most important squares of the city: Piazza Corvetto and Piazza De Ferrari.
Built at the end of the 19th century in the style of the most important European galleries, such as those in Paris and Milan, it was immediately welcomed with great enthusiasm by the Genoese of the time.
With its bronze chandeliers and glass domes that naturally illuminate it, it was immediately considered the most luxurious place in the city, a meeting place for intellectuals, illustrious figures and the nerve centre of the city’s shopping.
What awaits you today while strolling under the gallery, also known as the living room of Genoa?
An ideal place for men, women and children, it includes toy stores, high fashion boutiques, shoe stores and accessories of all kinds hardly found elsewhere.
Most of the gallery’s commercial activities open around 10:00 and close between 19:00 and 19:30.
Every Wednesday and Thursday of the month, Galleria Mazzini hosts the antique fair, while it has also been hosting the book fair during the Easter period and in December since 1926.
One of the exits of Galleria Mazzini leads to Via Roma, one of the most elegant streets of the Ligurian capital.
Via Roma is a street mainly dedicated to shopping but it is also a historic street of the city, overlooked by imposing nineteenth-century buildings, it is no coincidence that it was chosen by the main fashion houses to place their shops there with their sumptuous windows such as Louis Vuitton, Hogan, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo etc..
A really nice show appetizing to all eyes, maybe not for all pockets, but don’t worry, I assure you that a walk along the elite street of Genoa will certainly be worth it.
Other shopping streets
Among the other shopping streets, Via XX Settembre deserves to be included, defined by many as a joy for the eyes.
It is one of the most characteristic streets of Genoa in terms of history and architecture, crossed by the monumental bridge, embellished by some of the most impressive buildings with beautiful facades and a long series of arcades paved in the early ’90s that are covered.
Ideal if you visit the city in a period with unfavorable weather and want to enjoy the walk without having to get wet.
Looking up at the porticoes, you can contemplate the Abbey of Santo Stefano (11th century), which seems to have been set there to watch over the wide avenue.
But Via XX Settembre is also one of the most important shopping streets in Genoa, full of elegant boutiques and art shops.
Surely a shopping street accessible to all budgets, has designer shops, there are stores of the best national and international brands but also bars, restaurants and the Mercato Orientale of Genoa (MOG) a unique place of 2500 square meters where you can enjoy the culinary excellence of Liguria.
A gastronomic journey from meat to the legendary focaccia genovese, from the catch of the Ligurian Sea to delicious homemade ice cream, all wrapped in an extraordinary setting of restaurants and food corners, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Returning to the arcades of Via XX Settembre, you will find the best clothing shops in the centre of Genoa: Zara, Capo Horn, Benetton etc… all concentrated in Via XX Settembre and forming the elegant heart of Genoa.
In via XX Settembre, there is also Bershka Genova, the chain of fashionable clothing stores dedicated to the most avant-garde young people and experts in the field.
There are two Bershka points of sale, both easy to reach as they are located in the strategic commercial areas of the city, in full Bershka style; one at Fiumara shopping, the other in Via XX Settembre.
Via XX Settembre is easily reached in a few minutes from the train station Brignole.
Take care! Once in Genoa, don’t forget to visit the street where shopping and art meet!
Fiumara Shopping Mall
The Fiumara Shopping Centre, is one of the reference points for your shopping experience during your visit to Genoa.
You can choose from more than 120 rooms and stores dedicated to the most famous brands of clothing, jewelry, household goods, personal goods, but also catering, food, services, etc. …
Fiumara is not only a shopping centre, but also an amusement centre, ideal for spending leisure time with children, from the playground to the cinema.
The shopping centre is open from Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; the amusement centre is open every day from 12 noon to 2 a.m.
Specialty shops in Genoa
If like me you are a lover of chocolate, I would like to recommend what is one of the most popular places in Genoa: the Romeo Viganotti chocolate shop (also specializing in pastry and ice cream).
The ice-cream parlour offers flavours that might seem unusual to you but that you will certainly not be able to taste anywhere else in the city: for example, what do you think of a nice gorgonzola ice cream with caramelized nuts?
All right, a little unusual, but original.
In fact, the Viganotti ice cream parlour offers classic flavours (chocolate, creams, fruit, cheese) with original and uncommon nuances but decidedly succulent, a delight for the palate. It’s impossible not to go back there.
Leaving the world of ice cream I would recommend a very special store in every sense.
La Formica, located in the historic center, near the train station.
What’s so special about this store? Well, to begin with, it’s an eco-sustainable shop (and living in the age of environmental emergency, this is no small feat), and just like an ant carries everything and more in its lair, this delightful shop in the heart of Genoa offers its customers a wide variety of merchandise: from gourmet products (craft beers and wines, cheeses, etc.) to household products, body products and a wide assortment of children’s products.
All produced in a natural, organic and ecological way.
In a city like Genoa, you can’t miss high fashion boutiques.
The Vinicio Boutique Genova is specialized in high fashion garments for both men and women. Located in Via Roma in the Renato De Barbieri gallery, it has always been a point of reference for the Genoese, with 11 windows dedicated to the most important brands.
The Boutique Nanì, located in Via Sestri – in Sestri Ponente, one of the main shopping streets of the west of Liguria – offers to the female public a wide assortment of elegant clothing, refined and accurate in every detail, as well as the style of the store. The atmosphere is informal and friendly.
There are also boutiques dedicated to men such as Costa 1939, in Corso Buenos Aires, an all-Italian brand aimed at highlighting the elegance of the modern gentleman with classy and timeless clothes. The ancient heart of the Genoese boutique.
Shopping Aquarium of Genoa
The Acquario di Genova, the largest Italian aquarium and the third largest in Europe, will certainly be part of your itinerary, especially if you travel with your family and maybe with children.
Excellent choice; once the aquarium tour is over, I recommend a series of commercial activities inside and near the aquarium that will give you the opportunity to take with you a souvenir of what you have just admired or to live it to the fullest.
Il Giardino Incantato is the place where you can choose from a sea of souvenirs, it must be said, suitable for all age groups and prices.
I’m sure the little ones will be thrilled to recreate their own aquarium once they get home, certainly an unconventional aquarium, but still their own personal aquarium.
Conclusions: what to see in Genoa
Shopping in Genoa is just the outline of your stay, the icing on the cake.
Of course, you are not in Genoa for this, and even if this guide is dedicated to this topic, I can not help but recommend the best places you can visit to enjoy an unforgettable experience in the city.
The soul of Genoa is in its centuries-old history, a silent history to be discovered among the squares and alleys of the city.
The lantern of Genoa with its museum is undoubtedly the symbol of the city. The historic 77-metre tower has been a faithful witness of the Ligurian capital for centuries.
The centre of Genoa is the heart of the old city. The “caruggi”, typical medieval alleys and “creuze”, will take you back to the past in what has been declared a World Heritage Site.
You can’t think of Genoa without associating it with the sea. The Galata Maritime Museum is the largest museum dedicated to the sea and navigation. You will discover the history of boats, from rowing boats to sailing boats, ancient objects of navigation (charts, compasses, etc..).
You’ll know how Christopher Columbus felt before he left for America.
To close in beauty, on the Mirador panoramic terrace, you can enjoy a splendid view of the port and the entire city. The worthy epilogue of your stay in Genoa.