Genoa is typically a port of embarkation and disembarkation, so it is not often given a high priority as a shore excursion. Our best advice? Enjoy a day here before or after your cruise. Sometimes, cities are lucky enough to reinvent themselves. Genoa, dedicated to travel guides 2 has undergone an impressive revival since 1992, when it hosted an international event to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the New World. What was once a merchant port in the Mediterranean in Northern Italy is now a charming blend of old and new facilities, with cafes, shops, a film complex, a maritime museum, a spectacular children's play and culture centre and, above all, the largest aquarium in Europe. It is a large city with more than 600,000 people, but has a feeling and a layout of small towns that make it easily accessible on foot. Genoa in Italian, has a rich history dating back to ancient times, but is probably best known for Christopher Columbus, his most famous native celebrity. It has long been associated with the arts and in 2004 the European Union defined Genoa as the European Capital of Culture. In 2006, a mid-sixteenth century neighborhood on Via Garibaldi that houses an architectural complex of Renaissance and Baroque palaces was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.