Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello) Tours
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Set on a hilltop overlooking the Castello district, Genoa’s Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello) is one of the most important churches in this bustling port city. Part of a larger religious complex including a convent and museum, the Romanesque basilica is home to important works by many of Genoa’s best known artists.
The original Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello was built in the 10th century, though it underwent a series of renovations and additions from the 12th through the 17th centuries. Artworks by Francesco Maria Schiaffino, Lorenzo Fasolo, Alessandro Gherardini, and Giuseppe Palmieri were commissioned by Genoa’s noble families to decorate the interiors. The church is also known for frescoes depicting Stories of David and 16th-century majolicas from the Genoese school. Visitors can tour the church, loggia, convent cloisters, and art museum.
The basilica is a popular stop on hop-on hop-off or private city tours, along with the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Doge’s Palace, Palazzi dei Rolli, and Old Port (home to the Genoa Aquarium, the largest in Europe). Tours of Genoa can be paired with day trips to nearby destinations along the coast such as Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, and the Cinque Terre.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Comfortable shoes are recommended if you are visiting as part of a walking tour.
- Photography without flash is allowed in the basilica.
- Modest attire that covers shoulders and knees is required to enter the church.
- The basilica is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello is located in the Castello district, Genoa’s most historic neighborhood. It’s an easy uphill walk from either the port area (eight minutes) or the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in the historic center (five minutes).
When to Get There
The church is set on a hilltop above Genoa’s busy port and center, and can be a welcome respite from the frantic pace of this large coastal city; tour during the busiest hours of the day for a quiet break.
Genoa’s Last Remaining Tower
Get your bearings while walking to the basilica by keeping your sights on the crenellated top of the Embriaci Tower, located just next to Santa Maria di Castello. Said to have been built by the prominent Embriaci family in the 12th century (though recent studies attribute it to the De Castro family), this is one of the few remaining towers that pierced the skyline of Genoa in the Middle Ages.
Address: Via di Santa Maria di Castello, 15, Genoa, Italy
2 Tours and Activities to Experience Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello)
10/06/2020 Update- We normally operate the tour and we comply with all security guidelines (the guide will wear a mask and keeps suggested social distance) We will take you to the oldest part of the historic center and walk through an unconventional itinerary: there is much to see in Genoa, but you must be willing to observe every detail because the beauty of the old city is more easily revealed to those who are determined to discover it. We will take you to the most fascinating spots of the city, which you will hardly find alone and we will make you travel through time by telling stories accompanied by the sound of a small guitar.
Private Sightseeing Tours
a licensed tour guide will accompany you on a different route than usual, through the alleys of the medieval city. You will discover majestic and unexpected palaces and extraordinary works of art, commissioned and preserved in an ancient Dominican monastery. You will listen to the adventurous history of a city that has built an immense wealth on trade and the art of maritime navigation, and its cultural identity intertwined with that of the Middle East, Hispanic and Flemish.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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