Cinque Terre The Cinque Terre is a gorgeous section of coastline, dotted with five picturesque towns, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia,Vernazza and Monterosso. The fun of visiting the Cinque Terre is getting there - villages are linked by train, boat and hiking trails. Hike from one town to the next on the footpaths, the trails are appropriate for kids, some sections are paved. Or, take a boat (you can pick up the ferries along the water), or ride the train.
Tip: Buy a Cinque Terre Card - Good for 1, 3 or 7 days, you can hop on and off the trains, ferries, and trails between the villages, and use the shuttle bus in town. With the card, you'll also get railway and ferries timetables, and trail maps. Pick up the card at the information kiosks for the national park.
Portofino - Your best bet in Portofino is the Castello Brown, orignally built to keep out invading armies, but later it was the home of the English consul to Genoa. The castle itself doesn't have much to see inside, but it's a fun walk from the promenade along the harbor up to the castle. The views are great and the gardens are beautifully planted.
Genoa -
Old Port of Genoa (Porto Antico, Genova) - Christopher Columbus grew up in Genoa and started his sailing career here. The Old Port of Genoa is still an exciting place to visit, starting with the Sea and Seafaring Museum (Padiglione del Mare e della Navigazione). This large museum, dedicated to the history of seafaring, has full size reconstructions of traditional vessels, an 18th century street in Genoa, a shipyard, interiors of a steamship and ocean liner, plus scale models of sailing ships.
Near the Sea and Seafaring Pavillion is the Genoa Aquarium (Acquario di Genova). The aquarium has over 50 tanks with sea life from many different habitats. Especially interesting are the exhibits with angel and sandbar sharks that live in the Mediterranean, plus tanks of seals, dolphins and Neptune grass.
For a panoramic view of the harbor, take a ride on the elevator to the top of the Grande Bigo, a huge Tinkertoy-like construction on a small artificial island.
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