Castelletto is one of the quarters of Genoa. It is situated on the hills that surrounded the old town. The inhabitants of Castelletto are really lucky cause from their houses they can see the whole old town of Genoa and the sea 🙂
How to get to Castelletto?
Even if Castelletto is located on the hills it is extremely close to the Genoa’s centre. To reach it you have to be prepared for many, many stairs 🙂
- on foot – you have to climb the stairs. From the old town, the most comfortable way is to take via Assarotti or via Palestro. From Piazza Corvetto (also close to the old town) you can take via Caffaro and from Principe railway station you take Salita della Provvidenza. Between all these streets you can find numerous narrow streets and pedestrian stairs (called crêuze) that are the shortcuts.
- by car – by all streets mentioned before. However, be aware that in Castelletto you won’t find many parking places and all of them cost much. What is more, the streets are very steep and narrow so it is better if you are used to driving in extreme conditions 🙂
- by bus – bus lines that brings you to Castelletto are: 32,35,38,39,40,54,64,340,374,375,377; more info here. Ticket 1,50€/100min.
- funicular railway – in Italian funicolare– there are two of them that connect city centre with Castelletto: Funicolare Sant-Anna (Piazza del Portello – Corso Magenta) and longer Finocolare Zecca-Righi (Largo della Zecca – via Mura delle Chiappe); more info here.
- lift – in Genoa are 12 public lifts. To Castelletto you can arrive with lifts: Castelletto Levante (Piazza Portello – Spianata Castelletto); Castelletto Ponente (via Garibaldi – via G.Colombo); Castello d’Albertis – Montegalletto (via Balbi – Corso Dogali); Piazza Manin – via Contardo ( Piazza Manin/via Assarotti – via Contardo)
Castelletto means “little castle” 😉 The name comes from a fortress that existed on one of the hills of Castelletto. The first mention of the castle comes from the X century. It was extremely important for Genoa cause from there was possible to observe the sea and possible dangers. The fortress was demolished in the XIX century.
Things to see & do
When you arrived in Castelletto you will see its main street that leads from west end to east end of the quarter. Going through it you can visit the most important monuments of the quarter. The main street changes its name from west to east: Corso Firenze, Corso Paganini, Corso Magenta, Corso Solferino, Corso Armellini. But it is the same street 😉 From there lead numerous streets and crêuse (upwards and downwards). The place where Corso Firenze change its name to Corso Paganini you can find the most spectacular attraction of Castelletto:
Spianata di Castelletto
Spianata means flat space. In the past, it was the place where the fortress was built. After its demolition were built the new tenement houses that have a stunning view from their windows 🙂 fortunately not only inhabitants of this houses can admire the view. In the front of the tenement houses was created a small park and a panoramic terrace. From there you can see the endless old town of Genoa and the Ligurian Sea. It is really awesome. You can reach Spianata with lift Castelletto Levante (see above).
Albergo dei Poveri (Hotel for Poor Persons)
Address: Piazzale Emanuele Brignole
It is impressive building that was built in the XVII century as an almshouse for poor inhabitants of Genoa. It is located close to Piazza Carbonara, that means close to Corso Firenze (western Castelletto). It was used as almshouse till half of the XX century. Then in 1985 became a building of University of Genoa.
Castello d’Albertis (d’Albertis Castle)
Address: Corso Dogali 18
Tuesday – Friday 10.00 am-5.00pm
Ticket: 6€; reduced 4,50€
More info here.
It was built at the end of the XIX century by Parodi family. Inside you can visit a Museum of the World Wide Cultures. The permanent exhibition consists of the exhibits that come from Africa, America and Oceania. From the castle, you can also admire a panorama of Genoa and eastern, Ligurian coast.
Castello Mackenzie (Mackenzie Castle)
Address: Mura di S. Bartolomeo 16
Monday – Friday
9.00am-1.00pm & 2.00pm-6.00pm
More info here.
It was built between the XIX and XX century for a Scot that had made a fortune in Genoa and decided to build a castle for himself. The castle is located in the eastern part of Castelletto, close to Piazza Manin square. Nowadays it hosts an auction house.
Villa Pallavicino delle Peschiere
Address: Via San Bartolomeo degli Armeni 25
It is one of the few, antique villas that still exists in Genoa. It was built in the XVI century (!!!). You can’t see it from the street, what is more, I discovered it by chance when I was preparing this post (!!!). Its entrance is not located on the street but on the lateral crêuze. The villa is still owned by a Prince and it is rent as offices for different companies. Unfortunately, it is not opened to the tourists. However, (sometimes) they opened it for Rolli Days. It’s a pity because the place is magnificent 😀
Address: Corso Solferino 27
It is a vast park and a villa. The building was built in the XVI century in the neoclassical style. The park is public and opened for everybody. The villa is totally abandoned 🙁 However, for those that love decadence it will be the fascinating place 🙂
Who is looking for the new places, without crowds of tourist, Castelletto will be the perfect place for you.