I heard many times that the capital of Liguria is not safe… especially foreign people say so (!!!). What is more, some people even gave up to visit this city because they are afraid they would be robbed in Genoa (!!!). That’s why I decided to clear up the situation and explain how it really works in Genoa 🙂
At first, I answer the question:
Is Genoa dangerous? NO!
Genoa has more than 600.000 inhabitants and as every big city has its safe and less safe quarters.
My digression, I thought about the Bronx in New York. It is still a quite unsafe quarter of this city but I don’t think it is a reason to not to go and visit whole New York! The end of my digression 🙂
Let’s back to Genoa. It is true, that in this city you can find some places that are better to avoid. The place, that is considered less safe at all is quarter named Begato. It is a low-income housing quarter where live many immigrants. There are numerous, large blocks of flats … and that’s all … nothing that could attract a tourist that visit Genoa. It is also situated very far away from the old town of Genoa. That’s why I think Begato is not a problem for an average tourist in Genoa.
An average tourist can be interested in a city centre. Well … when you are in the old town you should pay attention to some places. The old town of Genoa (that is one of the biggest, medieval old towns in Europe) has some zones where you should be careful. They are via Pre’, via della Maddalena and via del Campo. I want to underline that during the day those streets are full of persons, Italians and tourists. What is more, I stroll there alone with my Nikon (that attracts attention) and I have never had problems before. Of course, you have to be careful, pay attention to your bags etc. … but it is important in every place in the world!
It is worth to see and photograph these streets cause they are very cool and authentic. However, when you go along them you will see the narrow, dark vicoli that join the main streets. You will see there prostitutes and drug dealers … Yes, yes, I know, it is not very comforting view but if don’t enter in these vicoli or start bothering them you can be sure that nothing wrong will happen to you.
The situation changes a little bit during the evening when you won’t meet many persons in vicoli. That’s why the rule is to stay where many persons stay because it means that this place is tranquil. I want to underline, that in the old town you will find many places that are very lively and are opened very long. The areas that are considered safe in an old town of Genoa are: via Luccoli, via San Lorenzo, via Garibaldi, via degli Orefici, via di Scurreria, via dei Giustiniani, Piazza Lavagna, Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza Campetto, Piazza delle Vigne. That’s are zones located on the perimeters of the old town and normally they are quite crowded even during the evenings.
What is more, I’m telling you only about the medieval, old town of Genoa! The Genoas city centre is much more extended … so if you are going to stay a night in the newer part of Genoa you can be totally calm and stay outside until morning 😉
To sum up, if you want to be calm in Genoa you should:
- Use your reasonableness.
- Pay attention to your bags etc.
- Don’t enter in the narrow, isolated vicoli (even during the day) and during evenings in Via Prè, Via del Campo, Via della Maddalena.
- During evenings, if you stay in the old town, stay where the most people stay.
- AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, DON’T GET CRAZY ABOUT YOUR SECURITY 🙂 Genoa is a beautiful city that should be seen at least one time in your life! Enjoy it! 🙂