The geographic location of Genoa, found on a long strip of land along the coast, often makes one think that the city is limited to its centre. This peculiarity has a very significant impact on the life of the Genovese people, who live in their own “slice” of the city, between the mountains and the sea, making Genoa a sort of federation of many small states – which in fact it was until the first decades of the twentieth century.
Pegli is one of this city’s suburbs, and is completely different from the industrial zones that you must cross to get there. Pegli is found in the extreme west of Genoa, and in the second half of the nineteenth century developed luxury tourism that can still be felt today, with the era’s immense buildings and Liberty architecture. Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini is the ideal place to spend a Sunday like no other. The villa, built in the early nineteenth century, is a journey through architecture and greenery, between the forest of camellias and the jungle of the park.
Between 2014 and 2016 the park and villa were completely rebuilt and renovated, and are now open to the public from March to November. Ticket revenue is used to maintain this beautiful site, with over 10 hectares of green spaces. In 2017 it was awarded the title of “the most beautiful public park in Italy”. Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini is also a journey into the human soul, taking you back to the romantic style that was typical of the time of its construction. Architecturally, the tour will take you past the Coffee House, the Triumphal Arch, the Medieval Castle and the lake, with its evocative Chinese Pagoda to counterbalance the Temple of Diana, in the middle of the lake.
Reaching Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini is very easy. Pegli station is just a few meters from the entrance gate, from where you can come from the main stations of Genoa in just a few minutes – Piazza Principe or Brignole – arriving on the Ponente promenade, just a few steps away from the villa entrance. In the summer, however, it is advised to come by sea!
In front of the Aquarium in Genoa, in the heart of the old city, the Navebus, a public ferry will take you directly to Pegli Pier, for the price of just a normal public transport ticket. Just like a bus, but on water. By choosing the Navebus you will also have the opportunity to see the port of Genoa from within, as the ferry passes the Fora Dam, and sea lovers will appreciate the huge cranes that the first Italian port hosts.