Rentals in Genoa: guide to downtown areas

Rentals in Genoa: guide to downtown areas

Genoa was the city of Christopher Columbus and Fabrizio de Andrè, and it has a long and glorious maritime tradition. A trading port under the Greeks, during the Punic Wars the Carthaginians completely destroyed it. Rebuilt by the Romans, it remained a vital commercial center for several centuries. Genoa has long been an unattractive seaport as a vacation spot, but these sentiments are changing, and the city is a natural base for visiting the Riviera’s most popular destinations.

Genoa is famous for its carruggi, narrow winding side streets, impressive architecture, and its aquarium. The city is still home to many fishermen and sailors, but it is also frequented by young people, not just on vacation-they are the ones who attend its prestigious University.

Those studying and looking for a room to rent in Genoa can opt for downtown and experience the nightlife especially with the arrival of the warm season. Compared to other cities, Genoa has lower prices for real estate, and the cost of living in general is also lower than in northern cities, a fact that can positively influence the choice when relocating.

The historic center of Genoa was formerly divided into six districts, called sestieri: Prè, Portoria, Molo, Maddalena, San Vincenzo and San Teodoro. When looking for a house for rent we recommend not to stray too far from the center, so let’s see which of the sestieri is best to choose.


Prè, headquarters of the University of Genoa as well as the Department of Italian Studies and the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, is probably the best known area of the center: it is bounded by Piazza Acquaverde, Piazza della Nunziata, and Porta del Vacca. To the south, however, it is bordered by the sea. Prè Street during the 1950s was infamous for the misdeeds that were held there, but since the end of the last century things have been changing, and an intensive series of works has led to a redevelopment and renovation of building facades. Finding a house for rent in Prè means living through the narrow alleys of the old city, breathing in the smell of the sea and being in touch with the most characteristic areas of the city. This area is also well served by public transportation, as the Darsena metro stop is located here.


The Portoria area has been a working-class neighborhood for centuries, but after the expansion of Genoa that took place over the past centuries, it became the center of the modern city: this is where Via XX Settembre, the city’s shopping street par excellence, is located. Portoria is also home to the beautiful Piazza De Ferrari, one of the most important squares in the city, which is overlooked by the Carlo Felice Theater, the Liguria Region building, and the New Stock Exchange building. Portoria is a rather expensive area, but its elegance and abundance of amenities might justify the expense.


Molo is the sestiere of Genoa that corresponds to theoldest port area. It was a working-class area that remained in a state of disrepair for much of the last century, but thanks to major events hosted by the city, such as the G8 in 2001 or the celebration of Genoa as the European Capital of Culture in 2004, the neighborhood underwent extensive renovations that affected the main streets and squares. Incidentally, this is where the Faculty of Architecture stands today, and this has caused a good number of young people to move to this very area, which is literally being resurrected.


The Magdalene district, unlike the others, Has not had a complete redevelopment: the Old Port area has certainly been brought back to life, and is now one of the most livable areas of the city (by the way, this is where the famous aquarium is located), but otherwise it shows rather poor signs of recovery, and among the narrow alleys there are still social and economic problems. For this reason it might be inadvisable to rent a house in Magdalena, but on the other hand it might be a cheaper area than the others. And then the proximity to the Old Port is certainly a plus not to be underestimated.

St. Vincent

San Vincenzo is located near Brignole station and includes part of Via XX Settembre, Genoa’s quintessential shopping street. For these two reasons, renting a house in St. Vincent can prove to be a right, practical and affordable choice; however, of course, real estate prices rise accordingly. There are also many monuments and places of interest here, such as the Monumental Bridge, the Giacomo Doria Museum of Natural History, and the Grimaldi-Sauli Palace.

San Teodoro

San Teodoro overlooks the harbor to the south, includes the maritime station and the Lantern, the lighthouse that has become the symbol of the city. The center of the district is named Dinegro after the square of the same name, named after a historic Genoese family, overlooked by the Church of San Teodoro and Villa Rosazza. The area is highly developed in terms of infrastructure, precisely due to the fact that this is where most of the passengers arrive by sea: for this reason it might be interesting to consider San Teodoro as an area where to rent a house in Genoa.

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