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With its glittering 16th-century palaces, sweeping piazzas and a rejuvenated port district, Genoa is a city that’s ready to steal your heart.

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It’s located at the top of Italy’s ‘boot’, so most travellers are tempted to the Ligurian capital for its ease of access to the Italian Riviera, where the pristine villages of Cinque Terre and Portofino are less than a 90-minute drive away. However, spend a morning following the scent of freshly baked focaccia while pottering around the medieval alleyways or fill an afternoon viewing the works of great Italian painters, and you’ll be spellbound by what this surprising city has to offer.