Pegli, Voltri, Pra' and surroundings
The district of Pegli in the west part of the city, and has a fascinating promenade on the seafront, that was saved from the massive industrialization of the area after the Second World War. In the 19th century it was the favourite holiday destination of nobles, people of the middle-class and intellectuals of Northern Italy, but also many other Europeans.
Among the wonderful villas of the area, beside Villa Doria Centurione and villa Lomellini-Rostan, you cannot miss Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini with its park, which was built in 1840, when it became part of the 18th century garden that belonged to the botanist Marquise Clelia Durazzo and hosted rare plants. The Ligurian Archeology Museum resides in the park and displays interesting local testimonies. The district also hosts the Naval Museum of the city.
You can reach Pegli by ferry from the Porto Antico with a charming panoramic passage.
The origins of Voltri date back to the pre-Roman era. In the Midddle Ages it was one of the Capitanati of the Republic of Genoa and nowadays here you will see that its beaches are most-loved by the inhabitants. Moving to the west you will find the hamlet of Vesima, even its beach is very crowded in the summer time. Vesima also hosts the studio of the internationally renowned Genoese architect Renzo Piano. Among the interesting buildings there is the 18th century Villa Brignole Sale Duchessa di Galliera, where you can meet the deers that inhabit its 32-hectares park.
Between Voltri and Pegli there is Pra’, cradle of Ponente Genovese as economic and political seat of the first Pre-romans populations. Pra’s pride is its historical and artistic heritage, which includes numerous churches and patrician villas. The most ancient are San Pietro Church , which still has its original Romanesque bell tower, ad N.S Assunta Church, completely rebuilt in the 18th century. Several patrician villas deserve special mention, including Villa Ratto, Villa Lomellini-Podestà and Villa Sauli Podestà, which hosts Parco del Basilico (Basil). Basil is another matter of pride for Pra’, also known as “Capital of Basil”. From here comes pesto, the typical Ligurian sauce. In the area called “Fascia di Rispetto” you will find many sport facilities, including a rowing regatta field. That’s why Pra’ is a real “Citadel of Sport”.