One of the most characteristic routes for those who want to know Genoa can start from Porta Soprana, built in 1155 for the defence of Genoa from the aims of the emperor Federico Barbarossa, next to the Romanesque Cloister of Sant'Andrea and the House of Cristoforo Colombo. Going up Via Ravecca and Piazza Sarzano you reach Piazza Sant'Agostino, where the church and museum of the same name are located.
Walking further you proceed on the ancient hill of Castello one of the oldest and most characteristic settlements of the city of Genoa and you can visit the Romanesque basilica of Santa Maria di Castello and the House of Paganini in Piazza Santa Maria in Passione. From there we descend towards the Church of San Donato, a Romanesque masterpiece with an octagonal bell tower, cross the nearby Piazza delle Erbe, a meeting point for young people and the centre of the evening nightlife, and climb slightly to De Ferrari from where, next to the Carlo Felice Opera House, Via Roma begins, full of neoclassical buildings and elegant Art Nouveau shops. Alternatively, the parallel Galleria Mazzini with its metallic glass vault as was the fashion at the end of the 19th century.
At the end of the street is Palazzo Doria Spinola, and immediately afterwards Piazza Corvetto with its equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II. Higher up on the right-hand side of the square, the Genoese wanted to place a statue of their fellow citizen, republican, Giuseppe Mazzini. The monument overlooks the gardens of Villetta Di Negro, which house the Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art, a 19th-century Genoese traveller who was a major player in the modernisation of Japan.