La Lanterna, Genoa’s towering stone lighthouse, has been guiding ships into port since medieval times. It stands proudly at 250 feet (76 meters) in height, making it the second-tallest masonry lighthouse in the world. After admiring the stellar views, visit the adjacent Lantern Museum, which covers the history of Genoa and its Old Port.
The original lighthouse was built in 1128 but sustained much war-related damage over the centuries. La Lanterna that you see today was renovated in 1543, making it one of the world’s oldest standing structures, and still serves at the city’s main lighthouse. You can climb the 172 stairs to the first observation terrace for panoramic views of Genoa’s historic city center and the harbor.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Lanterna is a must-visit for lighthouse and maritime enthusiasts.
- Due to the amount of walking, guests are advised to wear sturdy footwear must be in good physical condition to climb the stairs.
- While the lighthouse museum is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, there is no elevator to access the observation terrace within the structure.
How to Get There
La Lanterna is in Genoa’s Sampierdarena neighborhood and can be accessed only on foot. From the Via Di Francia train station, walk about 30 minutes or take the metro to Dinegro, just 15 minutes from the lighthouse. Free parking is available at the ferry terminal for up to 2.5 hours and is only a half-mile walk (800 meters) to the lighthouse.
When to Get There
The lighthouse is best visited on a clear day, when there are unobstructed views of the city and harbor. Visitors are allowed only on weekends and holidays in the afternoon, so plan to visit after a stroll around the Porto Antico and a nice lunch to fuel you up for the walk.
The Museo della Lanterna
Dive deep into the history of this ancient lighthouse with a visit to the Lantern Museum. The single-room structure is full of stories and artifacts detailing Genoa’s legendary maritime history. See how the lighthouse was powered before the invention of electricity, and discover various signaling systems that have been used at sea.