Genoa is a real Italian gem. A marvelously eclectic city, it has a secret beauty that can be found in its daring architecture, traces of splendid frescoes and imposing, noble palaces. Here you can see the house where Christopher Columbus was allegedly born and sample some of its delicious pesto, which originated from this region. Explore the labyrinth of narrow alleyways of the old city, which are filled with shops, and restaurants. In the centre you will come to the Piazza de Ferrari, around which is sited the Opera and the Palace of the Doges. Some of the other main sights here include the beautiful black and white striped St. Stefano Abbey and St. Lawrence Cathedral, with its bare medieval style. One of the most charming areas of Genoa is the district of Via Garibaldi. Dating from the mid 16th century, it was designed to accommodate Mannerist palaces of the cities most eminent families, including Palazzo Rosso, which is now a museum.