Brimming with history, the ancient seaport of Genoa, the largest in Italy, used to be a political powerhouse in the 12th and 13th centuries. Make your way through the Old City gates for a stroll along narrow, twisting medieval streets. One of the most famous explorers from the Age of Discovery, Christopher Columbus, was from Genoa. Visit the pink-stoned Palazzo Tursi to see some of his letters, or head to the Palazzo Bianco to marvel at paintings by the old masters. Genoa is also gateway to the breathtaking Cinque Terre, where colourful villages are seemingly clinging to coastal cliffs, as well as the picturesque resort town of Portofino.