Arenzano, which it is still proudly called Rensen in the local dialect, is where the Riviera di Ponente begins.
The first independent municipality after the metropolitan city of Genoa, Arenzano is many things .
Carducci, one of most famous Italian poets of the 19th century for example, in the poem dedicated to the place has described Arenzano as a serene town, where - squeezed between sea and hills, palm trees and pleasant beaches - you can spend happy hours between positive thoughts and sweet memories.
Carducci was not wrong. Among all things, in fact, the distinctive feature of Arenzano is that right here you start living and enjoying again after the bleak landscapes and the noises of the port city of Genoa: even if so close to the center of Genoa, its traffic, its trucks and its docks, Arenzano it is already fully Riviera, a typically Ligurian seaside town and ideal for children. The first residential place you meet as soon as you leave the hustle and bustle of the big city, a little touristy, a little indigenous.
An invisible wall separates Arenzano from the port of Genoa
The VTE (container port) of Voltri is just few kilmoters away from Arenzano, and across the sea you can still clearly see the cranes of the Prà terminals and some infamous drab public housing buildings. In the evening, the flashing lights of the Genoa airport shine, the deposits of the Multedo petrochemical plant appear in the distance, but they are blurred and safely separated from this nice little town.
Arenzano knows that it is the first relief valve of the industrious Genoa, the hub of Mediterranean traffic, the landing place of goods for the Po Valley and the port of departure for products going out to other continents. The port and its traffic are there. Yet, at the same time, an invisible wall stretches out over the sea, descending from the ridges of the Passo del Faiallo and the Apennine yoke. Pass on the viaducts of the A26, the shortest route from Switzerland, from the Alps to the sea.
Arenzano is beyond this wall and as it lazily observes the work of others, it seems not to care. Or maybe.. it's just waiting for them, to make them feel good when they need to rest, and that's something.
Map of Arenzano
How to get to Arenzano
To get to Arenzano , we recommend choosing one of your preference between the train and the car: they are the best means, and they work like this:
- If you choose to come by car, Arenzano has its own motorway exit on the A10: it is the first one you meet when arriving from Genoa after the Prà exit towards Ventimiglia; also, coming from the A26 Gravellona Toce, the Arenzano exit is the first exit after the crossroads following Masone and then the direction Ventimiglia..
The alternative, again to get to Arenzano by car, is to use the Aurelia state road; definetely slower and trafficked, but great if you just want to have a look around and you are not in any hurry
- The train it is the other preferred way to get to Arenzano - especially because it helps to solve the parking problem - and also because the railway station is really convenient, right in the center and a stone's throw from the beaches, shops and restaurants.
Arenzano is located on the Genoa - Ventimiglia railway. Just be careful, long-distance trains do not stop here. For example, Arenzano has no direct connections to Milan, Turin, Rome or in general to the Tyrrhenian coast locations such as Pisa or Livorno. To reach Arenzano from all these cities, you need to change station in Genoa Piazza Principe. From Genoa Principe we can then get on one of the many regional trains to Savona that will allow you to arrive in Arenzano in about 40 minutes.
The sea of Arenzano and its beaches
We like the sea of Arenzano. Beautiful and possible, cozy and clean, it has always been a favorite of the Genoese for their sunbathing days on the beach.
The reason for the success of this sea is certainly its proximity, being the first train stop outside the big city of Genoa; but also for the easy accessibility, and for its balanced mix between free beach and bathing establishments .
The sea and all its surroundings in Arenzano therefore coexist with a serene harmony, and all we need to do is decide whether today we will prefer a free beach or total relaxation in a bathing establishment/pay to use beach club. Let's dig into both, then, to decide what is worth doing and where to go to get the best out of summer sunny day.
Arenzano: free beach
Olanda waterfront beach
The Lungomare Olanda beach, that is the stretch of the main coastal road (Aurelia from the Emperor's name) that stretches from the center of Arenzano towards Genoa and Vesima, is probably the biggest in town. The protagonists here are gravel and pebbles: it is a very beautiful beach, with a clear and clean sea, and very popular also among those who want to take their dog to the sea. Google simply indicates it as "Arenzano's dog beach", but that said it sounds really bad and doesn't do it justice.
The Lungomare Olanda beach is "slightly serviced" in the sense that there is a shower and, at a safe distance from each other, some bars and establishments that provide services and give the opportunity to eat and drink something, without necessarily having to go back to the center. Arenzano.
Arenzano: the beach in the center
After passing Lungomare Olanda, you enter the center of Arenzano. A long row of palms and trees begin here, the shops, and the bathing establishments become denser and alternate with bars and restaurants. Although the paid beaches are the absolute protagonists of the scene, there are still two free accesses to the beach, which around here is always a bit overcrowded, summer as well as winter if the sun is out.
A bit of sunshine is great for health and not disdained by anyone: lunch break is a good time to lie down a little and disconnect before the commitments of the afternoon; Andrea and Katerina also often come to the free beach of Arenzano, even in low season.
The best part is located next to the most central pier, the one where the fountain and the statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague make an excellent display. Access to the water is easy, without too many rocks, and the waves are never too big. The water is generally clean and inviting and ultimately, it's a good place to swim, even if so close and popular!
The port beach
The second free stretch of the Arenzano beaches comes shortly after the central part of the seafront, precisely in front of the entrance to the Grand Hotel Arenzano. Some rocks break this free beach into two different segments, with the second largest part on the right looking at the sea, right at the entrance to the port of Arenzano.
The port beach is located next to the road that descends from the motorway exit down to the village. For those arriving by car exiting the A10, therefore, this is the first encounter with the sea. Another plus: it is located just a few meters from the main car park in the city, and from the start of the cycle / pedestrian path for Varazze. A perfect location to say the least for a quick swim, before or after the other activities we have planned.
Beach of the cycle path towards Cogoleto
About the Arenzano - Varazze cycle path: along it, or rather just below it, you will probably find the best beaches of Arenzano.
- After the first railway tunnel, for example, there is the little beach of Baia Calipso .
- Further on, there is the " beach under the pine forest " , always along Lungomare Fabrizio De Andrè.
- In the section between the local football field and the Cinque Lune factory there is our favorite stretch of sea to enjoy Arenzano properly. The beach is free for the most part, the water is calm and truly crystal clear. It is easier to park near the Lega Navale and continue backwards along the cycle path: from the motorway, on the other hand, to reach it faster it is better to follow the signs for Cogoleto..
The bathing establishments of Arenzano
The bathing establishments of Arenzano are concentrated for the most part in Lungomare Stati Uniti (United States promenade), the main one, plus a few more on the De Andrè cycle path.
Among open free beaches and beach clubs (bagni) we count a dozen, each in rapid succession one to the other, each with its own peculiarities but always family-run. You must feel at home, by the sea in Liguria. Not surprisingly, most of the customers are always returning ": the same beach, the same sea, in short, is the logic, because here human contacts are as important as trofie with pesto.
Some of the beach clubs (bagni) in Arenzano are also equipped with small swimming pools, they almost always have games for children and are a place to live from morning to evening, from breakfast to aperitifs, up to the last beer before going to sleep.
Arenzano hotel: our accommodation where to sleep
Arenzano has a good offer of hotels, and we were pleased to select them one by one
Arenzano: what to see
There are a lot of things to see in Arenzano ! And we too, accustomed as we are to having it close to us, and considering it only as the perfect Sunday outing, we are always surprised. In fact Arenzano is a destination worth a vist also and even only for its places of interest.
Arenzano has a strong identity and it is a good idea to visit it even when it is cloudy. You can do it quickly: let's say that if you want to give yourself a complete tour of the things to see in Arenzano, it takes about three, at most four, hours of walking. Time well spent!
Villa Negrotto CambiasoHalfway between the car park in front of the cycle path to Varazze and the railway station, in front of the local Red Cross headquarters and the Grand Hotel, Villa Negrotto Cambiaso is the main attraction of Arenzano , and it's a great attraction. It is a magnificent manor house renovated in 1880 but already present on site in 1500. With its park, it is an absolute pleasure to walk and to make a small naturalistic detour from the joys and pains of the shore..
The main building houses the Town Hall, and among other things, a fantastic playground. The little ones, then, will love to play with the ducks that roam free in the paths eye, they want to bite! and get excited in the turtle pond, right in front of the entrance to the town..
Continuing along the wall that separates Villa Negrotto Cambiaso from the parking lot below, there are opportunities for beautiful photographs and a little further on, a belle epoque greenhouse is remarkable.
Shrine of the Infant Jesus of PragueThe Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague it is one of the most important religious centers in Liguria and is absolutely one of the main things to see in Arenzano. It is located slightly outside the center, high on the hill that rises from the city. It houses a seminar, a beautiful perennial nativity scene made with the precious ceramics of Albisola, and much more, including artistic majolica. It also houses an exhibition on the missions in the world of the Discalced Carmelite friars who manage the Sanctuary, and a beautiful garden of succulents.
Finally, the Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague in Arenzano is inserted in a wonderful park, which has as its relevance the famous Saracen Tower that we are about to tell.
Saracen TowerOn the road just beyond the Sanctuary, a sharp hairpin bend via Costa Boera for those who entrust their lives to a navigator climbs steeply past an ancient Saracen Tower, dating back to 1559 and one of the most characteristic things to see in Arenzano.o.
Today the Tower would certainly need a conservative intervention .. but as always, it allows us to rediscover the stories and suggestions that Andrea and Katerina have encountered far and wide during their travels in Greece. Our Mediterranean is a sea of pirates, stories of villages to be saved from invasions by enemies and distant epics. Every piece of history encountered along the way will help us understand who we are, and what made us who we are today..
Park of Villa Figoli des GeneysThis wonderful park and its villa, which is immediately behind Lungomare Olanda, go almost unnoticed, but it is one of the most beautiful things to see in Arenzano.
Among other things, Villa Figoli is not just a place of tourism, but an important training center: as confirmed from the website of the municipality of Arenzano, Villa Figoli is currently the seat of the Mercantile Marine Academy Foundation for Higher Education courses for onboard Hotellerie. It is the first school in Italy dedicated exclusively to the training of hotel professionals who will work on passenger ships: cooks, pastry chefs, bakers, entertainers, customer service staff and other figures related to hospitality and on-board entertainment.
The seafront of ArenzanoWell-kept and extremely pleasant, the Arenzano seafront is the center of the world, the magnet for which in the end, periodically and at alternating moments, all of Genoa and half the Po valley meet in these parts to look at each other, even from under the masks recently. .
Between rows of palm trees, the tourist little "train", kiosks and chiringuiti, aperitifs and bowls, the Arenzano seafront brings together cremerie and pizzerias, fountains and scooters, sports cars and bikers, curses full of belin (local swearword...) and stalls full of crafts and bricolage. And for this very reason, we love it.
The Arenzano underwater gymThe Arenzano underwater gym is unique in Italy! What is it? The starting idea was to exploit the publicity offered by the wreck of the oil tanker Haven, which has made the town a destination of absolute importance in the world of divers. And so, immediately in front of the Port of Arenzano, actually 18 meters below, a real underwater gym was created, made up of twenty-five elements that simulate a real submerged path..
Each module of this particular gym creates a geometry capable of giving life to an endless series of passages, climbs and descents, perfect for recreating the marine environment with which the aspiring diver will be confronted in the future. The Arenzano diving gym is not only designed for beginners: it is also highly appreciated by experienced divers, interested in the scientific and didactic side, for example to prepare for marine environmental training courses..
Tina lakesTo reach this last place of interest in our personal list of what to see in Arenzano, you must leave the car at the parking lot and wear hiking boots. The lake of Tina is - although it would be better to say little lakes, since the most beautiful is the last of a series of three - a lake that seems to have come out of an Icelandic saga, at the end of an easy walk starting from the heights of Arenzano.
The beauty of Lake Tina certainly stems from its morphology, bordered by vertical rock walls interrupted by a waterfall as refreshing as it is scenic.
Its dark waters, the possibility of a stop for a sandwich in the nearby chestnut trees area, make it in our opinion the ideal destination for a break from the beaches, also because the climb of less than 200 meters, makes it suitable also for walkers that are not in perfect shape.
The Pineta of Arenzano
The so called Pineta of Arenzano it is something very special: more than a neighborhood it is a social, collective, residential experiment, with very few equals in Italy. We read on the community site, as it defines itself: l lin Pineta di Arenzano is a residential area surrounded by greenery that offers a treasure trove of activities to fulfill all wishes. ... A place where the pleasure of practicing multiple activities blends with the desire to satisfy body and soul in the beauty and natural spaces that the Pineta offers its residents..
Those who live in Pineta, on the hill that separates Arenzano from Cogoleto, will have at their disposal a sea of services, a dedicated Prontobus, security and fitness areas, a golf course, tennis, horseback riding, bike rental, volleyball and football and the nearby Naval League. . All in a real communion of life and purpose, for an experimentation born in the 50s and which still continues to fascinate and attract today. But always a stone's throw from the center, to be well integrated into the social and working fabric of the country. Guests are welcome if invited or if they are to attend any of the activities
La Pineta is also famous for one of its jewels, the Pineta di Arenzano Golf and Tennis Club. A club, clearly visible from all the paths that climb the mountains in this area, which dominates the Arenzano plateau within the private space of the Pineta. The golf course has 9 holes, squeezed between the foothills of the Beigua and the expanse of the sea, and was not put here by chance: the climate, in this spot of Liguria, is ideal for playing golf in almost all months of the year.
At the golf of Arenzano competitions are regularly held and by the way, here you can find all the most relevant information on them, the rankings, access the reserved area, and keep up to date with all the latest news about the club and its activities.
The Arenzano - Varazze cycle path
The cycle / pedestrian path from Arenzano to Varazze is one of the greatest places of interest in Arenzano and this stretch of the Riviera di Ponente. Inaugurated in 2006, dedicated to Fabrizio De André (the most famous Genoese musician of the 20th century), the cycle path runs along the entire old section of the Genoa - Ventimiglia railway, including the fascinating tunnels. 11 km long, it is a unique emotion. From Arenzano downtown, you will soon reach the next town of Cogoleto.
Both Andrea and Katerina are regulars of the Arenzano cycle path: for both one of the best places near Genoa for relaxing moments and where to breathe the sea deeply. We absolutely promise you that it will be wonderful to walk along it, or ride a bicycle or run next to the blue of the Ligurian Sea, enter its galleries hand in hand, and see another beautiful spot as you get out dazzled by the sun!
Admission is free and is located right where the town of Arenzano begins, going down the road as soon as you leave the motorway. The area is well equipped with parking spaces - which however are not enough on weekends, arriving early is more a must than good advice. Just below the entrance to the first tunnel there are also the shops and restaurants of the Port of Arenzano.
To make the most of the Arenzano cycle path, there is no shortage of convenient bike rental. Indeed, you can choose whether to rent the bike in Arenzano, in Cogoleto or in Varazze. The prices are more than fair: they go by the hour or by the day. The bikes, for those who wish, are equipped with child seats, and the helmet.
The most beautiful part, in our opinion... It must be the romantic little house before Bagni Calipso, almost at the beginning starting from Arenzano, and the last part, that is however well in the territory of Varazze already. Along the way there are water fountains, benches, and on weekends and in summer, there are also bars for snacks and drinks.
Opinions: the Arenzano of Andrea and Katerina
Few times, in Liguria, a territory can become a perfect playmate and life partner like Arenzano. To find something similar we could only think of the villages of the Finale area in the province of Savona, or the micro-region of Chiavari and Lavagna, in the Riviera di Levante.
In Arenzano there is the sea, the first real nice sea coming out of Genoa. In Arenzano there are mountains, and beautiful paths that embrace heaven and earth on the ridges of Monte Reixa, Passo della Gava and Monte Argentea: over two thirds of the municipality territory are included in the Beigua natural park. In Arenzano there is golf, one of the most beautiful cycle paths in Liguria, which reaches up to Varazze, an alley full of restaurants and a beautiful promenade full of palm trees, baths and beaches and a playground for children. There are piers on which to walk next to the sea, ice cream parlors that make a chocolate granita that I recommend to you, in short, there is already all the life with the flavor of the Côte d'Azur, and it is only the first stop of the Western Riviera.
Perhaps the reason for the success of Arenzano and its beauty lies precisely in being the first stop. To get to Arenzano it takes 2 hours from Milan, and 2 hours from Turin. Half an hour only from the center of Genoa, now that we have the Bridge on the Polcevera again. Not even a 3 hour drive from Lugano. Then once you are here, all the most beautiful beaches in Liguria, and especially the Western Riviera, are within reach even for just a day trip.
Arenzano, of course, can be jealous of its place in the world. Incidentally, this also helps explain Arenzano's success on the real estate market. What more could you ask for than a second home in Arenzano? Summer and winter, every season is perfect for an weekend escape in these parts..
For us, for This is Liguria, what is it Arenzano ultimately? Like so many Genoese, it is that refuge where you can escape a few hours from the stress of everyday life. After a day of work, you come here for a walk, to see a resting landscape. We love it on Sunday mornings, Arenzano is all a fervor of cyclists or runners ready for the long Sunday training between sky and sea, most on the main road and path along the sea and many up on the trails of the Rensen trail race. Katerina comes with the little ones to play in the little park next to the Kiosko and lets Andrea get tired of kilometers, he is one of them. Most of you will not see it in winter, but our sense of nostalgia grows if the memory goes to the winter days of Arenzano. When you feel the force of elements in your face and when the storm surges make the sea crash powerfully on the beach and you wonder how well the ships in the harbor are anchored as the wind batters them.
Arenzano, lucky for her, is located at the point where the Ligurian Apennine ridge comes closest to the sea: not even 6 km distance the coast from the first peaks that separate Liguria and the Po Valley. This, contributes to the creation of a pretty good microclimate, always a few degrees milder than the surrounding areas, especially compared to the center of Genoa. Interested in the forecasts for the next few days Here they are!ARENZANO