Genoa has remained a popular Italian port through the centuries, giving the world explorers like Christopher Columbus and football to the Italians. In its medieval heyday, the port city ruled Mediterranean trade routes. Today, the harbor town functions as a gateway to the Italian Riviera. Travelers to the heart of the old town of Genoa are treated to UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Palazzi dei Rolli. Strolling down the narrow winding alleyways, or caruggi, one is unexpectedly treated to vast open plazas like the Piazza de Ferrari with its famous fountain and popular opera house, Teatro Carlo Felice. Marvel at the striking façade and old-world frescos of the San Lorenzo cathedral. The best way to get into the spirit of this grand old city is perhaps to sit back at an open-air café by a piazza, sipping Genovese wine, eating pesto, and people watching.