Genoa, on the northwest coast of Italy, is Italy's principal seaport. Genoa was a 2004 European Culture Capital; money flowed into the port city made famous by Columbus and now it's a better place than ever to visit. Genoa has a fascinating aquarium, an interesting port area, and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums.
Turin, host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, is a major cultural hub with excellent museums, elegant shops, and good restaurants. There are also some very nice examples of baroque architecture and historic palaces. Turin has many historic cafes, artisan workshops, and arcades. Turin is in the northwest of Italy, between the Po River and the foothills of the Alps.