The Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello is, appropriately, located in the Castello district of Genoa, on a hill overlooking the city.
The original church on this site dates back to the 10th century, and it remains one of Genoa's most important religious buildings. The church was renovated and added to over the years, from the 12th century through the 17th, giving you the church you see today.
The basilica is only one of the buildings in the entire complex, which includes the cloisters and a museum. The artwork in the church was primarily commissioned by Genoa's noble families, with many of the city's best-known artists featured.
It houses numerous artworks commissioned by the main noble families of Genoa, by artists such as Francesco Maria Schiaffino, Lorenzo Fasolo, Alessandro Gherardini and Giuseppe Palmieri. Notable are the frescoes with Stories of David and the painted Maiolica from the 16th-century Genoese school.
Entry into the basilica complex is free, and it's open daily from 9:30 a.m. to noon and again from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. (though hours may vary during services). Near the church you'll see a tall tower, built by the prominent Embriaci family in the 12th century. It's not part of the church, and it's a private building, but it's an easy way to find the church when you're looking at the skyline.