I think it would be fair to say that Genova isn’t on Italy’s Top10 cities to visit, mostly because people know very little about it. I was delighted to be invited to speak at a recent travel blogging conference and have the chance to revisit a city that has definitely grown on me, and spend a nice weekend in Genova. You may or may not know that delicacies like focaccia or pesto are originally from the Liguria region – I promise some yummy pictures later on!
I went to Genova earlier this year, when I was onboard MSC Splendida. Genoa is one of Italy’s busiest ports, and I did have a chance to see a bit of this city. I loved the old town, but felt that there was something missing. I decided to get lost around the myriad of streets by the port and in the city center, and have good things to report back. There was something about this place – it really grows on you after a while!
The first time I visited, I didn’t find any shops – so I definitely thought there was something missing. Of course this has been corrected on this recent trip, and I can confirm that the shopping district does not disappoint! The nicest part? The locals. They do make the city come to life and it is really nice to be somewhere that most people aren’t indeed tourists. Genova felt very real and comfortable.
Now let’s talk about food and drink. Prosecco, check. Lovely red wine, check. Spritz (Aperol, Prosecco and Soda, originally from Veneto), check. I must confess I had no idea that focaccia and pesto were originally from this part of Italy. It was lovely to find little focaccerias on every corner and very hard to resist trying them all. €1 buys you a slice not smaller than a slice of pizza and as I keep saying, life is all about the simple things.
Are you feeling hungry?
One other thing worth mentioning, is that Genova has its own Eataly. Not sure if everyone is acquainted with this project – basically, someone very clever came up with this concept, which showcases the best of Italian ingredients – you can buy them to take home, or you can eat them right there. I first came across Eataly (fab name) in New York, and after a bit of investigation, managed to find out that the concept is now being rolled out in key Italian and international cities. I have visited the first one, in Turin and now Genova. I could totally use this as an excuse to travel around the world. If you are curious and want to find out more about Eataly, just click here.
I had a great time in Genova and would certainly recommend a visit. You can now fly direct from some European cities, but I chose to use nearby Milan Malpensa airport. Why? Because I would spend a fab day in Milan! I promise to share our Milanese adventure very soon.
PS. I would like to thank Michele from Travel Blogger Elevator for inviting me to take part in this conference – it was my first speaking engagement and a lot of fun. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Savoia, which was lovely too. Grazie!