The Italian seaside city of Genova (Genoa in English) marked the final leg of my European adventure.
As Italy’s largest port, it has a rich history as one of the country’s most powerful and important cities. From a tourist’s perspective, it is often overlooked, as foreigners focus most of their attention on Rome, Venice, Florence and the like. This is a mistake. Genova, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, has lots to offer.
The port of Genova, the city’s economic engine offers some lovely views. Taking a stroll along the Porto Antico, you’ll see a impressive display of yachts and sailboats. It’s a great place to people watch and a popular meeting spot for locals.
Stepping away from the waterfront, you can turn up one of Genova’s winding streets or alleyways. This is probably the city’s hallmark. It’s both lovely and disorienting at the same time. I ended up getting all turned around my first couple of trips through the city’s streets, which feel more like a maze than urban planning. Take a look at the google satellite view below, you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.
All these little streets are filled with houses, shops and restaurants. There’s no central area where you go to find a grocery store, there’s a butcher or market around every tight little corner.
All these little maze-like streets eventually lead to squares, which are usually home to churches or other important buildings.
Before getting to Genova, my Italian cousin advised me to try some Focaccia during my visit. It’s a flat, oven-baked bread that kind of resembles pizza, but it’s quite different. I tried a few different varieties from different shops, but the best one was this cheesy, garlic‚ focaccia al formaggio‚ I found just off the old port.
I didn’t get to spend as much time in Genova as I would have liked, as I was up against the clock, a flight from Paris to Canada waiting for me. If I go back to Italy, I’ll be sure to give Genova the proper attention it deserves.