On a recent trip to Ligura, we stopped in Genova and explored the city. We were pleasantly surprised with what it had to offer but decided a two-night stay was sufficient. Genova played a leading role in the commercial trade in Europe during the 12th to 15th centuries and was one of the wealthiest cities. Villas and palaces from this era are all over the old town and have been a World Heritage Site since 2006. The port is still bustling today and it’s interesting to see the large cruise and cargo ships docked there. Genova also boasts many wonderful museums that are well worth a visit.
There are plenty of beautiful churches and old buildings to visit, dark and narrow alleys to explore, vista points to go up to and the excitement of the old harbor to experience.
Where to stay:
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Palazzo Grillo, a palazzo with beautiful frescos turned hotel. The staff was friendly and the rooms quiet. The breakfast buffet offered a wide selection of things to choose from, and it was a treat to be able to eat outside on the roof terrace.
Where to eat:
With the narrow and dark streets, it’s hard to find a café to sit and and enjoy the dolce far niente. There are a few squares where this is possible. We visited the market halls for lunch, but it being a holiday weekend, we missed the hustle and bustle it usually offers.
Mercato Orientale: various food stalls to choose from. Go for the pasta stand offering traditional dishes such as pesto genovese and ravioli with walnut sauce.
Douce: Patisserie on one of the main squares. Perfect for people watching and enjoying divine sweets.
Pasticceria Mangini: a very classic café with classic Italian sweets
La Forchetta Curiosa: Slow Food Restaurant with the most delicious freshly cooked dishes. The young couple next to us were close to licking their plates and if they had, we may have followed suit.