Anchoring here now, brekkie on board then tender into the port. Taking a bus trip today to Santa Margarita and Genoa as we saw Portofino last time...these pics taken in Portofino this trip. Still an utterly stunning place.
On the move, again! Packed up in Turin and headed for the station, then hopped on our train to Genoa at 12pm. Should be a fairly easy run this one, just a direct train that takes about 2.5 hours.
Or at least it was supposed to be! The first 90 minutes passed uneventfully, although the conductor tried to tell us something in Italian. Eventually the train pulled into Alessandria, a backwater city just over halfway between Turin and Genoa, and sat. And sat. And sat.
Eventually everyone got off the train, and one person who spoke a bit of English told us the train was cancelled because of a strike! And we'd had such a good run up to the this point, only a couple of cancellations and delays.
So we went inside the station but the two harried-looking people at the counter couldn't speak English, and judging from everyone's tone, there wasn't any info to find anyway. Nothing online about the strike either, naturally - though it was probably just in this area.
There weren't any other options either, no buses and definitely too far for a taxi. So we just did what everyone else from our train had done - go inside the cafeteria and wait. Mainly because it was heated! So we waited and waited, for almost 2 hours in the end.
Finally people started moving so we all got up and headed back over to the platform, where a train set off for Genoa again. I'm pretty sure it was actually the same train we had been on before, so who knows.
Anyway, we finally made it to Genoa. It's an old port city, once the rival of Venice and still one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean. The medieval area is really atmospheric - no cars, packed in tiny, mazy streets and alleyways. There's also just a hint of danger in the air too, as prostitutes are a pretty common sight as well as people just "hanging around" - probably selling drugs. We'd been warned no to go down dark alleyways particularly at night, and though we figured it would mostly be safe I was a little on edge the whole time. It also looked a little grimmer than usual since it was Sunday and all the shops had their shutters closed.
Found our apartment with no issues, on the eighth floor of an old palazzo but thankfully with a lift! Nice apartment, recently renovated though the bathroom is a bit odd. No shower curtain, it's just sort of in a cupboard and has a sloped ceiling coming towards you.
We settled in for a bit then went wandering down to the waterfront. Lots of people out enjoying the late afternoon. Not quite as sunny as yesterday but only scattered clouds. Walked past the famous and surprisingly expensive aquarium, walked to the end of a couple of piers and back, then visited a famous deli/supermarket creatively titled Eataly. Stocked up on provisions for the next couple of days before heading home via a few streets we hadn't explored already.
Lots to do tomorrow!Read more
Time to see what's up with Genoa's World Heritage site. It's known as the Strade Nuovo and the Palazzi dei Rolli, where during one of the city's rich and powerful eras, a bunch of enormous palazzos (mansions( were constructed on the edges of the medieval sea port area. They were added to a roll system (the rolli), where they would be used as lodgings and temporary homes for city guests. This could be anyone from a foreign businessman, a merchant, dignitary, diplomat, right up to an emperor or pope.
So we set out for a wander! Most of the buildings are concentrated along a couple of streets, the via Garibaldi and the via Balbi. It was quite challenging to film since the streets were narrow and busy with traffic (this was largely outside the pedestrian-only area), but it was still quite interesting to see.
Since it was Monday, quite a few of the main palaces were closed so we couldn't go inside, including the Palazzo Real (Royal Palace) which is supposed to be one of the nicest ones. Oh well.
But we did manage to talk our way inside one of them which had decorations from the era still remaining, though these days it was used for some sort of government building. It was crazy to see a conference room decorated like Versailles, all baroque gilded mirrors and resplendent frescoes, but then decked out with office chairs and teleconferencing equipment! Quite a contrast!
Headed back down into the old seaport area for lunch where we found a great little local place in a back alley. Did the typical Italian thing of a pasta plate followed by a main which were both excellent. I had ravioli in soup for my first course, though I've forgotten my second course, whoops.
Walked around a bit more and did some exploring. Christopher Columbus was a native of Genoa and his "house" is still preserved on the edge of the old town. I put it in quote marks because there's not really any proof he was born or grew up in that particular house. It's just a really old house in the general area, maybe even the right street.
A bit more wandering in the afternoon then headed home where we cooked pasta for dinner.Read more
Early start. Coffee in SL, then train to the last of the Cinque Terre villages. A demanding walk to the next village (Cinque terrifying), train onwards, another longer and less challenging walk and then train back after some sightseeing. The national park was absolutely thronged.
Move to a slightly better campsite as the easter rush is dying down.Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Provincia di Genova, Genua, Génova, Gênes, Genova