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Driving in Genoa

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This will be our third trip to Italy and have had some harrowing adventures in driving. We are contemplating driving from Como to Genoa to avoid the hassles of a train transfer in Milan. Any advice on the highway there and especially driving in Genoa is appreciated. We will be dropping the rental car off and taking a train to Recco on the coast.

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    Milano Centrale train station is one of the easiest train stations to use in all of Europe.

    The A7 autostrada from Milano to Genova is one of my least favorite autostrada in Italy. It is essentially the ancient Roman mountain pass, somewhat widened for modern traffic. It is high-speed, curvy and mountainous. It gets a fair amount of truck traffic and also daredevil motorcyclists on sunny weekends. In the rain, it is particularly tense driving.

    Much of Genova is impassable to all automobile traffic. There are also ZTLs you need to avoid on certain days. You need precise instructions from the rental company.

    It would be much simpler if you dropped off the car in Rapallo and took either the train or the bus to Recco. Taking the bus is much prettier, but it is longer and it involves one easy change in Ruta. But it does let you off right in the middle of town, whereas the train station is a bit uphill. There are almost always taxis in front of the train station if you need them.

    But personally, I would just take the train to Recco from Milan. So much simpler. Rather than pay for a 1 day car rental, find out the cost of a taxi transfer from Como to the Milan train station. If you book the Milan-Recco train ride sufficiently in advance, it can cost you as little as 10 euros per person.

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    I agree with Stevewith that it is easier to train to Recco so you don't have to worry about driving at all. That said, if you prefer driving instead of taking the train as we do (my wife hates the dumpy long train rides in Italy except for the Frecciarosa), I have driven from Bergamo/Milan to the Ligurian coast via Genova a couple of times without any problem whatsoever. We made a nice lunch stop at the Certosa Pavia. Last month we drove into Genova using the GPS which cleverly routed us through downtown without getting into the ZTL at all. We even missed a turn and got rerouted back without any problem.I was somewhat amazed how easy it was to drive inside Genova compared to Rome/Milan/even Florence. It could be that we have become accustomed to the ZTL signs but they seem to be more obvious and logical in Genova compared to Florence or Rome.

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