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Genoa in November?

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Sep 7th, 2011, 03:30 PM
  #1
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Genoa in November?

Since we're going to a wedding in England the last weekend of October, we decided to add on 10 days in Italy, our favorite travel destination. We'll be flying into Milan and traveling by train. Since days will be short and possibly rainy, instead of doing daytrips from Bologna, I'm thinking of staying in several towns that we haven't visited yet. Some possibilities are Genoa, Modena, Ferrara and Mantova. Genoa is somewhat out of the way but seems to have great food and interesting activities. My only concern is that its charms may be obscured in the dark days of November. Any comments or suggestions?
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Sep 8th, 2011, 12:03 AM
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There is no reason to book hotel or b&b rooms in advance in November in Genoa. If the weather is nice, it will be warm enough to eat lunch outdoors and pleasant to go hiking in the hills. The autumn sunlight is beautiful. If it is raining non-stop, much of the enjoyment of the city and nearby beauty spots is sharply curtailed, although eating and indoor cultural sightseeing like museums and churches can fill the dance card for a 2 or 3 day stay.

A combination of Fred Plotkin and David Downie (Food and Wine of the Italian Riviera and Genova) will take you to all the best food highlights. The Mercato Orientale is fun, and perhaps the least touristy of all huge Italian covered food markets, but will pale in comparison to the extravaganza in Bologna.

Highly rewarding cities missing from your list if you haven't seen them are Verona. Parma and Ravenna.
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Sep 8th, 2011, 04:57 AM
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Thanks, zeppole. We've been to Parma, Verona, Ravenna, Milan, Venice, Bolzano and Bologna, although I'm sure we would enjoy a return visit. Do you have any favorite restaurants in Genoa or the other towns? (I have the Plotkin book and will look for the Downie book.)
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Sep 8th, 2011, 05:08 AM
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With 10 days at your disposal I am not sure why are you limiting yourself to Milan and environs, specially when you have explored quite a bit of that area already. A quick flight to Sicily (either from Milan or from England) would be what I would be looking at in November.
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Sep 8th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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I don't have any restaurants recommendations outside of what Plotkin and Downie will give you for Genova, but I will suggest you be aware that fresh whole fish in Liguria is really a special treat, but it is expensive. If you are on a budget, you might want to plan you eating around the idea you will indulge in at least one first-class fish meal, but otherwise enjoy the abundance of cheap eats that Genova offers. Again, Downie and Plotkin will point you to the best holes in the wall, where you can eat your fill of farinata, anchovies (fried and/or stuffed), foccacie, genovese minestrone or a pesto pasta. Plotkin is a better guide to great fresh fish restaurants than Downie, although Downie's recommendation of Rina is spot on.

If you find yourself starving off hours, there is a place just steps from the piazza Ferrara called "Moody" that serves Genovese food all through the day. (The address is Largo Dodici Ottobre, 51/R.)

Personally, the one town I would definitely include in your 10-day l'avventura in Italia is Mantova. The Slow Food guide, Gambero Rosso and the Chowhound Italy board will give you the most up-to-date tips.

But apart from Bologna itself, you don't need to book in advance, and I would be swayed by weather unless you really love palazzi and art museums (Genova and its nearby suburb of Nervi have some quirky ones) where you could happily while away rainy days. (It also tends to rain a lot in Mantova, and even more, get socked with obliterating fog. Plus, its colder.)

Sicily is a nice suggestion if you have a car, or if you think you'd enjoy 5 nights in Palermo with a few day trips. Sicily has fabulous food, and I think the most variety of all the regional cuisines.









If you get nice weather, it is
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Sep 12th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Bookmarking.
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