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Genoa - What are the Must Do's

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Mar 24th, 2015, 12:06 AM
  #1
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Genoa - What are the Must Do's

We will arrive by train and walk to the Continental Hotel.

Then we have only a day and a half before travelling on by train to Deiva Marina, just outside of the western end of the Cinque Terre.

Any suggestions for our visit to Genoa, including ristorante, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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Mar 24th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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Any thoughts on Genoa would be greatly appreciated. It appears to be challenging.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 10:56 AM
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Museo del Mare, Aquario, Palazzo Ducale and other palaces, cathedral, Mount Righi, seashore promenade to Nervi, excursion to Camogli and San Fruttuoso.....
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Mar 25th, 2015, 12:21 PM
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To me, the Acquario is a rip-off, especially if you are accustomed to state of the art aquariums in other 1st world counties. What might be more interesting if the weather is nice is to take one of boat tours of the port, old and modern.

Although I have never taken a guided walking tour of Genoa, it might actually be very interesting and efficient if you are there for a short time and know little about the history of the city and why the architecture looks the way it does. Also, a great many people are made quite nervous by the warren of shadowy, blind alleyways of the medieval quarter, and yet it is truly the greatest sight of Genova. Deliberately arranged to be confusing, like Venice, to thwart invaders (the open port was defended by cut-throats), it is one of best ways to experience what life in a medieval city was truly like before tourism set in and made everything "picturesque".

A half-day walking tour would probably be enough to see , and then you could add onto it whatever particularly interest you -- such as the ship/nautical museum or the the major art museums (Spinola, the Palazzi Rosso and Bianco). Sights like Palazzo Ducale, the medieval gate of the Porta Soprana, and even the Cathedral are mainly interesting for their exteriors anway (and would be part of any walking tour).

I wouldn't bother going to Nerve just to walk along the promenade unless I was interested in one of the museums. Likewise, taking the funiculare up to Righi gives you a view of the city -- not much reward for the time and effort, I think (especially it isn't a clear day). With only one full day in Genoa on your way to le Cinque Terre, I would bother with Camogli (which is a picturesque fishing village -- you'll see plenty).

If you like untouristy food markets, the Mercato Orientale is the real deal, if small, and if you see any seasonal fruit that appeals to you, buy some to nibble on because it probably tastes as good as it looks.

Taste treats not to miss in Genova are farinata, foccacia with onions, stuffed anchovies, squid, and above all pasta with pesto. Skip pizza (it's always bad) and if you must eat meat, either stick with salami or rabbit.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 12:53 PM
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Sandra, thanks for this. We are visiting Genoa in early September for three nights.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 02:42 PM
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I actually enjoyed the aquarium, although I haven't seen many to compare it with. It was a lot more interesting than the one in Toronto!
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Mar 29th, 2015, 01:53 AM
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How about Boccadasse, is this a nice walk along the shore from the centre of Genova?
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Mar 29th, 2015, 02:39 AM
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I have never been to Boccadasse, but even just looking at pictures, I am not sure you get much of a walk right along the seaside. It's a cove, and most people go out there to swim or have lunch. The very busy coastal road passes right near there. You might want to take a look on Google Street view.

Also, I don't think I would consider Boccadasse walkable from the touristic center of Genova. It would be at least an hour. You would need public transportation or a taxi, and at that point, if you are looking for a seaside walk, my suggestion would be to go to the suburb of Nervi instead. It's only a 20 minute train ride from Birgnole station, and it is one of the longest seaside promenades on the Italian coast, the Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi.

Or possibily just as interesting if you want a stroll is to take the funicular at the Largo Zecca (in Genoa center near the university) up the mountain to Righi, where you then have a sweeping panoramic view of the entire city of Genoa and its ports.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 03:56 AM
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Thanks, very helpful as always, Sandralist. I will spend a few days in Rapallo (+ day trips) after Genova, but the I like the idea of visiting The Nervi museums and then taking a walk along the beach.

About the funicular to Righi, I will consider that as well, sounds very appealing. I seem to remember last year the Genova tourist office offered on its website some guided walks up above the town on some weekends. Hopefully they will do that again next September so I could join in. Even if guidance is in Italian, I'll be able to manage since I understand some.

I'll probably also do a guided walk of the medieval centre, to get myself oriented. As a woman travelling on her own, I'm one of those "quite nervous by the warren of shadowy, blind alleyways"...
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Mar 29th, 2015, 05:10 AM
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If you are going to be in Rapallo and like seaside walks, one of the most beautiful walks along the entire Riviera is in the neighboring town of Zoagli. It's about a 5 minute train ride from Rapallo, although the Zoagli train station is quite uphill from the seaside, so if you want to take the train back, it's a climb. There are also buses from Rapallo to Zoagli. There is a pleasant bar in Zoagli where you can sit right at the sea and eat toasted sandwiches or salads. It's called Punta Stella.

If you like panoramic views and you are not afraid of heights, you can take the cable car in Rapallo up to the Monteallegro santuario. There are lovely walks up there with spectacular views.

Another panoramic viewpoint is to take the bus from Rapallo to Ruta, and then either walk 30 minutes to San Rocco, or switch to the 5 minute bus ride to San Rocco. From there you can either walk down to Punta Chiappa and take a boat to Camogli to catch the train or, more simply, walk from San Rocco down the stairs to Camogli.

There is a lot of good food-to-go in Rapallo if you get tired of eating in restarauants Near the bus depot (opposite the train station), there is a branch of Tossini's where you can get farinata and foccacia col formaggio and other interesting takeaway. There are several good gastronomie and cheese stores, plus good places for roast chicken (you can ask for a half-chicken). One of the very best gelateria along the coast is in Rapallo: Frigidarium, opposite the short castle on the seaside. The morning open air market in the historic Rapallo is high quality, and there are two organic grocers in town.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 05:14 AM
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Me too, I'd vote for the aquarium.
I didn't see much more than that though ...
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Mar 29th, 2015, 05:41 AM
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Thanks again, sandralist, great stuff here, thanks for all the food tips. I'll have 3 full days in Rapallo and its surrounding (CT, Portovenere etc.) and already there's a LOT to do but I'll take my time since I might be back.

On monasterystays.com there was an offering to stay up in the hills above Rapallo, probably at the santuario you have mentioned. For this trip I chose a hotel in town but this could be a great idea for a relaxed stay in the future, with prices there being very modest.
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Mar 29th, 2015, 06:38 AM
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Yes, I think you definitely want to be in the town itself unless you needed a monastic break. It isn't impossible to keep using the cable cars to get to the train station for day trips (there is also a bus), but Rapallo itself is fun.

Bear in mind that most places in the region do stay open until 7pm or so. Therefore, if you go to Genova and take a walking tour, it's possible to consdier combining it with a trip to the museums in Nervi. They are interesting if you have a strong interest in 18th/20th c. art and museum collections. Otherwise, as you have noticed, there is plenty else to do (plus it's also nice to do nothing along the Riviera).
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Mar 29th, 2015, 04:04 PM
  #14
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Thanks again Sandralist. There is much to consider
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:43 AM
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TTT
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Mar 30th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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Thanks, Sandralist, great info.
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