“Lying at the bottom of his gulf with the careless majesty of a queen … Genoa comes, so to speak, to meet the traveler” (A. Dumas, 1841).
Hello my dear readers,
I hope you are having a great week so far 🙂
As mentioned in my previous post, today I’ll take you to Liguria, to Genoa more precisely, the city where pesto alla genovese was borne.
Genoa, the capital of Liguria, called also La Superba, being located on the Gulf of Genoa, fronting the Ligurian Sea, is currently the busiest and important port on the Mediterranean Sea.
Even though is the sixth-largest city in Italy, Genoa is not crowded with tourists giving you the opportunity to enjoy the rich cultural history in art, music and cuisine.
The history of Genoa is linked to the navy and commerce and has been called “La Superba” and “La Dominante”. Its cultural richness in terms of history, art, literature, music and cuisine, allowed it to become the European Capital of Culture in 2004, while in 2006 the Strade Nuove and the Rolli Palaces System were declared patrimony of humanity by UNESCO.
If you are an art lover, this is the place for you. Genoa has a lot of museums where you can find works by Caravaggio, Van Dyck Rubens, Durer and Veronese and the city’s finest collection of old masters, and the best thing is that are not crowded.
In Genoa’s old port you can visit the largest aquarium in Europe, a Biosphere with a botanical garden and the Bigo Crane, an iconic symbol for the new-old port, that its lift takes you up 40 meters to enjoy sweeping views of the city.
Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Reale are only a few from more than 100 palazzi that attest to the might and power of the Republic of Genoa’s ruling class during the 16th and 17th centuries. Most of these glittery showcases were built along what were called Le Strade Nuove or New Streets, to demonstrate the wealth of the city’s prominent and aristocratic families, but also to serve as lodging for visiting dignitaries and notables.
And as a city by the sea, you cannot miss the lighthouse of Genoa or simple called “la Lanterna”, that has always been the symbol of Genoa. 77 meters high, the historic tower stands on the remains of a 40-meter hill and is located about 177 meters above sea level. The first construction dates back to 1128, but its history fades into legend and is closely linked to the history of the port because the Lanterna has always been the reference point for ships in transit in the Gulf of Genoa.
The current construction dates back to 1543 and since then it has overcome conflicts and natural disasters standing in the Genoa sky and as the highest lighthouse in the Mediterranean and one of the oldest among those still active. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been fascinated by the lighthouses.
Another testimony of Genoa’s link with the sea is Galata, Museo del Mare, the largest maritime museum in the Mediterranean dedicated to the history of navigation. Through the reproduction and display of boats of all sizes and types, nautical instruments and charts, multimedia and interactive workstations, the museum offers the visitor a real journey through time allowing him to identify himself with the lives of sailors, passengers and migrants. How can you miss this interesting and engaging museum, especially in the city that gave birth to Christopher Columbus, the greatest navigator of all time?!
Genoa’s medieval core, filled with a twisting maze of caruggi, that are narrow cobblestoned streets, offers a range of architectural styles, amazing artisan shops and historic eateries where you can indulge in the exquisite foods from breakfast to dinner and on top of all, it overlooks the sea.
Genoa has an excellent tourist accommodation with over 500 hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and apartments. It is not difficult to find a suitable accommodation for everyone’s pockets.
Another great thing of Genoa is that with any temperature and in every occasion, it always manages to offer various possibilities. You have a free weekend and you want to plan a getaway? You can visit Genoa, no matter the season we are in.
One of the reasons to visit Genoa is its genuine and traditional cuisine, with very ancient origins, a 360° menu, in which sea ingredients from the coast meet vegetables and meat from the inland.
Genoa has some of the tastiest foods in Italy, from pesto, the great classic, now known and imitated all over the world, pesto is the symbol of Genoese and Italian cuisine; the streets of the city are constantly inebriated by the freshly baked focaccia; pansoti con sugo alle noci, one of the most characteristic and tasty first course originating from the eastern Liguria, which is a stuffed pasta usually with chard, eggs and ricotta, topped with walnut sauce; Stoccafisso, a fish stew made in numerous ways, but the one that makes the stoccafisso more appetizing while preserving its purity is called “buridda” which is boiled and seasoned with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, taggiasche olives, pine nuts, salted capers, parsley, onion and oil, an explosion of taste in this great classic of the Ligurian capital; Cappon magro, a pyramid covered with green sauce that has inside toasted bread rubbed with oil, garlic, vinegar and salt, fish, hard-boiled eggs, boiled vegetables, artichokes, tuna, shrimp, capers and olives, a very good looking dish and delicious; Pandolce, is the sweet of the Genoese Christmas tradition, that it is even said to have been the protagonist of a propitiatory rite of health, fortune and money for the new year for centuries.
Ok, now, with all these delicious foods, I’m really hungry, and you?
Join me next time and enjoy a good pasta with pesto alla genovese.
Thank you all for reading 🙂
All photo credit Google Images edited by Popsicle Society