This weekend I decided to do a solo trip to Genoa, Italy! I chose this city rather randomly at first. Honestly, I recognized the name from the salami I buy back in the states, although after some research and actually being in Genoa I realized that Genoa salami is actually American salami, albeit delicious. But anyway, after looking into the city more (with something other than a fake salami origin) this port city intrigued me enough to actually make the leap. I was there from Friday-Sunday and it was a great trip, I would recommend it to anyone!
I woke up early to catch the 8:05 AM train from Perugia. It was the first of four trains I would have to take to make it to Genoa! My second train was unfortunately late by around 14 minutes… I only had 12 minutes in between my second and third train. Needless to say I missed my train from Florence to Pisa – but not to worry! After some serious initial panic and semi-frantic questions asked in Italian to Trenitalia employees, I discovered another train that would leave in time for me to make my fourth train from Pisa to Genoa. I arrived in Genoa around 3:30 PM and, thanks to some very nice directions given by the owner of B&B Delfino Blue (the bed and breakfast I stayed at) via email, I arrived at the B&B in around 10 minutes. After checking in with Fulvia (the very helpful owner) I sought out to explore the city.
I quickly learned that either my sense of time was off or google map’s directions were much slower than my walking speed. Needless to say I was very pleased that I would not have to pay for metro or bus tickets, but I could instead walk everywhere! I sought out the Galata Museo del Mare, Acquario di Genova, and the main shopping areas in the older part of the city. I walked around until about 7:30 PM and then decided to eat dinner. I got a special for 12.50 euro: Genovese pasta with Genovese pesto, mixed fried fish (shrimps, calamari, and more), salad, bread and wine.
Here are some pictures from day 1:
A statue commemorating Christopher Columbus.
It was approaching sunset looking out over the harbor.
Another view overlooking the port.
I’m not really sure if this building has a purpose or not but I thought it looked cool!
The San Lorenzo Cathedral!
I ate breakfast at the B&B (croissant, yogurt, coffee, orange juice, toast with jam, orange) and met two other people who were staying there. At around 10 AM I left the B&B to start my day. I bought a combo ticket for the Galata Museo del Mare and the Acquario di Genova and saved a few euros (I wanted to go to both places anyway). First I went to the sea museum which is a large museum – 4 stories tall with several rooms on each level. It had paintings, boat replicas (big and small), scenes with wax figures, and much more. My favorite parts were the large boat replicas that you can actually board and look around as well as some of the equipment (cannons, weapons, armor, etc.). Each room has a few “summary” posters of what is in the room and background information, so going through the museum was like reading a story. I will say though that I wish more of the specific exhibits had English translations – my Italian is only so good! Especially with random sea/port vocabulary.
At around 1:30 I left the museum to grab lunch relatively quickly. I found a sandwich shop with a big crowd in front of it that had really good prices for paninos so I bought a tuna sandwich for lunch. I had water and trail mix in my small backpack I was wearing to supplement the sandwich for lunch. It was a beautiful day, as it was all weekend, with the sun shining brightly (although it was a bit chilly right on the water because of a breeze). Despite someone trying to sell me trinkets from Kenya while I was checking information about the aquarium (so I couldn’t walk away), it was a successful lunchtime.
I then went to the Genoa Aquarium just in time to see a small show with dolphins. I found it to be really cool since I had never seen dolphins in person before. They were doing many tricks and always appeared to be “smiling” (I know, likely just how they’re face always looks) – I just wish the show went longer! The pamphlet I had said they usually last about 20 minutes, but it only lasted about 8 minutes. The rest of the time I explored the rest of the aquarium, adding manatees to the “first time seen in person” category. With the manatees, I really liked that on the top floor you can go into an area and look down into their tank and see them without a tank in the way. While I loved the aquarium and all the different fish and other creatures I saw, I do wish that there was more “no tank” visibility. For instance, at the New England Aquarium the penguins are not in a tank so you can hear them and see them clearer. Overall though, a good experience!
After the aquarium, I explored some more. Sidenote: in case you were wondering, the sea gulls in Italy (at least in Genova) are different than the ones in the US because the sound they make is more of a squawk than anything else. I also found a sandwich ship called Gran Ristoro that’s pretty famous (I had tried going there for lunch but couldn’t find it). I also stumbled upon the most famous piazza in Genoa, Piazza de Ferrari, which is further away from the water but is right next to a large shopping area (more big name stores than the area I explored on Friday). On my way back, I found an outdoor market selling products such as meat, cheese, and honey. I particularly enjoyed a band that was playing music at the market.
Here are some pictures from day 2:
The outside of the Galata Museo del Mare.
A painting of Christopher Columbus. There was a room dedicated to him because of his connection with Genoa.
One of the ship replicas.
A neat scene – the people seemed so real I thought one of them would start moving.
On the last floor of the sea museum there is a lookout over the city – it was beautiful! So I asked someone to take a picture of me with the city.
One of the dolphins!
One of the manatees eating and looking straight at me!
This fish knows who’s boss.
I spy with my little eye: Nemo!
I sat in this spot for awhile as the sun started to set. A man probably in his late 70s came over to me, proceeded to tell me a joke or story in Italian he found quite humorous, then walked away once he realized I didn’t understand (not my fault, he was speaking mumbly!), and started to dance right there on the sidewalk with an ipod in hand.
A dinosaur sculpture made of used tires!
Piazza de Ferrari! In between those two big buildings is a main shopping street.
I ate breakfast once again at the B&B and met an American who is living in Germany. After breakfast, I immediately left to catch the 9:47 AM train to Pisa. Unfortunately, I again missed a train (by about 2 minutes!) – the one from Pisa to Florence. Luckily there was another train going to Florence that worked out timing-wise. I made it back to Perugia in the afternoon.
Genoa was a great trip!