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Genoa – what exactly am I doing while here in Italy?

Typical Genoa

So, what do I do here friends want to know? This is my third trip to Genoa, and I still have not been to the Aquarium, to the famous museums that dot the city,  or even to  see the house where Christopher  Colombus supposedly lived. I have thoroughly walked on the winding passageways (caruggi), in and around Genoa’s old medieval center (said to be the largest medieval center in Europe).

I have criss-crossed my neighborhood Castelletto, and I have made it my mission to find the best gelateria, the best focacceria, the best cappuccino,

the best café, etc., in the city.  I have found my 3 favorite cafés, where I go to muddle through the Italian newspaper I force myself to read everyday, and I have made friends with various shop owners where I buy my fresh produce and focaccia.

Genoa laundry – everywhere

I have found the best sandwich shop on the old port of Genoa, and a tiny Mexican restaurant run by an American expat on via Pre. I have been testing out the local Genovese food specialties: foccacia, pesto, farinata, crostata, gelato, raviolis of boraggine, trofie, mandilli, testaroli, pan dolce, ripieni, salsa di noci, torte di bietole with friends, and I have taken cooking classes with a local woman (all in Italian of course).

Trofie al Pesto – a Genovese speciality

I have also taken the train to many of the towns surrounding Genoa – Camoglie, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Arenzano, Nervi, Chiavari, Cinque Terre, and hiked along the beautiful trails.

Portofino – a short train and boat ride from Genoa
Camoglie – less then 1/2 away by train or car from Genoa
Santa Margherita de Liguria – a short train or drive from Genoa

I have been renting Italian films from the local video store almost everyday. And often I have simply decided to sit on my terrace and watch the ferries glide  in and out of the harbor, listening to the muted cacophony of the city and chimes of the many churches wafting up to where I am high above it all.

My other main occupation here in Genoa is apartment searching. I have decided that I would love to buy a place here (too expensive right now, but I remain optimistic). I also look for a place to rent, if I can’t buy, so I can have my own little pied-a-terre and not have to negotiate short-term rentals each time I want to return. Genoa is not Paris, and desirable apartments are not abundant.

Along with working full-time and taking Italian classes, boredom is not on the menu here in Genoa.

Path down to Genoa’s medieval center from Castelletto

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Written by Erica Berman

Erica BermanErica Berman grew up in Lexington,Mass. After graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism and an intensive summer at Middlebury College (Vermont), Erica came to Paris with hopes of submerging herself in French culture and perfecting her French -- and she never left. Erica is the founder and owner of Haven in Paris and the blog HiP Paris. She now splits her time between Paris (Montmartre), Maine (Damariscotta), Massachusetts (Lexington) and Italy (Genova). In her all-too-rare free time, Erica likes to travel off the beaten track, explore Paris, read, take photos, cook, ski, hike and enjoy long Sunday brunches with her friends.

Website: Erica Berman

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