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Day-Tripping Through Liguria: From Genoa to Cinqueterre and Beyond

Our very own Erica Berman has just landed in Genoa for her yearly stint in Liguria, her favorite region of Italy. This still relatively untouched corner of Italy is one of our favorite spots for experiencing authentic Italian living in a gorgeous, seaside setting. Until the rest of us are able to make it there ourselves, we can live vicariously through Marisa’s gorgeous photography… -Geneviève

Sarzana details

I’ll just put it right out there: I love Liguria, and centrally situated Genoa is the perfect home base from which to delve into and savor Liguria’s many enchanting qualities and seaside cities. A maritime marvel, La Superba (the proud or the haughty, as it was once known) rivaled Venice as a powerful city-state for over 500 years. And while the splendor of its storied past as a seafaring legend is evident in the magnificent UNESCO-protected Strade Nuove and Palazzi dei Rolli, Genoa’s real charm is its present-day incarnation as a working port city.


This is a city that doesn’t bend over backwards to market itself to tourists. The result is an authentic Italian metropolis, more accustomed to the visiting Milanese than Manhattanite. As a traveler who thrives on finding and experiencing those places that aren’t (yet) teeming with fellow Americans, Genoa is a joy for me. Plus, I’m a sucker for labyrinthine medieval lanes, which Genoa has in spades. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 15 Comments »

Genova, Genes, Genoa, Italy – however you want to spell it – at last!

picture-29Photo: Erica Berman -The path that leads to home

In Genova, finally, until July 17! My third trip. Inquiring friends want to know why I chose Genova. No-one has ever heard if it. They think it is Geneva, and that I am in Switzerland.  The story is quite simple. In the fall of 2007 I needed a flat with high speed Internet in order to participate  in an Intensive Italian language class and learn Italian, finally.  Not wanting to be in the tourist mecca’s of Florence, Venice or Rome, it was proving difficult to impossible to find a flat that was both nice and had Internet (sounds implausible, but it is true). Finally, I came across a penthouse flat with terrace in Genova that seemed beautiful, and had Internet. Although I knew next to nothing about Genova aside from the fact that it was not touristy with the anglo community, that it was a port not far from Portofino and Cinque Terre, that it was home to the best pesto in Italy, that the ferry leaves from there to go to Sardinia, and that Chistopher Colombus was born there, I decided to check it out.

picture-101Part of the door to my friend Maria’s house

The irony, and beauty of the whole affair is that in my wonderful penthouse apartment, despite the efforts of  numerous Italians, the Internet just would not work with my Mac.

Continue Reading »

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Bocca di Magra, Montemarcello, Valleponci, Finale Ligure


May 20, 2009 Day 5

Setti Archi – Lunch at a seafood restaurant in the nearby marina, Bocca di Magra. Discovered this gem last year and were delighted to return to the wonderful seafood and service in this family run hotel and restaurant . Their tasting menu of 5 different seafood dishes is amazing (see photos). A short hot hike into the hills behind the Marina took us to a small rocky cliff and beach where we read for a while and headed home.


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My Ligurian Villa vacation (on Tuscan border – by Cinque Terre)


One of our views & rose bushes by the villa
Photos: Erica Berman

For some reason, one I am not sure of, most Americans (and the majority of tourists in general) come to Italy for Tuscany, Rome and Venice. Don’t get me wrong, these are all beautiful places, and definitely merit a visit, or many, but there are oodles of other places in Italy worthy of discovery.

picture-3The Villa

Liguria is a small region of Italy nestled between the French border and Tuscany, and covers a long coastline bordered by mountains. Genova is the capital and Portofino its most known city, followed closely by the spectacular Cinque Terre. Luckily for those who care to sojourn within, few have heard of Liguria – not even most French, whose border touches it. Miles of unspoiled mountainous coastline and sandy beaches, kilometers and kilometers of hiking, excellent food and friendly hosts – this is right up our vacation alley. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 6 Comments »