Thursday, April 20,2017
After walking the “same” narrow alley-streets and piazzas it was time to see other parts of the city. Porto Antico is on the semi-circular harbor The Old city hugs the harbor and then expands away. Away up the amphitheater hill that surrounds and overlooks the port. Old town is poorer than the terraces up the hill. There are stores that are old school; internet cafes with phone center, laundry stores, tailors etc. Up the hill the are satellite dishes on apartment buildings. Small market stores are fewer and more upscale in product and clientele Public elevators, funiculars, and long stairs lead you up up up the “rows of the amphitheater”. Nicer homes appear in the apartment building mix. Way up is a “Castle” built by some rich one in the 20th century; very eclectic architecture because he could. It looks out over the lower rooftops with narrow streets between, and down to the harbor, the cruise ships in their berths, the refurbished docks where local and tourist alike enjoy the Porto Antico. Far out is La Lanterna, the lighthouse guarding the port entrance.
In a small upscale mercado, a few dozen people are sitting at tables; empty wine glasses and plate settings. They are watching three cooking demonstrators doing their thing while a guy with a microphone walks and talks. WE could stay but it is too soon to eat.
We take a funicular down toward the Stazione Principe. Surprise! It exits onto an alley that ends across from our hotel. “I don’t want to eat beside the hotel.” So we are back on the narrow alley-streets that we have been on so often before. Now we can’t find any of the ubiquitous small ristorantes. Pizza? Pannini? No. We want lunch. Finally we are down in Porto Antico. Here we enter “Eately”. There is one in New York where it is a Mario Batali owned spot. A modern mercado-restaurant. There is a supermarket of high end products and meats and fish and wine and bread and… In the “supermarket”, there are sections where the restaurant food is a certain type. Panninis, burgers beer in one, seafood in an other, typical genovese in another.
OK. Genovese! A good glass of wine, SUPER bread (coarse sourdough), a pesto for Meg and a vegetarian cream sauce pasta for me. Bread in Italy is always brought (you pay for it) and it is usually awful (think scali bread in the USA)! This Eately bread was well worth eating and mopping up the sauce that the pasta did not catch.
The last walk/tasks for our Genova stay; post cards and the proper stamps to Hong Kong for the Grandboys, writing the cards while having an afternoon cafe, money from secure ATM, and walking the mosaic sidewalks of the newer part of Genoa. This walk takes us past the site of Christopher Columbus’s childhood home (reconstructed in 1800s) just outside of the old city gate. Past the FANCY shopping stores of VERY high end names. Beside fancy folks with tiny dogs in their arms, a lady with two large white greyhounds, past kids with loaded backpacks, past folks looking like they are from the 1950s. This is a city waiting to be on the tourist map.
BUT, We are tired. “There is more to see but I’m done.” says I. This part of Genoa is a 30 minute walk back across the old town to our neighborhood by the train station and University of Genova. It is time to repack for the train leg to Cinque Terre. Paulo, of our next home-hotel, will meet us at the train stop in Riomaggiore.