My impressions of Genoa in pictures
My most vivid memory of Genoa is the mopeds. They are everywhere: in front of your car, behind your car, around your car. They are like swarms of bees on steroids.
Our GPS had a hiccup and sent us straight into a traffic jam created by a broken-down bus. The temperature of the engine kept going up and we had no choice but to pop the bonnet open and wait for it to col down. Passers-by stopped to snap photos or ask about the car’s make and model and many did a double-take, like “What’s that yellow thing over there?”
I tried to communicate with a traffic warden in a mixture of Italian, English and hand gestures. We managed to convey our message: me, how long it would take for this mes to clear up, him, to wait. OK!
We drove round and round trying to find our hotel, located in the historic centre. The worst bit was getting caught in the hellish one-way system a few times. We missed our turning (OK, my fault) because it didn’t look so much like a street you could drive in but a space between buildings. And once we turned into that street, Via al Ponte Calvi, we had to negotiate our way round restaurant tables and pedestrian, who scowled at us. What were we supposed to do???
Most streets in the ancient quarter were narrow (and some, even narrower) and the buildings seemed to close in on us.
We had an excellent dinner at this trattoria called Le Maschere: melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto, delicious salami, a simple but wonderful dish of spaghetti in tomato sauce and vitello tonnato (veal in tuna sauce). Via al Ponte Calvi, 2
Via Lomellini was declared UNESCO’s World Heritage for its 16th and 17th century palazzi
The gold leaf and frescoed ceiling of the basilica of Santa Annunziata del Vastato made a huge impression on me, it was magnificent.
Some parts were painted white and I though it was unfinished. As it turns out, the church sustained heavy damage during WW II air raids and those bits had been restored.
Some buildings were very beautiful. However, most were in need of a lick of paint or were so grimy that sandblasting was the only option. There was graffiti everywhere. Such a pity.