Interview with a Local: Genova, Italy

 

Today we talk to Selene from Genova on the Ligurian coast in Italy about her experiences living in this beautiful part of the world! Selene also keeps a blog Viaggi Che Mangi which translates to `Eat That Trip’. Whilst her blog is written in Italian, you can click a button at the bottom of the page which will convert it to english for you so you won’t miss out no matter what your language! Selene blogs about good food, travel, arts and culture in Italy and beyond! See it here. 

Where are you living?

I am living in Genova (Genoa), Italy

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Tell us about yourself…

I graduated in Italian Literature and I have a Master’s Degree in Communication and Culture of Media. This summer I attended a Course in Digital Innovation for Cultural Heritage. I love reading, cinema, cooking and most of all, I love travelling. Travel is my way of life. Travel is the way I improve myself. Travelling isn’t just to take a plane and go abroad, travelling is watching a good movie and let your imagination be free, reading a good book and dreaming about a new world, tasting a new cuisine and finding out about a new culture.

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What is your favourite thing about Genova?

My favourite thing of Genova… that’s not easy! I love my city because it is crowded, multi-ethnic, messy with its tiny streets, incredibly different from neighborhood to neighborhood (In the suburbs you could find amazing villas on the sea and also awful buildings too close to each other), modern and ancient. I love my city because of the same reasons  that I sometimes I hate it. Genova isn’t simple and it isn’t for everyone. You need to be prepared for Genova. You need to be prepared for its busy city centre, for its multi-ethnic neighborhood and the spicy smells. You need to be prepared for the fishy smell in Sottoripa, the street close to the famous Aquarium, once a storage area, now the place where you can find fish markets, bars and souvenirs shops. You need to be prepared to see some of the most beautiful Italian Palaces in Via Garibaldi: nothing could be compared to this street, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I promise! You need to be prepared to get lost in Genova and you need to be prepared to love it!

What is your favourite thing to do with a day off?

With a day off, I love to go to any of the little towns on the Ligurian coast and enjoy the sea. It could be summer or winter, but those little cities are always breathtaking. Camogli is my favourite town: Portofino is nothing compared to Camogli! It is an ancient fishing town. All the buildings are colourful, so the men could be easily recognize their home once they came back home after the fishing days. From Camogli you can go with a boat to San Fruttuoso Abbey: a quiet Church attainable only by foot or by boat. I love to walk around Camogli eating an ice – cream – the best one is a cone with fiordilatte covered by chocolate: get it at the Auriga Bar –  or just sit down close to the sea, to enjoy a beer.

 

What is the one thing you think can’t be missed when you visit Genova?

Choosing what to do in Genova isn’t simple. Everyone could suggest the Aquarium, I love to recommend two things: The Royal Palace and the amazing view from Spianata Castelletto. Visiting the Palace you will understand the story of my city and its importance in history. Going to Spianata Castelletto you can see all of Genova: the city, the port, the coast and the sea. It is the best way to see Genova!

What do you recommend doing on a rainy day?

If you want to go shopping on a rainy day you can go to the Fiumara shopping mall (you can go there by train or bus). If you want to visit other museums I recommend Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Bianco in Via Garibaldi (they are art galleries where you can find paintings of Tintoretto, Van Dick, Rubens and one of my favourites: the Penitent Magdalene of Antonio Canova). If you want to drink a cocktail don’t forget to go to Les Rouges: great drinks in a historic building (you won’t forget the frescos here!). If you want to drink something else, because the first cocktail wasn’t enough, go to Gradisca Cafè. In one of the oldest square of the town, they will help you to find your favourite cocktail or beer ever!

Where is your go-to restaurant? 
I have a favourite restaurant in Genova: Cavour 21. Go there and you will be sure to eat well and eat a lot! You will have to wait for a while, they don’t accept reservations for less than 6 people, but I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed! Everything on the menu is amazing: but if you want to try something special and typical, choose the “trofie al pesto” (it’s a kind of pasta with the real pesto!), “pansoti al sugo di noci” (stuffed pasta with walnut sauce), fried anchovies and fried codfish. Don’t forget to taste Genoese salty pies as an appetizer!

Is there one thing not many people know about Genova?
In Genova was built the first real bank: Palazzo San Giorgio. You can find it in Via della Mercanzia (in front of the Aquarium).

Anything else you think we should know?

If you are in Genova, don’t miss the coast. I told you about Camogli, but there are other lovely places: Portovenere (Byron used to seat here by close to the sea, writing his poems being inspired by it), Arenzano (don’t forget to taste the Mezza Carolina: the aperitif cocktail of the town: vodka, orange soda, bitter Campari and an orange slice), Noli (the best if you want to go to the beach, swim in a crystal water and then have a walk in a little medieval centre) and Finalborgo (time seems to have been stopped here!)  I also recommend the boardwalk in Nervi (20 minutes by bus from the city centre), I love this place during the summer days, but also during a storm: you can take some amazing pics of the waves from here!

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If you would like to read more from www.viaggichemangi.com

If you enjoyed this you may enjoy some more Interviews with Locals Here are a few examples!

Paris   Berlin   Lisbon   Dubai    New York    San Diego    Washington    Jamaica   Tenerife

As always I’d love to hear what you have to say about Genova! Please feel free to comment below!

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