Sunday, August 07, 2016

Genova, Santa Margherita de Ligure & Portofino: Italian Beauty & Cuisine

Santa Margherita Ligure beach
While I have to admit Genova (Genoa) wasn't my favourite city - I was expecting a lot more beauty than the industrial look it has - it definitely had some incredible food.  Sean, Kristin and I stayed in a lovely Airbnb again - this time, just steps away from the city center. We managed to park in Marina Parking a few minutes' walk away for 10 euros a day, too! 

Genova's rooftop views reminded me of Barcelona's - but not quite as pretty. I suppose I was expecting Genova to look at bit more like Santa Margherita, a beautiful town which we visited on our second day. It did have some streets that reminded me of the Gracia area of Barcelona, but others were quite non-descript. The food, however, made up for all that! Here are some recommendations (which we got from our lovely Airbnb host):

  • La Forchetta Curiosa - This was my favourite meal! I had a delicious pasta, even after asking them to make it vegetarian for me (in a place that barely spoke a few words of English). I had tortelli stuffed with eggplant and ricotta in a lemon sauce, topped with diced eggplanted. It was absolutely amazing. I also had panera for dessert - which is an incredible coffee cream, and Sean and Kristin had gelato. A couple days later, we managed to find a gelateria featuring the panera flavour, as well - delectable!
  • Vico Pallo -  This was our first meal in Genova. Kristin and I had a walnut-cream based ravioli - wow and Sean had a type of huge fish with veggies.  I'd never even heard of walnut ravioli - and wow. We had it with a lovely white wine and tiramisu for dessert. I will say as a tiramisu-lover, none of the tiramisu we had on this trip blew me over - they were all lacking intensity - intensity of cream, or of espresso, marsala, rum or kahlua - something should be intense in a tiramisu, in my humble opinion ;)
  • La Farinata - The place in the centre was closed for the holidays, but seemed very interesting -foccacia on a chickpea flour base
  • Foccaccia - Now, I don't remember the name of this place, but it's on Via San Lorenzo, right across from the Nikon store (and beside our Airbnb). I had a small piece for breakfast one morning - and yum! While I always prefer pizza, they d0 foccaccia right!
  • Gelato! - It's hard to find bad gelato in Italy, I can tell you that. Mmm!

Santa Margherita di Ligure & Portofino

The walk to from Santa Margherita to Portofino was the best part of our trip. It takes about an hour (though guidebooks will tell you an hour and a half), and is truly breathtaking. Santa Margherita itself is a pretty little town and an excellent place to stop for gelato or freshly squeezed lemonade. We wandered the streets and then headed to Portofino, which is very, very touristy. You'll see the differences in the quality of the food, as well as the prices. Even my mediocre, no-cheese salad was 14 euros! I guess you're paying for the view though, as the harbour is beautiful. I love taking photos of boats so it was quite fun - and we decided to hop on a ferry on the way back to enjoy the cool breeze instead of venturing on another sweaty hour long hike. 

Romantic lovers' bench - maybe I'll be back one day ;)
Pup on the rocks, Santa Margherita path 

We also had some fun sitting at a seaside cafe taking photos of divers and people with their pets - thanks to 300mm lenses!

Check out the slideshow of romantic, beautiful Santa Margherita and the walk to Portofino below! Remember, if you are on mobile device that doesn't support Flash, click here for my Flickr Genova Set page, click the first photo and click play or flip through.

Here's to more mini-Singapore reunions in the near future (perhaps I'll have some visitors during my research stay in Holland in a couple months... ;)  Stay tuned!

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