Monday, 14 April 2014

Genoa, Italy and a bit of the Cinque Terra

Genoa and Vernazza

After we left Imperia we headed out on our journey towards Florence on the A10 (or as my husband called it the IA10 - for Italian Autobahn 10) with a quick stop in Genoa and then and once we left Genoa we only had time to stop at one of the five towns which make up the Cinque Terra (Five Lands).

As always there are magical things to discover in Italy and lots of delicious things to EAT!

Genoa is the capital of Liguria and the 6th largest city in Italy. It is a major economic center and because of it's location on the water the large port is a place that many cruises depart from and has many shipyards. It is also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. 

Since we were just there for one night we decided to walk along the water from our hotel. Just past the Genova Piazza Railway Station we happen to walk past a large open door to a beautiful garden.  

I can imagine this would be gorgeous on a sunny afternoon. A bit of calm in the middle of a busy city.

There were big pots of flowering lemons and oranges everywhere. The blossoms scenting the air with their fragrant blooms.

After a 10 minute break we travelled on towards the waters edge.

It's like the IKEA of food stores. My friend Brenda told me to go there and I am so glad we did. It is a beautiful store of fresh foods to take home or you can buy all the ingredients and they will prepare anything you want to take home or you can dine in. They have counters for pasta, pizza, meat, fish, desserts and of course an amazing coffee bar.

Let's walk through the store.

WOW! even the packages of thinly sliced meats look pretty.

Beautiful produce: purple and white asparagus are in season and look at the purple artichokes.

A gorgeous selection of salumi.

A huge case of pestos...well, this is where pesto is from.

Gorgeous cheeses.

Isn't that just the nicest looking bottle of yogurt!

Typical pasta from the region and boy do they have a selection.

 They have egg pastas, regular pastas, vegetable coloured and gluten free.

Nice big hunks of Parmessano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano.

Burrata and buffalo mozzarella.

A nice selection of wines. There are lots of prosecco and champagnes I would be happy to sample!


Torrone also known as nougat. 

Preserved fruits.

All kinds of different flours.

This is their selection of olive oils and there are some pretty great ones on the shelf.

A Master at work. I asked Niko what he eats at home, he said everything except pizza!

The pizza Margarita was great and they always top it with a nice fresh drizzle of olive oil at the end. How can this ever be bad? tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, a bit of basil and oil.

I also had some pretty nice olive oil with bread, this is a oil made from Taggiasca olives which are a typical variety of olive grown in Liguria. 

I had the tropfie pasta with pesto, potatoes and green beans. YUM.

This is farinata which is a typical specialty of Genoa. It is a chickpea pancake and was delicious!
Made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt.

While we were eating Erin and her husband Morris walked by. Erin and I were both in the same class in Imperia together. What are the chances I would meet someone I knew in Genoa??!! This is a beautiful selection of seafood Erin started and Morris finished. 

Wow! This is a McCafe (Yes, McDonald's!) I had to stop to take a picture when we were walking by. I couldn't believe this was a McDonalds.

The drive to the Cinque Terra has so many places you simply must stop the car to take a picture. I wish we could have stopped in every town.

 We stopped in Vernazza.

Such a pretty little town however, the best to get here is by train. We drove so we had to park far away, up on the hill and hike down into town. 

Lemons grown in Vernazza.

We stopped at Batti Batti Focacceria for a quick lunch while in Vernazza, the food was simple but excellent and we were on our way!

so many choices and such a pretty little shop.

Terraced gardens show that every little bit of land can be used to grown something.

Such a pretty drive along the winding streets with the other towns visible in the distance. 

On our way to Tuscany next.

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