Europe 2012: Day 53, Genova


View of Genova from the top of Palazzo Bianco (Italy).

Sunday, 7/29/2012

Woke at 9am.   It is humid and cloudy.

My legs itch so I put some more anti-itch lotion on the bites but it does not seem to be working.

My DH and I take our time getting up and getting out to spend our one and only full day in Genova.  We decide to take advantage of the cloudy weather to do another walking tour outlined on our map from the hotel – the Renaissance Tour.   We quickly lose our way but it does not matter, we were down many of these streets yesterday.   By now, we have a good grasp of the layout of the city.   The sun comes out and if starts to get hot.   My mosquito bites seem to get worst in the heat.  Here are a couple of pictures I took during our walk:

Italian laundry looks a lot like French laundry!

A simple church. (Genova, Italy

Based on my research, the top attraction in Genova is the aquarium down by the harbor.   I thought that would be a good place to spend what was sure to be a hot day.   We get to the aquarium and the line at the ticket office is long.  I mean really long – hundreds of people (with children) form a line in the shade of the elevated freeway.   I decide “No”, we will not spend 38 Euro to wait for an hour or more in the hot sun.  There has got to be a better way to spend our day.

At the harbor — people heading for the shade under the freeway. (Genova, Italy)

Another building at the harbor with a wonderful paint job! (Genova, Italy)

The Genova Harbor — the humidity hangs like a cloud! (Italy)

Interesting art work at the Genova Harbor (Italy)

My DH and I stop to sit in the shade of a large tree near a children’s playground next to the harbor.   There are boats docked and the humidity hangs like a cloud in the hills.   I put more lotion on my bites.  Based on my research, there are also a number of museums in the area.  Even though Sergio said they were not very good, looking at paintings in an air-conditioned room sounded pretty good to us.

It is high noon and we look at the map.   Sergio recommended a restaurant that appears to be close by.   We go off to find it.  In a few minutes we were at the door of Antica Osteria di Vico Palla Cucina, a very Italian looking place that is hidden in an alley like a cave.   We walk in and are seated at a table by the window – nice!  This place looks like a wine cellar with vaulted ceilings and brick stonework.   Best we could tell, we are the only non-Italians in the place.   The menu confirms this fact.  However, there are only a few items we think we understand so we ask the waitress to explain the menu to us.   Between her broken English and our broken Italian, we order – a Pesto Pasta for my DH (can you tell the pesto is a regional specialty) and Minestrone Soup for me.  Both dishes we excellent, especially the pasta – nice and tender just the way pasta should be.  We share the dishes between us.

Menu at Osteria Vico Palla Cucina — it is all in Italian. Help us!

My DH ready for lunch! The wine is for me.

My soup didn’t photograph well so here is my coffee instead. Both were good!

After a leisurely lunch, we head off to the museums.   For one ticket, we get to see three museums:

Palazzo Rosso – This palazzo is made from red brick, thus that name “rosso”.  It contains beautiful paintings and extra cost audio-guide (one for all three palazzos) was excellent!  You can’t take pictures of the painting but then, there wasn’t much else to see.

Palazzo Rosso from the street, (Genova, Italy)

Palazzo Bianco – This palazzo is made from white stone, thus the name “bianco”.  It contains more beautiful paintings, frescos, and a real nice garden!

View of the garden at Palazzo Bianco.   Palazzo Bianco is right across the street from Palazzo Rosso. (Genova, Italy)

The fountain in the garden of Palazzo Bianco. (Genova, Italy)

Interior of Palazzo Bianco. (Genova, Italy)

One of the many painted ceilings in Palazzo Bianco. (Genova, Italy)

Palazzo Doria-Tursi —  Located behind the Palazzo Bianco, this museum contains fabric and pottery.

Entry to the Palazzo Doria-Tursi through Palazzo Bianco. (Genova, Italy)

In these museums, some of the rooms have air-conditioning, some do not.   But overall, viewing these museums was a good way to spend a hot afternoon.  As usually, I can’t take a lot of pictures but you can go to their websites for more information.    Remember, these Palazzos used to be the homes of wealthy merchants who liked to show off their wealth so all the rooms are big. but the staircases are bigger!

On our way back to the hotel to rest, we stop at a couple of churches along the way.  Italy has great churches!

St. Lawrence Cathedral in Genova,Italy.

St. Lawrence Cathedral, interior arches and dome. (Genova, Italy)

Church of Saint Andrew in Genova, Italy.

Interior of the Church of Saint Andrew. (Genova, Italy)

Altar of the Church of Saint Andrew. (Genova, Italy)

Once back in the hotel room, we each take turns taking an electronic device to the breakfast room.   As my DH checks emails in the breakfast room, I watch a bit of the Olympics on BBC.   My DH returns to the room at 9pm.   The heat of the day has killed our appetites and we decide to stay in for the night.   I eat an apple.  My DH eats his peaches.

Around 10pm, I tried to fall to sleep as my DH reads.   But the mosquito bites on my legs are driving me crazy!    I wash them and put more cream on them and fight the urge to scratch.   Around midnight, I figure reading might take my mind off them.   I read until 2pm.   By this time, I am tired enough to fall asleep in order to wake up at 7am and pack for our 9am train to Rome.

Quote of the day:  “This is really an interesting city — did you know that?”  — My DH to Anna.

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