Genoa has a rich history dating from medieval times, and now has a population of over 800,000 people. We met up with about half of them at 5 p.m. the day we left Pisa. It was folly to think we could skitter through the streets of Genoa in an attempt to feel we’d seen it. The other choice had been to circumnavigate it entirely by using the outlying highway, as we headed toward our final destination for the day; instead we became embroiled in its rush hour. Originally called Genua, it was a city of the ancient Ligurians, deriving its name from either the Latin word for “knee” because of its geographical position on the coast, or from a Celtic word meaning “mouth” which also makes sense, due to its important seaport. The city forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of northwest Italy, and is one of the country’s major economic centers. Of course, it’s also famous for being the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Given its beautiful churches, buildings, palaces, parks (there are more than 82,000 square meters of them in the city center), and majestic city walls—which are more in number and longer than any other city in Italy—it is definitely a place to which I’d return.
We were on our way to Savona, however, the city where Columbus spent much of his youth. After securing the last available room at the Miro Motel, we had time to take a few photos of the sea from our patio before enjoying supper in the dining room. The experience was short on service but long on food options, and we were glad we hadn’t explored the oceanfront neighborhood for a different restaurant when we only had to go to the elevator and back to our room afterwards to rest for the following day’s events. We were spossato!
The next morning after the complementary breakfast buffet, we made a brief stop near the Rocca di San Giorgio on the Promontorio del Priamar to see the Priamar Fortress, built by the Genoese in 1542 after their conquest of Savona. But given our recent experience at Il Palazzo dei Vicari, we did not stay long. Monaco was beckoning …
Arriving at the principality which Grace Kelly called home upon her marriage to Prince Rainier, we once again hit traffic but immediately found a convenient parking garage. Close to the water we settled down at an open air restaurant for a sandwich. Carson behaved, safely ensconced in his stroller, but Frampton got a little wild, learning that we had just missed the world famous Monaco Grand Prix. He was determined to catch a thrill, no matter what.
Savona (Miro Motel (three star) Via Nizza, 62-17100 Savona Tel: 019.86.16.16 firstname.lastname@example.org). Le Bambi Terrasse, Quai Albert Ier 98000 Monaco.