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Genova (la Superba) is the second largest city that I’ve visited in Italy. Although it’s a common practice in Europe, it was nice to be able to take the train into Genova and walk around, explore the city, and look at all the details in the architecture . . . and there are many. If it were possible that walls could talk, I would spend whole afternoons with rapt attention.

    

Genova is credited as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and the house where he is said to have been born is right outside the walls of the old city, the Porta Soprana. Passing through we made our way down to the seaside, where the Acquario di Genova as well as all the fancy sailboats are located.

(Of course!) All this walking works up an appetite. We had lunch outside a café and enjoyed the people watching before heading off to sightsee some more and have a caffè macchiato.

In front of the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the present structure completed during the 15th century, Luisa pointed out a detail that I hadn’t noticed: the architect had carved a likeness of his dog into one of the columns. Apparently he loved his dog enough to immortalize him in marble. I can empathize.

     

Man’s best friend

By far, I took the most pictures of the indoor market. Who knew that there were so many types of tomatoes?! For better or worse, going grocery shopping has always been an excursion. Roommates of houses past have declined offers to carpool to the market because I take so long. I can’t help it. I like to take my time looking, touching, smelling . . . it’s a sensory experience and I daydream of new dishes to create with my edible surroundings. But I digress. Perhaps the old adage, “you eat with your eyes,” rings true.

         

Sometimes I joke about “eating my way through Europe.” As of this moment, I’m not kidding anymore. I had some delicious pizza in Milan, focaccia in Santa Margherita Ligure, and the most amazing artisanal gelato to be found — ANYWHERE — made by Lucy, my friend Luisa’s mom. (Insert a belly-full sigh here.)

Luisa and I are traipsing about her town of Santa Margherita Ligure and buzzing around the surrounding areas. I say buzzing because it’s the closest I can get to the sound of her super-cute moto. We are totally smart badasses in our helmets. Mom, we are always wearing our helmets.

Mom, we always wear our helmets!   S. Margherita de Ligure   

One of the more notable towns next door is Portofino. Immortalized in Petrarchan script and visited by the stars, Portofino is a small harbor on sparkling emerald-blue waters. The restaurants along the waterfront are beautiful and inviting, but be warned that even a small lunch and only water to drink will still pack a punch on your wallet. We decided to walk up to the view at the chiesa di San Giorgio, overlooking the sea. Perhaps you can make out the horizon better than I could?

      

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