We had our last "Best Breakfast in Europe" at Hotel Doria and said goodbye to the sweet staff there--especially to beautiful Stefania who was so friendly and helpful. Our intention was to go back to the lavanderia (laundromat) in Sarzana but somehow we got a little over confident with the directions and found ourselves back on the autostrada. At least we were going towards Genoa!
Driving here, in Genoa, is like Rome--totally insane. The streets have no resemblance to a grid; none seem straight and are full of Italian, wild-driving traffic. But we had great directions and we found the city Hotel with no problems.
After settling in we took a walk. This is a strange transition from Lerici. We are in a real city--with noise and grime and unsavory looking characters--but there are fabulous shops and interesting streets everywhere. We walked a lot and found San Vincenzo street I remembered having read about a foccacia place there, on Mario Batali's site. There were so many--we just chose badly--we had a lousy lunch at a little counter. I had a spinach quiche/fritatta and Ken had a panino with salami. Ken is determined to return there today to find the right place, now that I've checked my notes, we will.
We walked down to the Old Port where it is like a carnival atmosphere. They are having some kind of "expo" of foods of third world countries. You could try Tunisian, Mexican, etc--nothing looked wonderful to me.
Here are a couple of shots from the Port:
and here's Ken watching the fish--
Wandering home we came to via Garibaldi with its incredible palazzi. We walked inside this one to find this stunning courtyard:
On our way back to the hotel we discovered that one of the restaurants on our "list", from the recent NYT article, was right around the corner. So we went to Da Maria for dinner. This is a very simple trattoria with a hand written, copied menu. We had a good laugh because even with my great restaurant-Italian skills we had a hard time reading the menu--in English, your eye can just fill in the blanks of unreadable script but this handwriting was do different and in a foreign language--we were lost. The waitress was helpful--she pretty much, read the menu to us. Allora--finally we ordered. I had ravioli in brodo which were so wonderful and tasty. I don't actually think I've ever eaten meat ravioli before so I can't compare but these were fantastic, to me. Ken had green tagliolini with mushroom sauce which we both thought was just OK. We had ordered Cima di vitello which we really didn't understand but she seemed to think we would like it. It was cold stuffed veal. I am not really sure what was in the filling--peas, eggs, something with a lot of flavor, but it was delicious and it came with olive oil fried potatoes. Then we shared a nice fresh salad and I had macedonia (fruit salad) for dessert. I would never think I would LOVE chunks of apples and cantaloupe but they put course sugar on top and give you a lemon wedge to squeeze over. It was great!
Full again, we took a nice walk, kind of in a circle around this little area. We passed by a concert hall and could hear the opera inside. Looking into the lobby, there were big
candles burning, going up the stairs--so pretty.
This morning we are excited because our friends David and Cecelia re coming to meet us. More fun!