In the old days Genoa used to be in the shadow of Venice in the battle for the most glamorous city-state at the Mediterranian coast. This is the reason I wanted to visit it so much. I like the cities which are ranked lower in the charts.
First to tell you about the harbour – after all, it is the largest harbour in Italy. If you take a look at Genoa, you will immediately found out why it is so – its coastline is literally drawn to be a harbour. I haven't seen such rows of quays and masts anywhere else in the world. There are old school wooden galleys and brigantines with exquisite woodcarvings, there are modern yachts with shiny antennas, as well as huge cruise ships with thousands of windows. On the coastline, there are colourful stands kept by Africans and high palms in full leaf. You can buy yourself a big paper packet of tasty shrimps from the shop across the street.
Go and see the aquarium of Genoa, or at least one of its floors. Enter the Nautical Museum or the submarine tied in front of it. If you get tired of marine stuff (if such a thing is possible at all), you can go further into one of the tiny paved streets and get to some square crammed with pizza restaurants, cathedrals and old-fashioned Vespa motorcycles. Not to miss the symbols of the city – Pesto Genovese, Christopher Columbus or vice versa.
The one thing which will always keep bringing me back to Genoa is to take a photo of the tramp I passed by one evening – narrow face, thin chin, curved sleazy mustache, sheer eyes and a wide-brimmed hat. I am almost certain that he is an offspring of some famous seaman from the old paintings.