Genoa, Italy - Ferry Cruise to Coastal Villages, Great Museums, Seafood
Along the coast between Nice, near the French border, and Genoa in Italy the train literally passes a stone's throw from the Mediterranean along the cobble, and coarse grey sand beaches. Many of the train stations are right on the beach.
This is very convenient for locals who want to spend the day at the beach, even for beach-lovers from as far away as Turin or Milan. There is a stark contrast between Nice, nearby in France, that showcases its coastal location, and Genoa, which is a port town, similar to Marseille.
It was a little disheartening to leave the beach front train journey and enter the massive part facilities at Genoa. The eye-sore of the American style ugly, raised metal freeway that carved through the vista of Genoa is another negative distraction.
However, once in the heart of Genoa, the ambience improves a lot. The town's charm and spirt takes over, but it is still very much a port. There is a small beach on the outskirts, but many more along the scenic coast. I don't understand why the surrpounds and environs of historic moments are not preserved.
Many of the old churches and buildings have been built out, with only the spires on view. In Marseille one of the historic forts has neon signs attached to it about a museum.
A huge ugly rusty walkway has been impailed into the side of the structure. It looks like a massive spear has been driven into the wall. It sort of destroys the image of an impenetrable fort. I don't understand why the vista and culture of the towns apparently gets such diminished respect. I guess its the old expression coming into play: "You can't stop progress!"
I stayed at the NH Marina hotel with a room overlooking the marina and harbor, and after a while this pleasant location flushed the initial negativity from my soul.
The hotel is right next to, right next to Roman Polanski's Pirate ship, "Galeone Neptune", a timber vessel built for Polanski's 1986 feature film entitled "Pirates". The hotel is also close to the Aquarium and the fascinating marina and inner harbor of Genoa.
All Original Photos - janderson99
Streetscapes and Coastal Views of Genoa
There is 'lift thing' attached to a sculpture resembling a ship gantry in the center of town. The old streets near the main road and freeway are well worth a visit. The hop-on hop-off bus provides a good introduction to the major attractions and layout of Genoa, including the Maritime Authority building, major museums galleries, the part area and snippets of the coastal landscape and tiny beach area.
Streetscapes and Coastal Views of Genoa - All Original Photos - janderson99Click thumbnail to view full-size
Art Galleries and Museums in Genoa
The Palazzo Ducale, Doge's Palace, is located in a large square (Piazza De Ferrari) with a prominent fountain. The Palace art was mind-blowing as usual with paintings on the walls and ceiling and various exhibitions. Nearby there were fabulous photography displays by Robert Capa (a famous US World War 2 reporter, who reported for Time magazine late in his career) and also by Lorenzo Capellini and Walter Vogel. You can easily forget the huge power of lighting and contrast in conventional black and white film photographs. The photos were stunning and the photographers really captured the 'moment', particularly with the photos of then local community rather than the war time images.
I also visited the Natural History Museum which has excellent displays including a skin of athe extinct Tasmanian Devil. the Maritime Museum is also worth visiting.
Museums and Galleries - All Original Photos - janderson99Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photography Exhibitions - Genoa
Ferry Cruise to Visit Coastal Villages of the Italian Riviera
The ferry cruise was delightful. The one I used was Golfoparadiso , which stops at the villages of Nervi, Recco, Camogli, S. Fruttuoso and S. Portofino, all charming villages, many with cute little beaches.
Fabulous scenery along the coast and well worth the effort. This is paradise for photographers.
This trip illustrates that you definitely need a yacht to appreciate the French and Italian Riviera - maybe next time. You can hop off any any one of the stops and spend time there and catch the ferry when it returns. The ferry stop for an hour at S. Portofino, which is the most picturescue, but also the most commercial, but still delightful. One oddity is that cruising catamarans were not popular in the Mediterranean, as I only saw one or two at the marinas in Genoa and Marseille. This was confirmed by the ferry crew. There were many sailing boats moored near the villages, in their tiny harbors or at sheltered locations along the coast.
Ferry Cruise along the Italian Riviera - All Original Photos - janderson99Click thumbnail to view full-size
© 2014 Dr. John Anderson