Greetings, Friends! It has been a while since we last posted because, unfortunately, the wifi in our latest hotels did not support the tablet enough to post anything! People with computers had no issue, but the tablets were another story- something to remember when you set out to travel abroad. However, we are home now, back to the best high speed, and ready to recall the rest of our wonderful adventure with the 2015 Global Scavenger Hunt!
Our second day in Milan, Italy found us at Pecks market, being blown away by the selection of meats, breads, olives, wines (a whole floor that looked like a wine cellar), and cheeses (more than 90 types of cheese), as well as an impressive pastry and candy section, which included chocolate shoes pretty enough to wear, though much better to eat! It is absolutely one of the most incredible grocery markets that we have ever experienced.
We bought some of the veiniest blue cheese and biggest black olives that we have ever seen, as well as some freshly made bread and wonderful crackers for our train ride to Genova. We then went to Pasticceria Marchesi for some wonderful pastries, and then headed to the train and the short ride to Genova!
We absolutely fell in love with Genova. There are more buildings there that date to medieval times than anywhere else in Europe, and they are spectacular! Mom got us a €250 ($267) hotel room for €150 ($160) at the Grand Savoia near the train station, so after we dropped our stuff off there we wondered around and explored. Genova is an old port city in the northwest portion of Italy, at the top of the boot. Since we only had one day to enjoy, we stuck to the old town section.
The buildings themselves are worth a trip to this amazing place! Everywhere you look there is something fantastic to see and you will enjoy modern, Renaissance and Baroque architecture here. There are intriguing staircases placed in the narrow passageways between many of the buildings, some steep, some shallow, uphill or down, but all very enticing and we would have loved to see where each one led.
Genova also has many wonderful cafes, museums and galleries, as well as boat rides and an aquarium, allowing visitors many choices of activities. You will also find a variety of street performers (including guitarists, singers, dancers, and a very energetic drummer was playing on cans in a square when we were there) which lends a perfectly European air to the atmosphere. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that many of the street vendors are very persistent and you just have to refuse adamantly, if you are not interested.
That evening, we sat down to an al fresco dinner at a cute little restaurant near the square. Mom had the Millefoglie di baccala and I had the Trofie o gnocchi o testaroli, and both were absolutely wonderful dishes. The Millefoglie, was a potato dish with fish and veggies mixed in, served with a wonderfully flaky bread and a spicy pepper pesto sauce. The gnocchi was a grain shaped pasta made of potatoes, with pesto on it- yum, yum! It was green, light and delicious; I will dream about eating this meal again. Of course, wine accompanied our beautiful meal and we chose a Dolcetto red.
We noticed when we were eating how many very young people were venturing down our street; when we finished dinner we followed the herd down the street a little ways, and were quite astounded. The drinking age is 16 there, and yet we saw children as young as 13 or 14 out on the street, drinking and smoking en masse; it was really shocking to see so many very young people indulging in this way.
We got up early the next morning to finish out our scavenges after a wonderful, but slow breakfast; people are not in any hurry on Sunday mornings in Genoa! After checking out of our lovely hotel at 2 pm, we caught the train to Monaco!
Check out some of the awesome architecture of Genova!
The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is a stunning mixture of architectures, with striped marbles in the outside archways and a beautiful fourteenth century Byzantine fresco inside.
Another interesting place to visit is the birth place of Christopher Columbus there in the historic city center:
The Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello has frescos telling the story of David and is also well worth seeing:
Stay tuned for our next adventure!