It’s time to leave the Baltics for a while as I again find myself overwhelmed with a flow of experiences that leaves me with the enviable task of choosing from among a series of adventures and locations, all which merit far more than one of my short posts to do them justice.
I’m scribbling this post down as I look out on a lovely Italian garden in Genoa, where I’ve had a full schedule of touring the Italian Riviera, eating gelato and taking long walks along the sea. While Italy has always been one of my favorite countries to visit, this trip is a particular treat as I’m getting a personal tour from friend and great travel blogger Giulia (check out her own post on the area at Travel Reportage). When you get to be shown a country by someone paid to take photos and write about travel, you know something in your life is going right.
The base for this trip is Genoa, a large, but nonetheless beautiful, port city that has been a center of commerce since ancient times and remains the largest seaport in Italy today. Perhaps the most striking feature of the city is its location on the side of a steep hill that descends sharply into the sea. The climb in elevation is so dramatic that Genoa has public transportation that travels vertically.
Despite the appeal of Genoa as a city, beautiful spring weather calls for time spent by the sea and a short 30 minute ride from the city is some of the most beautiful seashore the world has to offer. Perhaps the best known town in this area is Portofino, frequent host to world celebrities and home to some of Italy’s wealthiest individuals. Multi-colored buildings, sailboats, seaside palaces and a rugged shoreline made a day spent walking through the area a little like walking through the pages of a fairy tale (or a James Bond film).
Portofino was only the most famous among a number of beautiful towns. The day started in Santa Margherita and ended in Camogli, where they were busy
preparing for a festival and a huge Lego man had been constructed on the beach (the details are still a mystery to me).
The rest of my time here in Italy has been equally idyllic. I spent yesterday tasting wine at a castle in Gavi. With a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and the excitement of a pesto making competition thrown in, it was another memory that could easily be mistaken for a dream if I didn’t have photos as a record of what became even more dream like after sampling a couple dozen of the area’s finest wines.
Italy is a very visited country, but as always it reminds me of just how much not only travel, but life has to offer. Outside of the main tourist destination like Florence and Rome there are still plenty of out of the way places waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is go look…