29 March 2016

Milan to Liguria in a flash

Less than two hours by car or train from Milan, Liguria snuggles between the mountains and the sea. It is just the place to get away from it all and take in some of Italy’s finest art, landscapes and good food. The ideal place to start is in its capital, Genoa, with a walk through the historic city centre (a UNESCO heritage site), making the acquaintance of shops like the Romanengo family-run confectioners, set up in 1780, or Busellato, which has produced seals, metal plates and engravings since 1896. Genoa hosted the 1992 Expo, 500 years after the discovery of America, for which the architect Renzo Piano carried out the renovation of the ancient port, designing the “Bigo” panoramic lift, which gives a 360 degree view over the city.
The thought of spending a romantic evening by the sea is very appealing after a long day exploring Milan. In which case look no further than the charming coastal village of Boccadasse, with its multi-coloured houses, little beach, fishing boats, amazing ice cream shops and specialist fish restaurants.
There are countless reasons why to visit Liguria: sea lovers will be spoilt for choice, with sophisticated places like Portofino, atmospheric places like Manarola and fascinating places like the Riviera delle Palme (the Italian Riviera).
A trip along the Riviera is also a good way of sampling some of Italy’s most famous food. Pesto, the green sauce made by pounding Genoese DOP basil, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino together with a mortar and pestle, originated in Liguria. The restaurants in this small region have garnered an impressive 11 stars.