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Liguria

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Corso Italia, Genova GE, Italy
If you like to eat straight from the sea, the small restaurants along the Corso Italia are perfect spots for a cold glass of white wine and a bowl of piping hot fish soup from the waters directly off your seaside perch. Normally including deep red...
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Via S. Siro, 28/r, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Set at the end of the Street of the Palaces, the tiny Bozzi Antica Libreria (founded in 1810 and still going strong!) is a lovely homage to maritime bookstores of the past - warm woods and cigar smoke mingling with that smell of old paper. Step...
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Via Luccoli, 58, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
While Enrico himself did not open his shop until 1998, he works in a building, and continues a tradition, that dates back centuries. You can purchase one of his hand-tailored shirts 'off the rack', or splurge a bit and have him make one exactly to...
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Piazza di Soziglia, 74 r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Inspired by the beautiful French chocolate salons, Romanengo Pietro fu Stefano fashioned their old-town shop just as the French - with gorgeous old woods, glass display cases, and gold-gilded platters. Pop into this store, unchanged since its...
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Vico Inferiore del Ferro, 5, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Genoa history recounts Torrefazione Fratelli Boasi as the only shop that was allowed to sell coffee during the steep rationing that occurred during the Second World War (can you even imagine the lines that must have wound down this tiny alley??) -...
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Via Galata, 31R, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
Since 1890, Pasticceria Tagliafico has been making delicious, traditional Genovese pastries and cakes (including the candied-fruit studded Pandolce). Located across the street from the main Mercato Orientale, this lovely large pastry shop offers...
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Piazza De Ferrari Raffaele, 34/36r, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
With a massive apertivo buffet, stop by Storico for the cheapest dinner/drinks combo in town (and delicious, to boot!). For 7 euros, get a cocktail or a glass of wine, and fill your plate as many times as you like from the buffet of warm snacks—...
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Via Flavia, 4, 16147 Genova GE, Italy
Located 15 minutes outside of downtown Genoa, Boccadasse/Santa Chiara is a gorgeous spot to sit by the sea and enjoy a sunset apertivo of a glass of Ligurian white wine (many delicious varieties are made in Cinque Terre—make sure you ask your...
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Piazza Lavagna, 19, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Glo Glo Bistro is a true hidden gem in Genoa - tucked way back into a slightly sketchy piazza off of the historic Vico Lavagna. Although it looks somewhat run-down from the outside, the inside is beautifully renovated, and they have an extensive...
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Via Cappuccini, 16039 Sestri Levante GE, Italy
If you are looking for a place to escape from it all, pack your overnight bag and follow the Capuchin monks to the Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante. With their long brown robes, you can easily spot the monks from this 17th century monastery...
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16032 Camogli GE, Italy
Just an easy 30-minute train ride from the Genova Brignole train station lies the lovely fishing village of Camogli. As in many places in Italy (Juliet's house in Verona, bridges across the Arno), Camogli offers a beautiful place to leave a...
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16032 San Fruttuoso GE, Italy
The tiny Abbey of San Fruttuoso is nestled in a cove between Camogli and Portofino, and accessible solely by foot or boat. If you want to hike it, find the trail at the far end of Camogli, and be ready for a steep, but gorgeous, two hour hike up...
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16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Getting to Portofino from Genoa is quite easy. Take the train from Genoa's Brignole Station to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then catch the 82 bus to Portofino (a 12-minute trip around the bay). While I'm not a huge bus person, this is one of the...
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Via Garibaldi, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
This lovely boutique, placed on the ground floor of one of the historic Palazzo di Strada Nuova, sells traditional artisan Genovese food products alongside gorgeous handmade pottery, textiles, and papers. Enjoy the knitted scarves, grab a jar of...
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Salita Pollaiuoli, 37, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Set down a small alley just a few meters from Piazza San Lorenzo, the art gallery Il Vicolo is a lovely spot to browse, and purchase, contemporary art in the ancient city. One of the oldest galleries in town, Il Vicolo routinely changes their...
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Piazza merli 5, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Half boutique, half workshop, the women who run L'aria del mare are truly artists themselves. Working to keep the handmade traditions of woodblock fabric stamping and hand-thrown ceramics alive, they sell gorgeous examples of both arts. Of special...
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Via dei Macelli di Soziglia, 69, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Probably originating in Persia, Pandolce has been a Genovese staple for centuries - an homage to the incredible amount of global trading that has occurred in this ancient port city. Enjoy one of these delicious fruited cakes from Le Gramole during...
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Via XX Settembre, Genova GE, Italy
While most of the shops located under the arcades of Via XX Settembre are chains (like Zara, H&M, etc), you can find a few local boutique gems as well - and the covered area makes a perfect afternoon for shopping out of the rain! (You can also...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
The five villages that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Ligurian coast are some of the most picturesque in the world -- and totally worth the hike! Grab your shoes and take a water bottle in the heat of the summer -- and make sure to visit the...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
If you think you've reached the end of Monterosso Al Mare after passing the last boardwalk gelateria, you're sorely mistaken. Just keep going --- and find this massive Atlas carved into the rock outcropping at the end of the beach! If you are...
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Piazza Rio Finale, 8, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was walking Cinque Terre. I would travel back to Italy just to do this walk again. My favorite part was the Via dell'Amore, or Walk of Love that went from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a picture of one...
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Via Renato Birolli, 103, 19017 Manarola, Riomaggiore SP, Italy
While Vernazza and Monteroso were nearly devastated by the floods and mudslides of October 2011, Manarola luckily fared much better. Only now nearly back to normal, the villages welcome visitors to enjoy the bounty of her waters --- especially...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Made from chickpea (ceci) flour, olive oil, water, and salt, this delicious 'flat bread' is a specialty of the entire Ligurian coast. Find these warm breads topped with rosemary, garlic, and/or other more traditional pizza toppings. Enjoy straight...
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Parco nazionale delle Cinque Terre, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy
Climbing the Sentiero Azzurro (or the Blue Path, given the gorgeous ocean views you get from almost every bend) you traipse by countless terraced vineyards producing the Vermentino and Sciacchetrà that this region is so famous for. And keep your...
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Piazza di Pellicceria, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Tucked deep in the heart of the ancient city, this is an easy Palazzo to miss—but don't miss it. My favorite of the Genovese museums, five floors of this massive palace are dedicated to the history and splendor of Genoa—the first three being the...
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Piazzale Giuseppe Mazzini, 4, 16122 Genova GE, Italy
Completely different from any other museum in Genova, the Museo D'Arte Orientale showcases pieces from the private collection of Edward Chiossone - a Genovese engraver and portrait artist employed by the Japanese government in the late 1800's....
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Salita Pollaiuoli, 43/R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Caffe degli Specchi has a wonderfully warm feeling inside, so it's easy to feel comfortable sliding up to the bar and standing with the locals while you drink your morning cappuccino. Or, take your time enjoying your drink on the wooden porch out...
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Piazza Corvetto, 3 r, 16122 Genova GE, Italy
Founded in 1867, Cafe Mangini is a gorgeous homage to the literary and artistic 'salons' of Genoa's past: stucco ceilings, art-nouveau mirrors, and a checkerboard floor that has lasted for nearly 150 years. Located at the end of the beautiful...
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Vico Falamonica, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
For some reason, cappuccino just tastes better on those cool, wet, drizzly mornings. Fortunately, we have quite a lot of those mornings here in Genoa, especially in the winter and early spring. At A Vedova Romanengo, find a corner table tucked...
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Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 30, 16038 Santa Margherita Ligure GE, Italy
While it may go without mentioning, the fish along the Ligurian coast is some of the freshest in the world (as most restaurants source from small local fishermen, they get their supplies within minutes of the catch). Most of the fish here is of...
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Via di Fossatello, 35r, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Since 1880, Amaretti di Voltaggio has been serving coffee, pastries, and liquor in this gorgeous shop a few blocks from Porto Antico. The shop/bar opens at 8am, so come early for a table outside (the people watching along this street is superb),...
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Via Garibaldi, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Pop by the Strada Nuova in the early morning for a cappuccino in the sunshine between the beautiful palaces. With a few coffee bars to choose from, you can always find a small table outside to enjoy the passersby as they head to open their shops...
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Vico Tana, 4, 16126 Genova GE, Italy
This tiny hidden Osteria is super popular with the university faculty at the bordering University Degli Studi di Genova. With a handwritten menu, your choices are somewhat limited, but the food quality is super high—I love their take on minestone...
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Via di Canneto Il Curto, 54-56r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Turn down the little Via di Canneto, and you can't miss this focacceria on your left. The line will literally always be out the door, especially in the morning hours. But the wait is worth every minute (and the amazingly kind women working inside...
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Via David Chiossone, 5/r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Just steps from the historic Doria Church of San Matteo (with its gorgeous glass mosaic door embellishment), La Buca di San Matteo serves a delicious prix-fix lunch in their beautifully classic sunken dining room for only 20 euro (if pesto is on...
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Vico Superiore del Ferro, 14, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Hidden down the Vico Superiore del Ferro, this tiny shop is a secret gem. While most gelaterias keep their colorful products out in plain view, luring children in from the street with their mounds of chocolate and mango and black cherry, Gelateria...
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Via di Porta Soprana, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Just remember that these towers have been standing since 1163. They probably won't fall today! But even if you have a fear of heights, do pay the 2 euro to walk up the beautiful interior circular staircases in these ancient towers of the...
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Millo Porto Antico, Calata Cattaneo, 15, 16126 Genova GE, Italy
If you have had pasta al pesto genovese (the delicious combination of fresh or dried pasta, potatoes, green beans, and pesto sauce) anywhere other than in Liguria, I challenge you to come to Il Marin for chef Enrico Panero's play on the Italian...
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Piazza della Maddalena, 11, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Chiesa di Maddalena sits in the piazza that bears her name, and directly off the Via Maddalena - a beautiful street that is filled with small shops and art galleries and specialty food stores. But the Via Maddalena also is home now, and...
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Vico della Casana, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
While he used to have a 'restaurant' license (you can still see the marble-topped tables in the front of his open shop), unfortunately Tripperia la Casana is now solely a take-away shop. Come early in the morning, and you can catch a whiff of the...