There is no need to tell that a dream of the seaside is born swiftly, and remains for long in the soul. On weekends metropolitan areas get empty, people leave for the seaside, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s in the Carribeans or not, even if the water is not crystal clear, and the sand not the finest. Getting great food and drinks, and your feet wet is already the best! What more than Liguria can a Milenese wish for? It’s close, convenient and never disappointing.
Where to Eat
The first step in our journey can only be about the food. Book a table now, because Trattoria Arvigo (Genoa Bolzaneto) is quite in demand! Here you will discover the true lasagna al pesto: with homemade pasta and fresh pesto made every day. Period. Simply divine. It’s the dish that is familiar yet unexpected, the dish of which you can never get enough, even after ordering extra. They also offer appetizers (sausage, focaccia, fish and meat), first courses (tagliatelle with lobster sauce, trout pesto and green beans) and second courses (mixed grilled catch of the day, crudité of sea, mussels and clams, grilled fish, unmistakable fritto misto, various meat options and several other great combinations). If you come in the autumn you will find truffles, raw beef and mushroom tagliatelle… to cut a long story short, when you are here, it’s always a gourmet success!
What to do
Satisfied by the first stop, who wouldn’t want to let themselves be lulled by the waves and pebbles of the Genoa beach? The meeting point is at Boccadasse quarter for a relaxing after-lunch time. If you want to burn off some calories, then the must-do is a nice walk to the park of Genova Nervi.
Squirrels will come straight into your hands to be fed and will be discrete witnesses of you napping und the sun. Plants in the park are many: palm trees, olives, cedars and the famous pepper plant. For those up for taking a walk, the advice is the trail of Anita Garibaldi. Overlooking the sea, easily accessible with a stroller and children, the trail is flat, easy and simply magnificent. Many benches are thoughtfully placed along the way for you to rest and admire the panorama; glimpses o the sun, the sea and light splashes of waves make the walk unique. Some small bars are waiting for you to restore your energy with a focaccia or water… a perfect place to be!
Where to sleep
To stay for the night from here the beautiful Romantik Hotel Villa Pagoda is just a short distance away. Nested in the greenery, it seems to transport you in time. The rooms are spacious and well furnished. Alternatively, if you go back to central Genoa, we advise Grand Hotel Savoia: strategically located, with luxurious furnishing and spacious rooms. A jacuzzi on the seventh floor makes it all more Flawless. For those who appreciate atmospheres of the old days, instead, Palazzo Grillo, built in 1545 by Domenico Grillo, is a symbol of the Genoese aristocracy of the fifteenth century and surely a great choice.
If you wish to relocate to the seaside, we recommend Camogli. The Cenobio dei Dogi hotel is the ideal location to relax and lose yourself in the sound of the waves. The restaurant overlooking the sea is a rare find (a must try even in winter!). The hotel’s kitchen is very well looked after, refined and appetizing. If you don’t feel like going out, give room service a try.
If you wish, you could also take a stroll and have the best cheese focaccia “At Revello“. Take a sneak peak into takeout boxes of people on their way out, it’s ecstatic! Fresh pasta “at Fiorella” is an inevitable indulgence with the right amount of pasta and, of course, pesto, to tackle the coming week in Milan.
For trekking lovers, it is worth taking a trip to San Fruttuoso and visiting the splendid Abbey located in Capodimonte. A real gem donated to FAI by Frank and Orietta Pogson Doria Pamphilj. You can reach this lovely spot by land, choosing two of the available trails (passing through Ruta and the Portofino peak or San Rocco and San Nicolò di Capodimonte) which take respectively 2 and 3 hours; alternatively, to reach it by sea, you will have to depart from the port of Camogli. For more information of the itineraries, please visit this site.
The following day, after an abundant breakfast at the hotel, comes sunbathing. We advise the Recco town. Marina restaurant and beach (‘I bagni Marina ristorante’) are perfect for eating well while sinking your feet into the sand (and seeing your kids having fun around in total safety). There is nothing that is not perfect: muscles alla marinara (mussels, we guess!), homemade mixed appetizers, pesto sauce, lobster sauce, clam spaghetti, flatfish Ligurian style. Nothing being out of place and endless patience with kids make for a great and relaxing location.
And after that, deck chairs on the beach and a well-earned nap. At this point, we need a stroll on the pier and are all ready for some focaccia time. Which in Recco means Focacceria Manuelina. Never tried? There is also one in Milan! With ingredients that are few and healthy their foccaccia is a true work of art. A place worth recommending to best friends only. Note also focacceria in piazzetta (also in Recco). Here you won’t resist taking one with cheese, even writing this is mouthwatering.
Another heavenly place, very close to Genoa, shortly before Camogli, are Bagni Sillo a Sori, a real gem that is easily reached even on a daytrip from Milan. Distant from crowded beaches of Liguria, this little paradise will make you enter another universe, forgetting every single problem of yours. Beautiful water with sea-front stairs, cabins, deckchairs perched on the rocks and a small restaurant that offers traditional dishes, at sunset turning into an ideal aperitivo spot. Here lovers of the seaside won’t think of wishing for more.
What’s next? Ah yes, welcome back to Milan!