Not until we vastly expanded our time in Italy from four days to over two weeks did we add Genoa to our itinerary. Italy is a special country with a flair that I have not encountered in any other. When anyone thinks of traveling or “seeing the world,” the most prevalent image will be Italy. Every Italian city is unique and has its own style, and Genoa is no exception.
As with most of Italy, driving in Genoa can be a rather stressful experience. Hoards of scooters will endlessly zip past you on either side, while you are contending with the congestion of cars. Streets are narrow and most are one way. Thank goodness for the GPS and an increasingly seasoned European driver. We found our hotel with little trouble, until we tried to park! Street parking is scarce and expensive. Luckily, we found a spot closeby.
Hotel NoLogo was our place of choice. The hotel is found on what at first might appear to be a shady street (what streets don’t look scary at night though?!). Shops sitting on cute cobbled streets, however, are just around the corner. The hotel is also only an easy ten minute walk from happening places and maybe fifteen minutes walking from Genoa’s iconic port. The hotel entrance has security cameras and made us feel safe. Taking the elevator up to the second floor brings you to the reception desk; this is also where you will come for breakfast. The receptionist was friendly, gave us a map and explained in detail the things to see and do in the morning (and at night). The elevator does not move past the reception level without key-card access. Once on our floor, we navigated the halls and came upon our room.
I was not expecting to enter into what might well have been an apartment.
The room has two beds, a very spacious area, large windows to see the streets below and a wall that could unfold two more beds.
The bathroom was a bit small but we had no intentions of living in the bathroom; so we did not mind. A special feature to the hotel is that each room is themed to a different style of music. We had reggae-inspired quarters. Besides the decor, music of that style can be played from various artists.
After setting down our things we ventured out to explore by night as Genoa was said to be well lit and gorgeous at night.
People were certainly not wrong. The center of the old section, as you make your way to the port, is very busy with people either hanging around in squares talking or just out for a stroll. We walked into the Cathedral on our way to the port.
All in all, we just wandered for a while before heading back to the hotel.
The next morning we were in the dining area as early as could be in order to get a quick start. The breakfast is served to your choosing (from the options provided) and consists of two drinks (coffee/tea/cappuccino/espresso + orange juice) with choice of two courses (Bread with cheese, ham, jam or nutella or yogurt with jam, cereals or fruit, or Bread ham and cheese, or 1 apple or 1 orange, or brioche with jam or nutella). Buffett style is not provided because it avoids wastefulness and uneaten food. After thoroughly enjoying our meal we left straight for the port.
Catching the buildings lit with the morning sun is something to behold, almost like Cinque Terre on a bigger scale. The houses are in painted in various colors and sprinkle the hillsides with adorable buildings.
After taking in the port by day we made way directly to the home of Christopher Columbus. Yes, the man that set sail in the Atlantic under the Spanish flag and came upon the Americas. Though not an impressive home to behold, it is a surreal feeling nonetheless.
If you want to visit the birthplace place of the of one of the most famed explorers in the world and gaze upon a grown up version of Cinque Terre then you must visit Genoa. Be sure to stay and soak up the music-themed rooms in Hotel NoLogo!
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**A special thank you to Hotel NoLogo for kindly offering me a complimentary room. As always, all opinions are my own.