Tales from the Western Med Day 7

May 15, 2017
We docked in Genoa, a city we had never visited which is easily accessed from the port; so we did not sign up for an excursion and instead walked around the city. Throughout this cruise we have visited places that were Genovese colonies (Corsica, Porto Venere) where the common theme was the heavy taxation by Genoa. Walking around the city we can see where all that tax money went! Building after building is ornately decorated in sculpture and frescos. The palaces on La Strade Nuove (the "new streets," now called Via Garibaldi), were built by the most influential Genovese families to show off their prestige and power during the city’s “Golden Age” (1557 to 1627). Genoa is sometimes called "the Vertical Town" as it was forced to build up the Sarzano hill as it extended from the sea. Many streets have steps on the sides because they are so steep, but climbing them is rewarded with spectacular views. Besides meats and cheeses, a specialty of Genoa is focaccia and many flavors can be found. Unfortunately, this was our port on Sunday (on a week long cruise there must be one!), so many places were closed. But we still had a marvelous time looking at the buildings and admiring the views.