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Genoa: The Land of Pesto

Genoa: The Land of Pesto

When I flew into Genoa, I was absolutely stunned at the landscape.  The airport was located right next to both mountains and the downtown business district, which made for an absolutely gorgeous landing.

Genoa’s Central Business District.

Upon arrival, I immediately headed to the center of town to eat lunch.  I decided to do a bit a research before travelling to Genoa, and I found that this city is not only the home to pesto, but they also have many fresh seafood dishes.  Of course, when I went to lunch, I got both of these types of dishes.  I went to a back alley kitchen called Trattoria dei Maria, where I was the only person who actually spoke English.  I ordered the pesto gnocchi, octopus stew, and of course, a half liter of red wine to wash it all down.  The pesto was creamy, unlike anything I have ever eaten before; it was almost like a pesto Alfredo sauce, which was topped on some of the freshest gnocchi I have ever eaten.  The seafood dish was different, but had many flavors, and it was like I had a Nonna (aka an Italian grandmother) cooking for me.

After lunch, I decided to do something different; seeing as though Genoa has an oriental art museum, one of just a few in Europe, I decided to go there.  The art collections mostly focused on Edo Japan, a time period in which there was a Renaissance in Japanese art and literature.  Because I have taken an East Asian History class recently, I was able to not only experience Japanese culture again, but also to experience Italy’s take on Japan, thus combining a pervious culture experience with a current cultural experience.

Once I finished up at the Oriental Art Museum, I looked at a map of Genoa to see if there were some interesting other attractions.  In the harbor of Genoa, I found that there was a rather large aquarium.  Although the ticket prices were steep at 24 euro a person, it was worth it to see examples of Mediterranean aquatic life.  Moreover, there were additional exhibits relating to both biodiversity in the Mediterranean, as well as the issues that face our environment today, specifically dealing with aquatic life.

The Genoa Aquarium.

After experiencing the food and the aquarium, I noticed many parallels between Genoa and Monterrey, California.  Like Monterrey, Genoa is on the coast, has a mountainous backdrop, a very large aquarium, and a beautiful harbor.  As such, I will be revisiting Genoa next semester, since I not only loved the food, but also the city as a whole.

Ciao e buona giornata-


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