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Genoa

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About Genoa

Genoa (Genova) rises above the sea like a great theatre. Its tiers are elegant palazzi and its pit is a noisy, strong-smelling port, the most important in Italy. La Superba, as the city was known in its heyday, rose to prominence between the 11th and 15th centuries, growing rich on trade with the East, and economic and cultural control of the Liguria region and the island of Corsica.

Immediately behind the docks, the lower city begins. Here streets are ancient and narrow with twisting alleys - called carrugi - nowadays lined with exotic shops. The afternoon passeggiata in Genoa takes place on the elegant Via Luccoli, a carrugio of slightly wider proportions than most. Strolling along with the prosperous Genoese, you can decide for yourself whether Mark Twain was right to consider the Genoese women the most beautiful in Italy.

When you're tired of churches and palaces, head down to the bustling waterfront for a plate of trenette with pesto alla genovese - pasta with a sauce of basil, garlic and cheese.

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