We stayed overnight in Chiavari, about 30 minutes down the coast from Genova. The La Luna B&B was situated high on a mountainside overlooking Chiavari and the Mediterranean.
Chiavari is the beautiful city on the Italian Riviera where Mark’s Nonno’s side of the family lives. We spent a day, into the late evening talking with them. They speak no English and we speak poco Italiano, but it is always amazing to me how well we are able to communicate. We spent the night eating the traditional Ligurian food. Including a wide pasta with pesto sauce, wild boar (hunted in the nearby hills), salad, and baked vegetables with an egg based coating. There was way too much food, plenty of wine and homemade limoncello as well.
We took a drive along the coastal road through Rapallo to Portofino. It was stunningly beautiful.
The next day, our B&B host brought us slices of focaccia bread made minutes before at the local bakery. Focaccia bread and espresso is the local breakfast of champions.
After breakfast. we spent several hours checking out Chiavari. We are pretty sure this will be our home base in future years.
It is a very clean and well maintained city with everything we are looking for. Train station, walking areas, shopping district and the sea. Close to the Cinque Terra and Genova. Here are a few pictures of Chiavari:
The prominade is spotless and goes on for at least a mile.
There are benches every few feet. We spent an hour relaxing and people watching.
There was an open air produce market in Piazza Giribaldi.
Unexpected bonus: Friday is market day in Chiavari. This market was huge. It covered at least a mile and a half of the downtown streets. The locals come out in droves to support it too.
Our experience is the Genova area has the highest number of motorbikes on the roadway of any part of Italy. You don’t let them bother your driving, just drive straight in the right side of your lane and let them buzz around you like a swarm of bees.
When we stay in our home city in Italy for extended periods of time, we will likely use public transportation and bikes for getting around the country. There is really no need for anything else.