44° 24.6' N 8° 55.6' E Genoa, Italy
We didn't sail an inch of the passage from Imperia to Genoa, there was not a whiff of wind. The sea was glassy and reflective the whole eight hour journey, so we set a bearing on Pidge (the auto-pilot) and kept a look out whilst we read, ate and daydreamed. We are starting to understand how isolated you are at sea, even following the coast, so when we get to melting point in the heat, instead of slowing the momentum and swimming we now just shower on the stern. Naked seems to be the way forward at sea, it is a heatwave after all!
Our arrival in Genoa hit an unexpected sombre note, the doorway to the port is currently housing the remnants of the Costa Concordia as they dismantle it piece by piece. It's a mess. A sad, sorry sight.
Genoa (Genova) is a historical port city of powerful importance to the shipping trade around the Mediterranean. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, and its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages. Christopher Colombus was born here and Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba ("the Proud one") due to its glorious past and impressive landmarks.
They have renovated the Old port, and there are a few marinas to choose from, I thought all my Christmasses had arrived when I went to the facilities and found not only a working washing machine (genuinely makes my day), but an ICE machine readily available to marina guests. I could have climbed in!
Often shadowed by other tourist cities such as Rome or Venice, I found it took me some digging to warm to Genoa. It was a maze and I felt perennially lost. For Captain the history of the port and the architecture were enough to set him in good stead. Once I'd found some hidden gems behind the meandering alleyways and walked a while the ancient bones of the place crept in and led to more of an understanding between us.
I'd heard the Genoese were particulary good at Pesto so we ordered their signature Trofie al pesto Genovese (Pesto Pasta, sounds better in Italian huh'). Simple, delicious.
A more petit port of call next, Portofino...