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put... puttering around
by Carlo Spirito
(return to Liguria)

Genova (usually spelled Genoa in English), like most European cities, has an extraordinary public transportation system. The autobus system is clean, frequent and extends several miles out of the city along the Mediterranean coast. The only confusing part of this system is the complex system of hourly, daily, and monthly passes, which can only be purchased in the Tabaccaio (local Mom and Pop convenience stores).

more liguria....
* Liguria region
* Liguria Guide
* Genoa Lost & Found
* Get thee to the nunnery!
* The truth about olives
* Put... Puttering Around
* Ligurain Cuisine
* What do you know about Liguria?
* More Italian regions...
When, in 1997, my wife and I were on a sabbatical in Genova for 6 months, we used public transportation to explore our surroundings. We would take a likely looking bus, and ride to the end of the line and back, carefully noting the route and bus number on our map. On one of these journeys, we found ourselves at the eastern bus limits, in a small seacoast town called Nervi.

Nervi has become one of our favorite places in Italy, with its narrow streets, small shops (especially the Pasticceria), and a beautiful park, which includes an extensive rose garden. However, the best part of Nervi is found by walking down the hill, under the railroad tracks, to the harbor. There are no sandy beaches here, just a small fishing fleet, a few pleasure boats, and the Cliffside walk. Ah, the walk. First we crossed part of the harbor on an ancient arched stone bridge, and ascended some stone steps to the top of a hill. As we passed an old watch tower, we turned the corner onto a wide, flat, paved walkway, which extended eastward, along the top of a precipitous cliff, about 20-30 meters above the sea. The perfect spot for a passegiata!

With plenty of stone benches for resting, and the occasional small caf´┐Ż/gift shop for refreshments and souvenirs, one can see people of all ages; from elders with canes, through mothers with strollers, to kids on roller blades and bicycles. The south-facing walk was bathed in Mediterranean sunlight, that special golden glow only found there. The walkway extends for several kilometers, and there are several places where one can exit the walk, go back up the hill, under the railroad tracks, to find public transport back to the train or bus station.

We spent many hours here on this walkway, by ourselves and with visitors from the USA. Everyone we talked to loved this idyllic spot, so peaceful, quiet, sunny, and beautiful. If you travel to Liguria, you to will be charmed and delighted if you take the time for a passagiata along the sea in Nervi.


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