Walking in Genoa/part 1

From Mercato Orientale to the pastry-shops. All the best addresses in the city of caruggi

Mercato Orientale in Via XX Settembre in Genoa, an

Mercato Orientale in Via XX Settembre in Genoa, an excellent starting point in the search for the tastiest addresses in Genoa. Scents, aromas, vegetables, meat and lots of fish (this article is taken from the Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità Golose 2013, photo credits www.arte.it)

The best place from which to start is Mercato Orientale. This isn’t the most famous monument nor the most charming belvedere in Genoa. However, it its indeed the best place to enjoy the city. As seductive and colourful as a suq (hence the name) it is located, in a lay way, in the unfinished cloister of the church of Our Lady of Consolation. Here you can find scents, aromas, vegetables, meat and lots of fish (unless there’s been a storm the previous night). Every time I go there, I’d take away everything is on display in that infinite series of stalls. Parking is not easy, but you can walk around the centre of Genoa so if you plan to arrive here by car, just leave it at home. The official entrance to the Mercato is in Via XX Settembre but there are more entrances from the surrounding streets.

Gelateria Galata

Gelateria Galata

If it’s time for breakfast, exit on Via Galata and allow yourself an ice-cream from Gelateria Galata (made with milk from the valleys, candied fruit and local chocolate, all the ingredients being bought from the Mercato) in Via Galata 3er, tel. +39.010.0981704. Leave Via XX Settembre behind you and cross the geometric and chaotic Piazza Colombo with its large fountain: this is where I’d like to stay if I were to return to Genoa); right after that, on the left, there’s E.V.O. which stands for Extra Virgin Olive oil and indeed the oil is very good but in fact people come here for the best pesto in Genoa, and therefore in the world. Here you can also find the best artisanal pastas in Italy (and the relevant sauces) though the green condiment is the real star (even on the online shop).

On the opposite side, take a sweet stop at Panarello. I know there are other Panarello’s in Genoa and outside Genoa too, but this is the first one, the original. Order a creamy cappuccino and instead of a croissant, which is excellent all the same, try the mini version of the torta Panarello, made with soft almond flour and impossible to copy. Because Genoa, despite its most famous flavours being savoury, is in fact is a sweet town. You just need to know where to go.

Pasticceria Profumo

Pasticceria Profumo

Climb up Via San Vincenzo, and then under the arches in Via XX Settembre and then let yourselves slowly (cianin cianin we say in the local dialect) slip from Piazza De Ferrari into Via Garibaldi — which according to Stendhal is “the most beautiful street in the world”. At the beginning of this road, on the right, there’s pasticceria Profumo (Via del Portello 2r, +39.010.2770002): cakes, cookies, pandolce and a marvellous millefoglie surrounded by a colourful vintage setting.

A stone throw’s away (in vico superiore del Ferro 14r), the same Profumo opened an ice-cream shop a few years ago – here too there are only the best milk and fruit. If you’re in these alleys, get lost and forget the beautiful and important monuments. Just leave Piazza San Lorenzo, over which overlook the homonymous cathedral and Palazzo Cicala, a hotel with large, elegant rooms, with tall and stuccoed ceilings, contemporary design and a few antique pieces: the perfect place for a weekend. And there’s still lots do before it’s time to rest.

1. to be continued



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