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I initially arrived in Genoa at night, I was in the process of hitchhiking from Lithuania to as far south as possible and somehow found myself in Genoa, one night. The ride down over the mountainous road from Milan on the A7 was absolutely gorgeous.
Like many Italian big cities there are numerous call centre and internet places used by Africans and Asians to call back home to their relative back homes, one of these proved to be my saviour because I was able to log in and hunt out a cheap place to stay.
Genoa's quite a big city and it didn't seem like camping was an option in November (and more importantly without a tent), unfortunately it's not big on budget accomodation, there were no hostels and I ended up staying in an old-fashioned looking pension which fortunately wasn't too far away. This cost around 33 euros as I recall and was without breakfast.
Initially , my first idea was to keep on trying to head south but when I realised the city was kind of surrounded by motorway and had little luck hitching, I decided it would be better to check out the city for a few hours and take a train further south (northern Italians are notoriously reserved when it comes to stopping for people, the southerners are quite the opposite)
Genoa certainly seemed like a place of many ethnicities, particularly having come from Austria, Poland and Lithuania prior to that, it is Italy's major sea port, it's noisy, brash and busy. Comparing it to other Italian cities, it really comes across as rather industrial but it is saved by its pleasant centre which is relatively close to the train station, the numero uno destinatione being the medieval gates.
There are plenty of photo opportunities in this area with Piazza Del Ferrari, Via XX Setembre and Genoa Cathedral all being available to take up space on your memory card. There was quite a few roadworks in the area when I visited, so it lost some of its appeal with the sound of a pneumatic drill but the strong smell of coffee and loud women dolled up to their eyeballs in expensive fashionable clothes, carrying shopping bags undoubtedly carrying more of the said goods has stained my memory!
Genoa is nice enough to "end up" but it's quite large and too much of the city is unappealing, if you compare it to the likes of Kettering then it's really quite nice but Italy sets the standards high and there's plenty more nice towns and cities worth a visit before Genoa.