Liguria is one of the smallest regions of Italy, located to the east of the French Riviera and south of the Piedmont. It encompasses the glittering Riviera, as well as remote steep mountains and valley towns, and the port city of Genoa. People traveling to Liguria have asked me for recommendations. Following is a very limited personal list of some favorite people and food places that may not be in the usual guide books.
In the countryside:
La Brinca. A beautiful traditional Genoese trattoria in a village called Ne, about an hour outside of Genoa, north of Chiavari. It is run by the Circelli family, and I can't say enough good things about Sergio and Roberto Circelli, their restaurant, and their food. If you can't go, at least visit their website.
Campo di Ne, 58
Rue de Zerli. Franca Damico and her family offer "agritourismo" at their farm in Ne, a few miles from Chiavari and Lavagne. You can find her products in specialty shops all around the Riviera Levante. She also has a small shop at the farm. Call ahead, and speak Italian.
Rue De Zerli
51 Strada_per Gňsita 16040 Ne
Tel. 0185 339245
Antica Trattoria Della Rosin. This trattoria--in a beautiful setting amidst mountains about an hour north of Genoa-- is in the family of my friend Sergio Rossi, as described in my book.
Trattoria Bar Vittorio Ligagin. Located in Pannesi, a hamlet of Lumarzo. Rustic and friendly trattoria in beautiful "Schenone" country.
Trattoria Sa Pesta. Wonderful spot for traditional Genoese minestrone, torte, and other Genoese specialties, located in the old part of town.
Via Giustiniani, 16r
Antica Sciamada. A special little place with only a small counter, some benches, and a very ancient oven. Try the farinata and torte.
Via San Giorgio, 14
Romanengo. A two-hundred year old pristine confectionary shop where you can have a coffee on one side and on the other, find all sorts of chocolate, sweets, candied fruit, and esoteric things such as candied rose and violet petals. http://www.a-ved-romanengo.it/
Caffe Mangini. A gorgeous café and pastry shop located on the Piazza Corvetto-a short walk up stylish Via Roma..
A few other random good thing to do in Genoa:
Visit the large indoor food market -- Mercato Orientale -- on Via XX Settembre. Take a focaccia walk along Via San Vincenzo (near Stazione Brignole). Ride the narrow gauge railway from Piazza Manin in Genoa, up the hills about 25 kilometers to the charming town of Casella -- gorgeous views of sea and countryside along the way.