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.
“I can't begin to tell you how much I loved your book. I am the keeper of the family recipes, handed down from a grandmother, born near Naples, that I grew up with. I remember her making pasta, & have her rolling pin. You've inspired me to make it the old fashioned way.”
— Philomena Valente
“Although it has been years since I have made ravioli, you have given me an inspiration to make some as soon as my checkerboard ravioli pin arrives from fantes.”
— Philip Plaisance
“I have now become the keeper of the ravioli recipe for my family. My aunts and uncles (grandchildren of Nonna Lena) never bothered to learn to make it. My grandfather had it memorized and almost cried when he was telling me what to buy. He was glowing with pride, but couldn't believe I was going to try to make them.”
— Mara La Fratta Matthews
“This Christmas my daughter and I made ravioli per your recipes using my grandmother's ravioli pin, which took me back 40 years to the last home made ones I ate made by my Great Aunt. I fear my family's ravioli recipe was "lost" but you have helped me find something very close.”
— Robert Murray
In the countryside
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 Gòsita 16040 Ne
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 16024 Lumarzo
Trattoria Sa Pesta
Wonderful spot for traditional Genoese minestrone, torte, and other Genoese specialties, located in the old part of town.
Via Giustiniani, 16r
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
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.
A gorgeous café and pastry shop located on the Piazza Corvetto-a short walk up stylish Via Roma.
A few other random good things 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.