I was up before the sun and it was very wet on the balcony. I really was hoping to not have a repeat of the weather as the plan was to walk and see the city before our lunch plans. We were going to have lunch in a local woman’s home. This was another tour option I had found online that sounded so interesting. As the sun came up, it was overcast but not raining! I was so happy that it seemed like we would avoid downpours today.
We began our walk of Genoa by heading to the waterfront area near the aquarium. Since it was Christopher Columbus Day today in America, how could we not visit the house he grew up in? Chris did a fine job navigating the charming streets of Genoa to find this landmark. We took some pictures and continued our walk to our hostess’ house. It was a walk with lots of incline and stairs to reach her home. The clouds were breaking and the sun was shining as we hiked up the hills. Somehow, Chris timed it absolutely perfectly as we arrived one minute before the scheduled time. I cannot believe how he did that!
Our lovely hostess, Ana greeted us warmly and welcomed us into her beautiful home. We started the lunch gathered around her charming kitchen and I quickly spied the focaccia she prepared. As she sliced into it, I could see the steam rising and it smelled delicious. We all enjoyed it so much. She also had some salami to sample as well. As we ate, she explained one of our lunch items, farinata. This is another traditional Ligurian dish made of chickpea flour. She showed us the batter and how to put in in the pan to bake in the oven. While this was baking, she made fresh pesto and let us sample some Parmigiano Reggiano. The pesto smelled divine and I couldn’t wait to try it on her homemade pasta. Ana told us her mother in law taught her how to make pesto and many other recipes. We went to her dining room to have lunch and it was outstanding. She poured us some local wine to enjoy with our meal. For dessert, it was tiramisu made with her mother’s recipe. She sat with us and chatted while we ate. We were introduced to her two handsome teenage sons when they returned from school. It was such an unique experience that we all really loved. The food was delicious and prepared with such pride and love. Ana was such a great hostess it felt as if we were at a friend’s house for lunch. I would highly recommend trying a tour like this when visiting Italy.
Full from our lunch, we decided to walk back to the ship. We passed a Church (Basilica Della Ss. Annunziata) and from the open doors it looked very beautiful so we decided to go inside. It had a stunning painted ceiling adorned with gold. Above the altar, the painting seemed to be three dimensional from a distance. It was quite the illusion. It was a great unplanned stop and these gems are what make walking through Europe so much fun.
We had logged about four miles of walking with lots of hills and stairs so some relaxation and showers before dinner was the plan. Today’s snack was fresh mozzarella and bologna. We did taste the mozzarella as it is prepared daily on board but left the bologna alone.
We decided to take advatage of the private Yacht Club sun deck and spent some time in the hot tub and lounging on the padded deck chairs, while sipping Aperol Spritzes. It was a nice way to recharge after our long walk in Genoa.
Our apertivo was in the usual spot, Top Sail. We watched the Grandiosa sail away from Genoa as we enjoyed our drinks. The marinated mushrooms on the snack buffet were excellent as well as the artichokes. The views from this lounge are great making it a delightful spot before dinner. It is also just one stunning Swarovski filled staircase away from the Yacht Club Restaurant where we dined this evening.
Tonight’s menu had lots of great options. I made the bold suggestion of having three starters as I could not decide. I have great friends who ordered multiple appetizers by my side. We let the server know we had plans to see the show so and he was great at timing the meal. There was a “Maryland” crab cake that I had to try even though it was far from Maryland style. It was panko coated and used king crab meat. It was tasty but definitely not Maryland. Chris sampled the beef tartare and enjoyed it while Ammie and I had crispy spring rolls. Ammie and I also both had the spring salad with creamy avocado dressing. I ordered the lobster bauletti (ravioli filled with lobster, Roma tomato, fiordilatte cheese, marjoram) for a main and Chris ordered a starter portion but did not receive it. There was not much lobster but the ravioli were good. Chris ordered the pan-seared duck breast with currant-chili sauce. He said it was one of the better meals but not overly flavorful. For dessert, we all ordered the vanilla creme brûlée which was a solid version of the classic.
We inquired earlier about reservations for the show since we were told we needed them the first night. The concierge told us to meet at the desk once again to be escorted. We were walked to the main theater and after entering, the butler gestured down the main aisle and said to get seats. Going down the aisle, I did not see four seats together until the first row that had the exact same signs as the previous evening. I figured that must be where we were supposed to sit. After a few minutes, we were approached and asked if we speak English and that we need to move. We tried to explain why we sat there but he said pretty condescendingly and with lots of head movement that we had to leave the seats because of Covid. It was pretty embarrassing for me as I felt very shamed by how we were spoken to. We found seats off to the side together which were not horrible. I am not sure the point of being escorted to the main theater. I would honestly prefer to just seat myself or have clearly reserved seats like on NCL does for the Haven. They are not the best seats but you can just arrive and see the show. The show was called Moondance and it was a Michael Buble tribute show. It was a typical cruise caliber type show with singing and dancing. One of the lead singers was much better than the other but neither had the crooning style of this type of music. We did joke that it is funny to do covers of someone doing covers as I think they only did one original song from him. As I have been know to fall asleep during shows, I did stay awake so it wasn’t that bad. The seating situation did put a damper on it and I was not too sure I would want to use an escort to a show again.
We ended our night with a drink in the Top Sail. It is such a lovely lounge and nice there is live music. Even though it was only our third night, we did start to notice some repetition in the songs played by the guitarist. He definitely enjoyed playing Pink Floyd, Dire Straits and The Police. It was about 11 and we were told it was last call. It seemed pretty early to be closing but the lounge was empty except for one other couple. I had the idea to return to Joe and Ammie’s cabin and order some pizza from room service to continue the evening. We tried two different pizzas which came fairly quickly. They were the perfect size as the each had four slices. Everyone agreed it was very good pizza for a cruise ship. After our midnight snack, we said good night to our friends. Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary and I went to bed excited for my day in Cinque Terre.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.