Family Feasts in Genoa

6 Nov 2013

Genoa is probably the most underrated city in Italy.
Let me tell you a story.

Back in the noughties, mum googled her surname with hopes of finding our relatives in Italy. A couple of emails back and forth later, a meeting was set up to meet Rita. Rita is my grandma's cousin's daughter. Or something along those lines. Turns out we had a whole long-lost family including cousins, uncles and aunties, great-aunties and great-uncles...  Since this incredible discovery, we've visited each other countless times.

Getting together with our family in Italy is like a scene from a crazy film with golden sunset tones, loads of banter, laughter, food and wine. Naturally, we chose this as the starting point for our honeymoon Eurotrip with my brother.

Rita received us at the airport and took us the her apartment, perched on top of a hill. Here she showed us pictures of the family and we caught up speaking a mish/mash of Spanish, English and Italian.

The salad was a fresh and meaty mix of apple, chicken, walnuts and parmesan cheese. We accompanied with cheeses, grapes, bread and a selection of delicious Italian cheeses: gorgonzola and the creamy and delicate stracchino. We washed down everything with table wine from the region.

After lunch we made our way to the town to get some delicious chocolates to take to our family, which we were visiting that night.

Rita took us through some tiny alleyways and through an inconspicuous door where we found the Romeo Viganotti chocolate factory. Curious, I picked a good selection from all sorts. Chilli chocolate, hazelnut pralines, liqueur bombs.... I filled my basket a good thirty Euros' worth.

Then we got back in the car and drove to Costa di Ovada, where loads of my family still live. We had a nice moment in the gardens as the sun set.

After a quick hello, we drove to Ovada, where the rest of the family is. Here is where the movie scene takes place. We arrive and suddenly it's hugs and chatter. My brother had never been here before so it was incredible to finally be able to introduce him to the family. They quickly ushered us to the second kitchen, under the house, which is larger and houses a traditional Italian oven for pizza-making as well as a large, large table where everyone has sat year after year to share meals.

My brother and I were quite proud of how much Italian we understood and how well we were communicating. Unfortunately we discovered that there is an inverse relation between how much wine we drank and how much Italian we understood. Never mind, time to bring out the chocolates!

I think they went down a treat.

Come back tomorrow to check out our second day in Italy and how we saw all of the Cinque Terre  in one day.


  1. your pics are beautiful!! Enjoy Italy and try the Tiramisú

  2. Hi Caterina, thank you so much for visiting me over at happy bluebird... have been quite busy diuring the last couple of weeks and months and been a terribly bad blogger. Your post is so good to read, makes me indulge into Italian life style (which I love), and looking at your photos is - as always- a pleasure!! LOVE the one black and white quite at the top with the taxi driver. Super shot! And how exciting is it to discover having family iin another country?! And I LOVE the tea swapping idea! Lets do this, I am so in :-) xxx

    1. Good to know you're still enjoying the posts :) I'll start hunting for the tea I love and get it right over to you x


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