After a light breakfast at the Hotel Soana I set out to explore a bit more of Genoa at a more leisurely pace than the previous day’s wanderings in the old town. I strolled to the north of the Old Town and found the lift up to the panoramic viewpoint over the city at Castelletto, with fine views right across the port to The Lanterna – apparently the symbol of Genoa and, dating from the 12th century, the oldest working lighthouse in the world.
I decided to walk back down the hill and eventually arrived back near the Palazzo Bianco and Via Garibaldi. I turned towards the port and, having a look at San Siro church on the way, finally emerged on the waterfront near the Neptune Galleon, a replica of a 17th century ship built in the 80s as a film prop.
Below deck it was cramped and filled with lines of cannon – assuming the replica is accurate I dread to think what this environment was like when all the guns were firing in anger. Up on deck there were lots of gnarled faces carved in the woodwork which made quite interesting subjects.
From the Neptune I had a final wander along the quayside, past the aquarium and its long queues to the Bigo with lift in operation before heading back into town to collect my bag and head off to Brignole station for the return trip to Turin.
The train was a little delayed but I had a nice comfy first class compartment (booked in advance it was the same price as the standard fare!) for the trip to Turin’s Puorta Nuova station. After checking in I headed out to Piazzas San Carlo, Castello and Reale for the last photo shoot of my trip. I picked Piazza San Carlo for the dusk shoot. As the sun set it took a while for the floodlights to come on but it was worth the wait with San Carlo and Santa Cristina churches looking a slightly eerie green to start with before the lights warmed up fully.
In the other direction, the view along the colonnaded Via Roma towards the Palazzo Reale also looked rather splendid as the sky got a deeper blue, but I turned my attention back to the square for the best of the twilight before the sky became too dark. After this I was getting hungry, so rounded off the evening with a meal sat outside a restaurant in the floodlit square.
Full of sea bass, steamed fennel and too many bread sticks, I had a final wander around the city in the cooler evening encountering along the way (to my great surprise) dozens of couples dancing the tango in an arcade, which made an amusing end to the last day of my trip – the next morning I’d be up early for the walk to Porta Susa station and the TGV to Paris and a Eurostar back to the UK.
All of my Italian domestic train tickets for the trip were booked directly as etickets at Trenitalia.com and international tickets were booked through Rail Europe, both with advice from The Man in Seat Sixty-One.