Christmas in Genoa is a serious affair; and not only for the food! The stunning northern Italian gem comes alive with traditional Christmas cheer, special dishes available exclusively in winter and a programme of unique events that includes the first exhibition dedicated to iconic Renaissance painter Michelangelo ever to be held in Genoa.
Those looking for a city break that combines glorious food, an enchanting landscape and rich history should head to Genoa on the Ligurian riviera, just a short two-hour flight from the UK.
♦ Christmas Eve is celebrated by eating seafood, and nothing screams tradition more than ‘Cappon Magro’, a sumptuous decorative pyramid made of different layers of white fish, prawns, lobster meat and colourful vegetables laying over a ‘galletta del marinaio’, a biscuit-like type of bread rubbed with garlic. A true work of foodie art.
♦ ‘Raieu cö u toccu’, is a tasty ravioli pasta in a meaty sauce which features on Genoese tables on Boxing Day. After that, a single piece of meat, ‘toccu’ in local dialect, is left slow-cooking for hours in a rich tomato sauce boasting aromatic herbs, dry mushrooms, pine nuts before it is served as the main dish.
♦ Those with a sweet tooth will be glad to try the iconic Pandolce, a proper Genoese Christmas gastronomy institution. A sweet bread featuring sultanas, dried fruits, glacé cherries, almonds and candied orange peel is available in two versions: the most traditional one, dating back to the sixteenth century, is tall and slim while the most modern one is shorter and richer in butter.
Genoa is dotted with magnificent palaces and museums that constantly remind visitors of its great maritime and trading history.
♦ This winter, Palazzo Ducale, one of the historic symbols of the city since 1339, hosts the first exhibition dedicated to iconic painter Michelangelo Buonarroti ever to be held in Genoa. The display is focused on the encounters Michelangelo had with the extraordinary personalities that defined the Renaissance period, from Lorenzo il Magnifico to Caterina de’ Medici, and the art that was produced as its consequence. The exhibition also offers some unique insights into the relationship between Michelangelo, the region of Liguria and the city of Genoa.
For more information, visit: http://www.visitgenoa.it/en/evento/michelangelo-divine-artist-palazzo-ducale
♦ Blue, the most metaphysical of colours, is the focus of a new exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Villa Croce. The house-museum plays canvas to different works of art representing this intense, suggestive colour, divided into five different themes that span from the history of blue jeans to the painting of French master Yves Klein.
For more information, visit: http://www.visitgenoa.it/en/evento/exhibition-autunno-blu-villa-croce