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From Varazze on the A10 Freeway: 28 km, 25 min. approx - Exit: GE-Airport towards city centre and Porto Antico (Aquarium)
From Varazze by train: 40 min approx. – trains every 30 min to Genoa Porta Principe - City Centre and Porto Antico 10/15 min on foot - Metro, three stops (MM S. Giorgio stop).
– The Aquarium is a sure-fire hit with adults and kids alike. At Porto Antico, in addition to the Aquarium, you can visit the Biosphere, the Pirates’ Galleon, climb into the Nazario Sauro submarine, climb aboard the Bigo to take in a panorama of the city, and ice skate in the winter, or roller skate in the summer, on the skating rink set up in the heart of the tourist port. If you can visit on a weekday, we recommend afternoons after 2 p.m. and...surprise! Around three or four o’clock you will have the chance to watch dolphins during their daily exercise session. LillyBi always has information on all current programmes, and will provide you with helpful suggestions on the same.
– The Galata Sea Museum offers further possibilities of learning about the world under the sea, and the first migrations to America. In the ancient, and now completely refurbished “cotton warehouses”, just a few steps from the Bigo, be sure not to miss the “Kids’ City”, a unique and wonderfully fun plan to learn and play, great for little ones, big kids, and adults alike. In the area around the ancient port you will find a modern multi-purpose room, arcades, cafés, restaurants, pizzerias, and a number of bars and outdoors spaces with sea views. Looking out over the sea, you can admire gorgeous yachts anchored to the quay, as well as the Lantern, symbol of Genoa. Kids will love watching cruise ships arriving and sailing away - the ships pass very close to shore.
Small groups also have the option of a Segway tour of the city centre, or an e-bike rental.
Viewing Genoa from the sea is a unique and evocative experience. Try it out from the tourist boats leaving from the quay near the Bigo, and take a tour of the port and a stop in front of the Palazzo del Principe [Prince's Palace]. From the sea, you can distinctly see the plateaus of Genoa and its fortresses.
We also recommend visiting “The Lantern” and its intriguing museum (about 2km from the Aquarium).
The entire Porto Antico is a pedestrian area, and includes various play areas / zones.
Focaccia and Genoese pesto are the most famous culinary delights of Genoa and Ligury. Genoese cuisine ranges from surf to turf, with a judicious use of vegetables and aromatic herbs. Try the famous “Torta Pasqualina” baked in a wood-burning oven, tripe, stockfish, the farinata chick-pea cakes, veggie-stuffed delights, and other local specialities such as the torta baciocca savoury pie, and the lean capon, cima alla genovese [stuffed veal breast] and many other traditional Ligurian dishes from the simple but imaginative cuisine of the ancient fisherman and peasants. Interested in learning more about the “Flavour Roads”? Lillybi will suggest some interesting tours of Ligurian olive groves and vineyards. Restaurants on the coast, in the inland, not to mention the many food festivals, are at the ready with local delicacies and more.
Amongst the many food festivals and gastronomic events we would be remiss not the mention the “ Cundigiun”, the cream of the Varazze festival crop, as its organisers would say. Typical dishes and local specialities are served up in all the city's piazzas, including the Parco del Boschetto. Each little town outside Varazze is assigned a “tasting plaza”, and each piazza a speciality. A can't-miss gastronomic tour, featuring live music and a DJ, unfolding in the streets of the historic centre. The festival has been a hit for many years, and takes place between May and June each year. Walking along the byways, you can hop from town to town, and get to watch how the dishes are prepared, too! Generally, the food-tasting booths are opens two days from noon to 11 p.m., and a half day for lunch. Mandilli, ravioli, zemin chick-pea stew and muscles, and as much as you can eat. See you there! LillyBi will provide you a map of the tour, pointing out the highlights.
13 km - approx 20 minutes by car.
A modern area has developed around the cruise-ship port, overlooking the sea while embracing the historic city. We recommend leaving right from the tourist port, and entering into the pedestrian area, through the ancient towers. Savona is quite easy to navigate on foot. You can easily reach the city from Varazze by city bus. Get off at the “Torre del Leon Pancaldo” tower (one of the emblems of Savona) and start sightseeing.
23 km - approx 35 minutes by car.
The town of Sassello is located in the Varazze inland in the direction of Acqui Terme. Sassello is known for its amaretti cookies - a number of outfits in the area produce these. The town’s fame is also tied to mushrooms - porcini mushrooms in particular - which abound in the area's woods, including the Deiva forest in the Beigua Nature Park.
Each year during the month of June, as part of the Corpus Domini festival, the traditional infiorata is held, with wonderfully artistic displays of flower petals. LillyBi welcomes you with a complimentary basket of the best our countryside has to offer, including Sassello honey and amaretto cookies.
55 km - from Varazze about 1 hr approx by car.
35 km - from Sassello approx 30 minutes by car.
If you love hot springs, and indulging in a spa day, at just one hour by car from Varazze you can enjoy a relaxing day at Acqui Terme - if time permits, visit Sassello along the way. As another day-trip option, visit the Langhe or Monferrato before heading back to the heart of the Beigua Geo Park and finally the Varazze sea.
At about five or ten kilometres from Varazze (heading towards Sassello / Acqui Terme) you will find yourself in the heart of the GeoPark. To understand the beauty of the plateaus above Varazze, we thought we'd share an article written by journalist Isa Grassato and published in La Repubblica in the newspaper's travel section in 2008.
The article features an interview with the Parodi twins (local celebrities in Varazze) who have long been enamoured of our countryside. No one knows the flora and fauna growing along the hillsides and in the fields by heart, like they do (the St. John’s lily, Bertolini violet, asphodel, narcissus, and the tiny sundew, a carnivorous species typical of the high-altitude bogpits, whose flowers are covered by viscous fibres). No one else can so effortlessly identify the roe deer, boars, fallow deer on the rocks, or distinguish the birds based on the trajectory they draw in the sky (there are 83 species noted in the Beigua, especially the diurnal predatory birds, including the vulture, royal eagle, rock thrush, nightjar; this is the reason the park was declared a “special protection area” for its migratory bird, allowing for excellent birdwatching).
In Ligury, along the slopes of the tallest mountain in the region, with a breathtaking view of the coast... ...the High Road is an ideal habitat for hiking, mountain bike, and horseback enthusiasts. It is also offers the best lookout point in all of the Beigua, as the Parodi twins note. «Our most beautiful view is the portion of the High Road running from Beigua to Faiallo, near the peaks of the Rama and Reixa. On one side, one views Mount Rosa and Cervino; on the other, Corsica and the Isle of Giglio. Viewing a world at once so natural and so magical is an absolute delight. Here, the sea and the sky brush up against one another, blending into a seamless blue. The air planes descending to land appear to sail, and the ships to fly».
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