I like Genova more than I like Venice. I prefer Nervi over Cinque Terre. And perhaps I am one of the few who arrive in Italy and lose weight every time I am here.
It's the walking. Twice a day, at very least, my camera and I head out. Genova is located on the sides of some fairly spectacular hills. The city reminds me of Dunedin or Wellington in terms of position between sea and hills.
The walking here involves hills. The first 4 days are hellish for me. A trip that winds down through the old part city involves a rather steep climb back up to Piazza De Ferrari. 'Steep' depending on how long I've been away from Genova but finding the easiest way home is the only time the engineering part of my brain is used.
Is it simpler to walk back up Via San Lorenzo and then, should I follow the steady slow climb up Via Porta Soprana to the gate or should I turn left and arrive in Piazza De Ferrari, meandering some more on the 'flat' before climbing the stairs that take me up through the gate at Porta Soprana ... steeper than that first option but over more quickly. Unless I have a suitcase. Or I'm carrying groceries.
And they are only two of many options that must be considered depending on where my feet have taken me that day. Salita S. Matteo is the worst of the climbs back up and out of the carruggio for me. However it is the climb I'm most proud to walk easily when it comes time to leave.