Not even one day had passed since we graduated from our Masters, and we were off to Slow Fish, Slow Food’s biannual festival of sustainable fish and fishing in Genoa. The capital of the coastal region of Liguria (best known overseas for its basil pesto), Genoa is a pretty industrial city with a hefty local shipping trade and plenty of cargo-loaded barges docked in the harbour. The port is heavy with maritime machinery, but head a few streets back and you’ll find these narrow, rundown alleyways to get lost in, and a jumble of different architectural styles that I immediately fell in love with.
With just 24 hours in town with my lovely parents-for-the-weekend – Meg and Tim, generously loaned by my classmate Chelsea – we managed to pack a lot in. Our whirlwind trip was filled with street food dishes featuring all sorts of local seafood from the many food trucks and stalls at the festival, a guided visit to the bustling seafood market to learn about low-impact, sustainable fishing practices, and a walking tour of the hillside Castelletto neighbourhood – reached by catching a 100-year-old lift, the Ascensore Castelletto Levante – to discover sweeping views, covetable verdant rooftop terraces and full washing lines expertly strung outside from window to window.