The Gap Life Diaries | Off the beaten track: Nervi
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Off the beaten track: Nervi

I first discovered Nervi while living in Genoa. I’d got a bit fed up of not having any friends, and had done a quick Google search to find somewhere to visit for the afternoon after work, with the restriction that I didn’t really have any money, didn’t have a car, and was a bit too lazy to walk to the train station. So I hopped on a rather stinky bus, squished myself up against a man who smelt disturbingly like cat urine for 25 minutes, and arrived in the little town of Nervi, just on the edge of the city.

Nervi is a little fishing village, technically part of Greater Genoa but really nothing like the city at all. It’s not hugely different from any of the many other fishing villages along this coast, with the classic pastel-coloured facades, a cute piazza by the sea, and little boats bobbing in the harbour.

Once you get to the town, there’s a little walkway going along the sea front which makes for a nice walk either alone or in company, and (obviously) there are places to buy ice cream along the way. The place is most famous for its parks – theĀ Parchi di NerviĀ – which used to be private gardens of fancy villas, but were later joined together to make a large area of green loveliness for visitors to walk through.

Seeing as more famous towns like Portofino or Camogli aren’t much further down the coast, most foreigners head straight for those rather than stopping at little towns like Nervi or Boccadasse. What this means is that, while Nervi isn’t top secret by any means, you’ll find fewer foreigners and more Italians than you would at one of the Riviera’s more renowned destinations, and because of that, Nervi will feel like a much more satisfying discovery.

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