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May 22, 2012 10:33 AM

Driving from Turin to Genoa on Sunday Evening

Any thoughts on good places to stop for dinner, either in Turin or in towns that may be on the way?

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  1. Your question is more vague than you realize.

    What time are you leaving Torino? Where will you be staying in Genova?

    If you try to eat dinner in Torino or somewhere en route, dinner won't begin until 8pm and is likely to last until 10pm, and if you have never driven in Genova before, it's not a great idea to make your first entry in the dark.

    You should probably plan to leave Torino early enough to arrive in Genova by 7pm latest, so you can find your hotel, park and head out to dinner in Genova by 8:30pm. Lots of nice places to eat in Genova. There are past threads you can look up and find someplace convenient to your hotel.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      If you're looking for a serious meal, both Asti and Alessandria have no shortage of fine restaurants, although neither will be an easy on/off from the highway. In that part of Italy, every town of any size will have a restaurant that the locals will go to, don't be afraid to exit and see what's out there. These local places will also start serving earlier, solving a problem brought up by the first poster.

      Finally, if all you're looking for is a light meal, there are at least three or four service areas with Autogrill restaurants along the way. Not fine dining, but very much better than what you might expect. (and they serve something or other 24/7)

      Enjoy your trip!

      1. re: BrianYarvin

        Restaurants outside of the cities of the Piemonte do not serve food noticeably earlier than 8pm, and one might find the meals are slower paced there than in the cities anyway.

        I think it would be a real shame to eat in an AutoGrill in Piemonte or Liguria except --- well, I can't think of any exceptions! Unless your expectations of eating in Italy are incredibly low, the "something or other" they serve for dinner is what you would expect from a highway rest stop. Dreadful! (Sorry BrianYarvin, I am on a one-woman campaign against both the myth of food fun at AutoGrille and Eataly in Italy.)

    2. Thanks for the replies. Specifically, my flight gets into Torino around 17:30 and I am actually driving to Santa Margherita outside of Genova. I can always wait to eat in SM when I arrive but I was just asking in case there were any worthwhile recs along the way that might be open on Sunday. I would prefer not to do AutoGrill though it doesn't need to be fancy -- just good. Thanks again.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mpierce64

        There are loads of worthwhile places, but given that the Piemonte is stellar wine country, the best thing to do would be to pick one with sleeping accommodations, and go on to Santa Margherita Ligure the next morning.

        The Torino airport is actually about an hour's drive north of Turin, and Santa Margherita Ligure is another's hour's drive past Genova.. The drive is realistically 3 hours minimum, and if you add to that the time you will spend picking up your car, it's not a good bet that you will arrive in Santa Margherita Ligure within a comfortable dinner hour.

        What *might* work for you is to get off the autostrade past Genova at the exit marked for Nervi, and head for the Nervi train station. On the seafront walk near the train station, you'll find La Marinella, a pizzeria-foccaceria that serves one of the best foccacca col formaggio around. They will be serving as late as 9. If you are traveling on a Friday night, finding parking will be tough.

        Another option might be to go to Manuelina in Recco and eat at their foccaceria (they have a fancy restaurant, but their foccaderia is adjacent). It is right off one of the autostrade exits you could take to go to Santa Margherita Ligure (the exit for Recco). Look up directions on Google. Manuelina's has parking, but it is very popular. I'd be tempted to make a reservation if you are traveling on a weekend.

        It might seem ridiculous to stop to eat when you are already past Genova, but I think that were you to wait until you found your hotel, parked and checked-in and headed out again, your options in Santa Margherita Ligure would be diminishing fast on a Sunday night.

        1. re: barberinibee

          One other suggestion:

          If you opt to head all the way to Santa Margherita Ligure, but find you are running late, you should get off the road in Recco, even if you don't have a reservation at Mauelina, and find a place to eat in the center of town.Just turn right when you get off the autostrade, head for the sea, and you will end up at several large parking lots. There are at least a dozen eateries in Recco, none of them fancy. With few exceptions (Il Pomodoro, Due Ladri), the food is better than at an AutoGrill. From Recco, if you don't mind twisty driving at great heights, you can take the via Aurelia all the way to Santa Margherita Ligure without returning to the autostrada. If you do mind it, get back on the autostrada and get off at Rapallo.

          If you get off the autostrade at Rapallo, you might as well just plough on to SML, no matter how late it is. Too hard to find parking in Rapallo (I assume you've arranged for it in SML).

          1. re: barberinibee

            Hope you don't mind my tossing out one other suggestion:

            I hate being near Torino and missing the aperitivo scene, so arriving at the airport, taking public transportation to the city, having cocktails, dinner and spending the night would be my preference. Then, since a car is next-to-useless on the Riviera and an expensive pain to park, I would take the train directly to Santa Margherita Ligure the next day, in time for lunch by the sea, and if I actually needed a car after that, rent it in Rapallo next door to SML.

            1. re: barberinibee

              Barberinibee--got me curious about training it, and found many dpeartures from Turin (Porta Nuova) to SML, inc. after 6pm, none longer than 3 hrs, some less, and most costing about $25 one way. Nice alternative.