Genoa – Relaxing in Piazza delle Erbe

20130526_150040This small but atmospheric square in the heart of San Bernardo is a great place to start the evening with an aperitivo or finish with an ice cream. It’s only ‘due passi’ (two steps i.e. a short walk) from Piazza Ferrari.

20130526_151140On weekend nights it’s standing room only in the square and streets around as the city’s youth come to let down their hair. I preferred to drink in the quieter Bar Mandragola (see San Bernardo post) on these nights but this is where the action is if you’re looking for it. My activities were a bit more sedate however.

Bar Berto,  (Intermediate B) 6r Piazza delle Erbe

My favourite of the 3 or 4 bars in the square as the staff are friendly and they do a mean Spritz with Campari (€6). Stuzzichini (nibbles) are included as standard.

20130526_125427Panson (Intermediate B+), 5r Piazza delle Erbe, Tel. 010 246 8903 Open Sunday

The poshest place in this otherwise down-to-earth piazza, recommended by some guide (Cadogan I think). It’s been around since 1790 but this experience doesn’t seem to have been passed on to the very young staff (nice but dim). I decided to try it for lunch on a sleepy Sunday in the company of a bottle of prosecco (A) from the Valdobbiadene DOCG (Villa Sandi) under the awnings of the shaded terrace.

20130526_131152I had a simple mixed salad to start (A). The colours were so vibrant I just had to take a photo of it though!

20130526_133032Next a pasta course of shrimp filled ravioli in a delicious sauce no doubt made from a stock using the shells of the shrimp (A). Total cost €31, half of which was the wine. I enjoyed it all and would go again.

20130526_150814La Cremeria delle Erbe, (Elementary A), 15-17r Vico delle Erbe (at the top end of the square, next to Panson)

Considered by many to be the best gelateria in the city, this is where I liked to have my dessert after eating elsewhere. On my last visit I had two scoops of Pralinato and Cioccolato for €2. Heaven in a tub.

I loved to fantasise about living around here but a teacher I met who had a top floor flat nearby says she can’t wait to move because of the noise of the people coming from the street below. I’d still swap with her in a moment.

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