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In Genoa, the brothers cruise the streets, while one of them gets a taste for the lavish lifestyle of Italy's Northwestern port. They take in all the views: heads in the clouds on a high-flying funicular, and just above water at the local aquarium.

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Transcript

- I said yo, presto, I want pesto and I say my name is Ernesto, I come here making sauces and I want to say that we the bosses of sauces. C'mon bro, you gotta work with me here. Genoa, what does Genoa rhyme with? Genoa, you know I been... - OK. - [Marko] I'm Marko. - [Alex] I'm Alex. - [Alex And Marko] And we're the Vagabrothers! - [Alex] We love traveling and a little brotherly competition - [Marko] So we're crossing the globe and putting our local trivia skills to the test. - [Alex] To see who's spending 24 hours living like a baller - [Marko] And who's pinching pennies. - [Alex And Marko] This is Basic Versus Baller. - [Marko] Welcome to Genoa, the gateway to the Italian Riviera. - [Alex] It's also historic, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, modern banking, and a maritime empire that stretched to every corner of the Mediterranean. - To live well in Italy, is to live la dolce vita. - [Alex] Good food, beautiful landscapes, and tons of style, but to find out who's gonna be on a budget and who gets to ball out it's time for a little competition. - Buongiorno. - Welcome to Italy, brother. - Yes, Genoa, beautiful city here in the port. Pasta, wine, all of the good things, la dolce vita. - Only one of us will be able to experience Italy as a baller, I'm really excited to win yet again, I'm gonna be in a Ferrari maybe, drinking some fine Chianti wine, lounging... - No. - [Marko] Getting some nice Italian style... - I don't think so. - I picture it now! - [Alex] I picture you surviving off uncooked pasta. - [Marko] It's not uncooked, it's called al dente, - [Marko] and you'll soon learn the difference. - Well there's only one way to find out, we have to do a competition. - And oh, text message coming in, today's competition will be a coin toss. - Finally, an even playing field. - Who will have fate shining on them more brightly? You have a coin? - I do, heads or tails? - I call tails. - [Alex] Heads baby, yes! - Alright. - Hey, have a few euros on me. It's the besto, I got the pesto, - Alright, enjoy it, be good. - [Alex] gonna get this off my chest yo. Thanks to that coin flipping my way, I'm gonna start things off in the lap of luxury and elegance with a suite at the Imperiale Palace, one of the most prestigious hotels on the Italian Riviera. Wow, oh! - Buongiorno, grazie da Imperiale Palace Hotel. - Thank you, checking in. - This is your room key sir, you have a nice suite, do enjoy your stay sir. - Thanks! Imperial, palatial, royal, regal, and it's all mine! It smells like a palace in here. What a view! What is it about balconies that just make life better? - [Marko] Who needs the ocean view when you can stay closer to the pulse of the port? Which is why I'm checking into Ostellin Hostel, the historical center of Genoa, oh, and it's really cheap. Ciao! - Welcome! - I'm Marko. - Mateo, nice to meet you. - Gabriel, nice to meet you. - I have a reservation, my last name is Ayling. - Yes, you're room number two. - [Gabriel] So Marko, this is your room. - [Marko] Fresco on the ceiling, mosaic on the floor, this looks super historic. - Yes, actually this palace is really ancient. The general was really powerful in the past, so important guests like queens, kings, popes were guests in the private residencies of the powerful families here in Genoa. - Wow, and for only 25 euros a night - You could be the guest for tonight, OK? - Ma bene. I love staying in a place that has a story and here in Genoa the old town is actually a Unesco World Heritage site because of palaces like this, there's hundreds around the city, but most of them you can't actually stay in, so it's really cool and I think we're gonna have some fun even though I'm on a budget. - [Alex] Can't complain, doesn't get any better than this. Million dollar view, I've never had a drink come with so many snacks, this is amazing, lots of little cheeses and seafoods and fruttis di mare. That's good, little salmon burger, I feel like I've seen this before in a Tastemade show. I'm totally spoiled, but look at this drink! Immaculately prepared, cheers! Ahh! As much as I'd like to finish all of these aperitifs, I'm about to go to dinner and I'm gonna get there in style. Oh yes, this beautiful vintage Vespa. It's so red and luscious and beautiful, and so quintessentially Italian, it doesn't get any better. Andiamo. Ciao bella! This is definitely a check of the ole bucket list, cruising the coastline of the Italian Riviera on this vintage Vespa has me feeling like a Playboy in the 1960s. So if you're gonna be balling in Italy, it's one of the best ways to get around in style. - [Marko] Alright, now I don't have a lot of money, but one of the great things about Europe is that there's really cheap and abundant public transportation. Genoa here is built on a number of hills and one of the best ways to get a lay of the land is to take a funicular. It's basically like a train mixed with an escalator and it only costs a euro fifty roundtrip. These funiculars have become fundamental in how people get around Genoa's hilly terrain. It's easily the quickest way to get from the city center to the top of the hills that overlook the area. And when you're on a budget for the cost it took to get here this view is absolutely priceless. - Just arrived to Villa Porticciolo in Rapallo. This is a beautiful villa, it's an incredible restaurant, right in front of the Mediterranean and I have a three course meal made in heaven. There's a time to diet and then there is Italy, che pena! First course, polpo, octopus, in a puree of potato and cream infused with thyme and topped with sprouted radish. This, my friends, is an orgasmo di mare and I cannot wait to try. Absolutely delicious and if you haven't had octopus prepared like this then you haven't truly lived, my friends. Grazie. - On a tight budget? Don't worry, Genoa is a busy industrial port with tons of affordable options and more importantly no shortage of affordable wine bars. So I'm stopping in at Cantine Matteoti, where good wines by the glass are easy on the wallet. Ciao, bueno sera. - [Bartender] Ciao, bueno sera. - Un vino bianco per favore. Wine vocabulary, very important, vino is wine, bianco is white and rosso is red, essential Italian. È buono, good. Most of the wines here are white, that's from tradition and also from the way of the soil, plus it goes really well with the foods. Oh, grazie, so this is a crostini with burrata, which is local cheese and anchovies. Mm, whoa, the fish has this like umame texture and the whole powerful flavor is balanced with a delicate wine, with the umame makes me wanna say oo mama mia! I'm just joking that was... - [Alex] And now a beautiful filet, fassona, we've got a little side salad of fennel and the sauce is a tarragon-infused sauvignon. This looks incredible, why are you so delicious? Here's the coup de grâce, I took the fennel and then I stabbed the fassona and then I'm gonna dip it into the tarragon. - I think the great thing about Italy is that you definitely do not need to be balling to have a really good meal. Cheese, meat, wine, bread, this is prosciutto from Parma, and it's one of the most famous places to get this type of cured meats. Wow, I definitely want to try this with the cheese with herbs, a little bit of bread, boom, we got a sandwich! Oh wow, we're in flavor town. So the bartender has suggested that I finish my meal with an aperitivo, this is good for digestion, it's a liquor made from herbs and it's family owned, so... Hey Alex, I hope you're eating pretty well because I am as well and I spent less than 20 euros. - [Alex] No trip to Italy is complete without pasta carbonara, this one is a little bit special, it's cuddlefish carbonara. Cuddlefish have ink, the ink is that little black dot on top, this is how you know it's gonna be delicious. Oh, what is, oh yes, supposed to mix it around, oh yeah, look at that ink, oh my gosh, oh it's just beautiful, ohh. Mm, well that's it my life is now complete. After a spectacular meal and a great night's sleep, it was time to check out another one of the hotel's amenities. Salt water pool in the morning all to myself, la dolce vita. - [Marko] It's breakfast time here in Genoa, I am very hungry but I don't have a lot of cash. That's why I've come to a local bakery because here in Genoa for breakfast people eat bread called focaccia, it's cooked often times with olive, pesto, tomato, zucchini, potato, all sorts of things, they eat it with a cappuccino and it will fill my belly for not a lot of cash. Breakfast in Italy is a bargain, we have the normal focaccia, we got an onion, and we also have sun dried tomatoes. For extra style points you rip and you dip, repeat with me, rip and dip. It's good, it's savory but it's not too salty, so it can be dipped in coffee. It's not weird. - [Alex] After a refreshing dip in the hotel pool, it's time for me to start using the rest of my cash and see what interesting things I can find here in the city. So, I was wandering down a backstreet and I've stumbled upon this beautiful old candy shop, Pietro Romanengo, and it really is like time traveling, it's over 200 years old, the sweets look incredible. Whoa look at this ole things, too much deliciousness in one place. Do you have chocolate bars? - Right here. - Perfect, I'll do a dark chocolate, please. I wonder if there's a golden ticket in here. - Thanks a lot. - Grazie. - Prego, ciao. - Right now I'm on my way to the oldest bookstore in Italy, opened in 1810 by a refugee from France escaping the Napoleonic wars, it is an establishment here in Genoa and I am excited to take a little look through the books. Moby Dick, it's a classic. Once upon a time, back in the 1800s Herman Melville, the author, actually came to this bookstore, so it really is an establishment and I really feel like Marko would thoroughly enjoy this place. So, I'm gonna get the book. - With breakfast in my belly, I'm heading back to the hostel for a free lesson in making Genoa's most popular dish pesto. Hey how's a going. - Hi, I'm Giovanna. - Nice to meet you. - Nice to meet you. - Oh, two kisses, great two not three? - Always two kisses. - Marko, nice to meet you. So, we're making pesto? - Yeah, the main ingredient, of course, is basil. You can start and do it by yourself, leafs by leafs. Beautiful men in the kitchen will cook for me . - Yeah of course this is the twenty-first century. - [Man in Orange Shirt] Is it something that gets better with time or is it better fresh? - [Giovanna] Fresh is always better. And then we add garlic, there is a soul inside the garlic. - [Marko] A soul? - Yes. - And we must preserve this soul. - No. - No, we must get rid of the soul. - Yeah. - OK, that's fine. - [Giovanna] Then we got the pine nuts. - [Marko] So pine nuts are not from this part of Italy are they? - [Giovanna] No and we were lucky because in Genoa with deep boats we could import everything. - [Marko] I think that's what's so cool about this dish is that it really shows how Genoa was a trading city that was bringing together all these different ingredients from all over the world. - [Giovanna] We put some few leaves, OK, not big amounts. - OK. - [Giovanna] Then we add souls, don't ask me how much. Italian housewives never tell you how much we use, this is a secret, a pinch of this, a pinch of this, I don't know. We're gonna use Parmesan cheese and this one, smell it. - Smells Italian. - This is cheese called Pecorino it comes from Sardinia. You have grater in the States or not? - We just have UberEats. Is this enough right here? Keep going? - Yeah I think it's enough maybe more of... - [Marko] OK, so we grated two types of cheese and we are ready to combine all of our ingredients to make an authentic Genoese pesto. - [Giovanna] And you don't need so much oil as you can see. - [Marko] Smells really good. - And we can taste it with bread. - [Marko] You made this bread at home? - [Giovanna] Yep, sure, I always do. - Wow, there we are, boom! - [Giovanna] How does it taste? - [Marko] This is really good, did we really just make this right now? - You did it! - I had some help. - It was a pleasure, OK. - [Marko] Thank you so much. - [Giovanna] You're welcome. - Hey, ciao, frapello, how you doing? - Good, how are you? - Good man, I got 20 euros to spend and I know just how to spend it, I hope you're hungry. - Always hungry. - Hi, good afternoon, can we do one fritto misto? - Yes, of course. - And two spritz. - [Alex] Thank you bro. - [Marko] Of course. - [Alex] Spritzing it up, look at you, so what's the deal with this restaurant? - We are a fisherman cooperative, whatever we sell in the restaurant is fish from us. - [Alex] Oh perfect, ma bene, grazie mille. - Prego. - So how about this? - So nice bro. - Dolce vita on a budget. - You don't need much to be balling in Italy, do you? - No you don't. - [Alex] This looks so good. - Mm. - What do we got in here? - [Marko] Some anchovies, - [Alex] Calamari, - [Marko] I see a shrimp, some mussels maybe - [Alex] Oh wow. - And little baby octopi. - [Alex] Simple, delicious. - What do you think about the spritz? - Simple, delicious, here's to Italy bro, cheers! - Cheers brother. - Salute. - [Marko] Since I covered our spritz and snack, Alex is repaying the favor and letting me tag along, also I'm completely broke. - [Alex] I figured we could check out the aquarium, Genoa's always been immensely connected to the mare. - [Marko] The ocean, of course. - But let's do it in style, got us VIP passes. - Oh nice, let's take a deeper dive. - We'll have a whale of a time. - Oh, cheesy jokes. - These baller VIP passes allowed us to skip the lines and go straight into the exhibits for a front row look at the amazing sea life. - [Marko] What up buddy, hello little penguin. There's a guy right there. - It's pretty incredible, they got some tuna here, bunch of different shark species, one shark with a really long snout like a sword, it's not a swordfish though, it's like a saw fish. - [Marko] Thank God there's a bunch of Plexiglas between us and them because I saw it this close in the ocean I think I would be pooping my ole pantalones. - [Alex] But sharks have such a bad rap, they are totally misunderstood. - [Marko] I agree with you, but I have one question for you. - Yes. - Would you swim in this tank? - Yeah. - I would not by any stretch of the imagination. I have to say if I were an animal in the ocean, I would highly consider being a seal, they seem to have the most fun. - [Alex] These guys are having a ball of a time, look at them. - [Alex And Marko] Whoa. - [Marko] What's up guys? - [Alex] They're little torpedoes, aren't they? - [Marko] Torpedoes of fun. - Look at this one, he's so inquisitive. Hey buddy, hey guy. - I have to say Alex, you are the seal whisperer. - Hey little buddy, you look so cute. - That is so cool. - [Alex And Marko] Aww, bye. - [Marko] Thanks for taking me on this experience private-style, I've been packed in my dorm room like a sardine. - It's all good bro, welcome to the open seas. - That was cool. - Anything for a bit more knowledge. - What's that thing? - I have no idea what that is, should we find out? - Yes, let's do it. - This should be fun. Ciao, due. - [Marko] Oh nice dude, way to get a view. - [Alex] I guess the Bigo used to be the original crane that was used to unload ships in the port and that's what this is named after. Oh wow check this out! Wow, look at the skyline! Wow just emerging! So here you can see the towers, you can see all the fortresses on the hill. - This region is really about where the mountains meet the sea. - There's lots of different theories about what Genoa actually means, one of the theories is that it means knee, like a knee, and that means like the joint between the mountains and the ocean. - [Marko] Or because Italy's a boot, right? - Could be. - And this is like the knee of the boot. - [Alex] Crazy man, and it's like a big port too, you don't really get a grasp of it until you're up here. Did you know that Genoa was actually the place that created the blue jeans? - [Marko] Is that why you're wearing denim? - Maybe in an ode to Genoa. - [Marko] An Ode to Genoa, O Genoa, with your lively port and your carousing towers and your delicate pesto - And your blue jeans - And your pasta stuffed with seafood and your... - And enough - OK, there we are - There we go. - [Alex] Ah, Italian sunset. - Pretty nice. So thoughts on Italy? - Love Italy, gotta be one of the best countries in Europe, without a doubt, Genoa was a very pleasant surprise, I really didn't know what to expect, I knew that it was an old city but I did not know that it was this cool, just felt like very local and not super touristy, which I love. - It's a port city, it's got a lot of history, I think it's actually one of the more understated and underappreciated cities I've been to, it's got tons of character and it played a pivotal role in the history of the world. If you had to pick one experience that was your favorite from the whole trip what was it? - [Alex] Vintage Vespa... - [Marko] Goals. - [Alex] whipping around curvy roads in the Italian Riviera, drove myself to dinner, and then had the most epic slap of Italian meal. Pasta carbonara to literally die for. - [Marko] La dolce vita. - [Alex] Pretty much, cliches aside, yes. - [Marko] My top experience was probably with you, when we just had the fish on the harbor with a spritz, I mean for me that was a great thing about Italy, simple food, not expensive, and just beautiful locations with that vibe that's 100% Italy. - Well unfortunately brother, I think it's time to say arrivederci to Italia, but I'm glad that we both enjoyed ourselves here. - It was a great time. - Onto the next? - Ciao for now.

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