Thursday, September 24, 2009

Genoa

This computer has to stop for a think about every 2 seconds, it appears, so this might be brief and peppered with missing letters, although it seems to be behaving so far...

Anyway, checked out this morning and took the train to Genoa without incident, wasn't too bad with the bags, big strong men just seem to appear at moments like these! Or weak and feeble men who regret the offer when they realise just how heavy my suitcase actually is, but follow through from a fine sense of machismo, at any rate...

I'm staying in a private room in a B&B here in Genoa, and let me tell you, after the snore-ridden, automatic 5-minute-shower-restricted, locked out all day hostel in the Cinque Terre (actually, it was aiight, but you know) it is a perfect oasis of calm and tranquility. Clean, spacious, nicely decorated, free internet, ahhh... was seriously tempted not to stir outside this afternoon.

Stir I did, however, walking past the old harbour (featuring a large old-timey wooden ship - is it the Pinta? the Santa Maria? No, it's the set of a Roman Polanski film! Ha!) and into the old town, which is very aptly named. The old town of Genoa really retains a medieval feel (if you shut your eyes to Vespas and neon signs) with a mass of dense, narrow, dark alleys, which shut out the hot sun and summon up unexpected breezes - a bit perilous when you venture in with a pouffy skirt like I did! Had no agenda, so just walked around soaking up the atmosphere, down the compulsory Via Garibaldi (nice old palaces, but again, so closely crammed together that it's hard to get any perspective on them), into the cathedral, which featured the supposed Holy Grail in its treasury - Dan Brown, eat your heart out... as well as a knock-out reliquary or something like that of John the Baptist - this was absolutely stunning. Oh and the platter old Johnny's head was served up to Herod on. They seemed mad keen on John the Baptist for some reason - I suppose you get his head-platter and the collecting urge just sets in...

That's about the extent of what I did today, other than being chatted up by an 80 year old Italian psychiatrist named Aldo in a very broken Italian-English conversation (come down this alley, it's not so windy, it's sunny - ummmm, how bout no? I mean, at least sweeten the deal with some candy...) More Genoa tomorrow, don't know what exactly, then my time in Italy is up! How can that be?

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