EuropeItalyGenoa

Impressions of Milan and Genova

Genoa Travel Blog

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Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Italy you had me fooled with your slick PR machine. After making it out of Brussels against the odds I expected to land in a sun-drenched country of quaint little villages, our escape from the harsh winter. I certainly didn’t expect a layer of snow and a long train trip through the seemingly endless run-down post-industrial suburbs of Milan. Who knew that Milan is an urban sprawl of 7.4 million people?

It took us most of the day to get to Genova, and one of the striking things about the train trip is just how similar the landscape and climate is to Flanders - the Po Plain is very flat and lies at the cross-roads of major trade routes. How much history is actually geography? Could it really be coincidence that these two regions grew to be the richest regions of Europe in the Middle Ages based on a trade and textiles industry?

Finally to Genova. It is funny how a town smaller than Adelaide was once a powerful republic, for 300 years from 1100 CE, with one of the largest navies in the world and ownership over the region, Corsica, Sardinia and the Tyrrhenian Sea, with colonies in the Middle East, Greece, Sicily and Northern Africa. We were in Genova to see the Via Garibaldi, a UNESCO World Heritage listed street lined with decadent palaces during the peak of Genova’s wealth in the 16th century as an important centre of the Spanish Empire. Wandering around the old city last night and this morning the best pleasure was in looking through the windows of the palaces and up at the ceilings, decorated by famous painters such as Rubens and Van Dyck. Actually many run-down slums also appeared to have peeling and faded masterpieces slowly rotting from the ceiling - Genova collapsed as a rich society in the mid 17th century with the plague wiping out half the population and a major attack by the French decimating the city, never again to regain its glory.

Our favourite, however, was the beautiful Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, built in an interesting Romanesque-Renaissance style with twirling white and gray columns and two very sad lions guarding the front.
troysgonewalkabout says:
I really love your writing style - I'll definitely be back to check out some of your other blogs later...congrats on being featured today!
Posted on: Dec 31, 2009
Adrian_Liston says:
Hah! Fair enough :D
Posted on: Dec 27, 2009
lamadude says:
Who knew that Milan is an urban sprawl of 7.4 million people?

... everybody? Especially a well traveled person like yourself? haha

Don't judge Italy based on wintery days in Milan though, most Italians don't even consider the city to be part of Italy ;-)
http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/59534/day-Milan-3

Have fun cruising!
Posted on: Dec 26, 2009
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Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Via Garibaldi
Via Garibaldi
Via Garibaldi
Via Garibaldi
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Streets of Genova
Streets of Genova
Genoa
photo by: Grpablo