0610 The Land of Columbus (Ita 089â€”new)
Genoa Travel Blog› entry 34 of 92 › view all entries
Iâ€™m excited about discovering
But when I arrive late at night my priority is to make it to the hostel before it midnight. According to Google Maps, the hostel should be on the very last street up a hill overlooking the city-- I should just take the bus, but this seems like a good opportunity to start my adventure of discovering the city.
The hill is to steep for any direct streets-- only streets that snake back and forth on long, endless switchbacks.
I pay for two nights-- I want to make sure I have enough time to explore
Next morning an American college student named Patrick who is studying in
So we head on down the hill together-- this time have no trouble finding the stairways that lead directly to the city, and are soon exploring ancient alleys, with clotheslines strung overhead, magnificent gray and white striped churches, and splendid fountains, as we discuss travel, religion and American culture. He explains to me how in
Genoa has a beautiful historic area-- but then with these ugly 70s style buildings and skyscrapers that spell â€śwhat were you thinking?â€ť built right smack in the middleâ€¦ it seems the city has gotten a little confused along its journey to modernity.
We continue on, down long, royal arcades, up little hills that overlook tall, tightly packed 19th century homesâ€¦ and finally down to the coast.
Patrick, who has rarely enjoyed a sunny beach in his entire life, is pretty psyched about taking a stroll on the sidewalk overlooking the rugged shore heading east-- which sounded good to me, although I was still pretty pessimistic about actually reaching the edge of the city on foot.
The view along the way is quite impressive. The mix of stately baroque, renaissance and medieval architecture of the crowded city center left behind, we now pass beautiful tiled mansions surrounded by palm trees that somehow remind me of
We pass a couple of immigrants from
We come around a bend and suddenly, there in front of us is a charming ancient little village of houses clinging to each other and perched right over the frothy ocean.
After an ice cream cone and a tour of the villageâ€™s labyrinth of alleys, we continue on. Although this village clearly has itâ€™s own identity, itâ€™s technically part of Genova, so it still doesnâ€™t â€ścountâ€ťâ€¦
And so the adventure continues. It seems like around every bend thereâ€™s another discovery to be madeâ€¦ whether it be a splendid castle/mansion with a grooved tower at the topâ€¦ or yet another old style â€śvillageâ€ť with its own little rocky beachâ€¦ or intriguing black and which rock â€śsandwichesâ€ť jutting out from the coastâ€¦ Itâ€™s truly a beautiful hike.
And then finally, when it seems that
A few days later, on my return trip
Since on my first visit to Genova I was so focused on doing the shoreline hike, when I returned a few days later I figured I could spend a bit more time exploring the city centre and the harbour.
The harbour is a bit of a disappointment. First of all, thereâ€™s a big ugly raised highway going right in front of it. Then, once you get there, instead of finding a postcard panorama as I kind of envisioned, youâ€™ve a random mix of an old castle, a couple very modern looking museums, an old sailship, and various random modern structures-- no real consistency to it
But back in the old city, itâ€™s much easier to be transported back to another time, with the hilltop castle with its imposing entrance, the cathedrals and the narrow alleys that never see the sunâ€¦
Finally, I pay my respects at the