0641 Friendly Folks of Arquata (Ita 106—new)

Arquata Scrivia Travel Blog

 › entry 66 of 92 › view all entries

After finally feeling satisfied with my exploration of Genova, I hop on the next train heading north.  Hopefully I’ll still have time to explore a few more towns on my way back to Bergamo

My next town is Arquata Scrivia, which has a completely different feel from all the coastal towns I’ve explored over the last few day.  It’s tucked up in the hills with forest slopes just a block behind Main Street. It’s the middle of the day and the town is very, very quiet.  Main Street has a crisp feel to it, classy, but not ina a wannabe-tourist-trap.  A tower at the top of the hill overlooking the the town beckons me. 

I continue on to the edge of town, down a long street lined with still leafless trees.

  On the hillside are some very beautiful kind of alpine style homes.

I head on back into town… I pause just to grab my daily ice cream cone and some water, since none of the street faucets seem to work here. In front of the simple but stately City Hall is a plaza which serves my purpose.  I’m soon joined by an 18 year old fellow who seems to really like my songs.  I mention that he can find my songs on youtube--  but he tells me he has no access to the internet and no email address… which sounds a bit strange… I can’t imagine an educated fellow in Morocco or another developing country who doesn’t have an email address.  We talk a bit about life in this small town.  He tells he’s not in school any more but rather working with his father as a plasterer.

 

Then he does something rather odd… he asks me for some advice in working out a problem with his girlfriend.  I get a bit uncomfortable--  I can do fine faking Italian with typical small talk, but giving serious advice--  I’m afraid I might say something really inappropriate by accident… but I try my best…

Finally he leaves, leaving me pondering on this fascinating and unusual encounter in small town Italy… This place is within commuting distance to Genova, and yet it suddenly feels very isolated from the rest of the world.

I wander up the back alleys in search for a path up the hill… finally find one.  At the top I find a tower quite similar to the one I’d seen last here in Santarcangelo.

  An older guy on a bench nearby gestures for me to come over and we get to talking… about travels and history… he tells me that it’s always been his dream to go to America.  Which would be normal if he were, say, a Moroccan… but from an Italian?  All he has to do is go to the airport and go!  Then again, there are a lot of Americans who say “it’s always been my dream to go to Italy” and yet, somehow never manage to get there…

I’ve missed my train, but it’s been worth it… It’s been like a cup of cold water on a hot day to be able to interact with the locals here in a small Italian mountain town…

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Arquata Scrivia
photo by: nathanphil