“Genova? Who goes to Genoa?”
“We do.” It is a city not on the edge of becoming a tourist destination.
The old city and renewed old port that is quite interesting. It is “nice” gritty; personable, not isolating like NYC or Rome. A varied mix of people are here; tourists (mostly Italian) for Easter Holiday, young male sub-saharran africans, some muslims, and others. Streets are cobbled and old looking and feeling. Small streets without streetlights are “8 shoes” wide. On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday holidays, when shops were closed, the narrow dark streets looked “threatening” until an old lady with a cane comes out of a door or a kid rides a trike on the cobbles. On Tuesday with the stores open, their metal shutters up and their lights on, it was vibrant old world with a few “foreign” tourists about.
The old port is separated from the city by an overhead highway, like the southeast expressway did in old Boston/NorthEnd. Genoa tore down buildings that separated city and harbor, opened and lightened it up. Developed the harbor front into an attractive public space; aquarium, venues for performances, play areas, walk ways and tie-ups for pleasure boats and yachts, restaurants, and tourist info office. Murals were commissioned for the wide elevated highway supports. Traffic continues overhead.
A Monday walking tour of a couple of hours ended at three city museums made from 16th century palaces. One had Paginini’s violin on display. Some Carriviggios, some van Dykes, and other Flemish painters who stayed in Gena were displayed as well.
Genoa and Venice were the two powerful republics in the “country” along with many other city-states. Palaces were massive mansions of the rich/powerful of the time. Other of these palaces are owned by big companies like Deutche Bank and ReMax. A couple remain in private hands.
On Tuesday, our 47th wedding anniversary, we went of another palace that is now a city art museum complex. Super; an Andre Cartier-Brisson, my favorite photographer, exhibit and another US photographer that I knew nothing about, Eliot Kerwit?… A lovely anniversary lunch in a small side street restaurant where we were the only non-natives. We finished off the art museum day with a Modiglianni exhibit. He was a “famous” Italian painter who was known in the early 1900s in Paris. His work is reminiscent of Picasso who I don’t like and some african sculpture influences. Needless to say “Modi” is not my cup of tea. Cartier-Brisson on the other hand is my cup of tea. We saw an exhibit in Paris at Christmas. Some of the works were the same but many of the originals we had not seen before.
When we finished at 4P, the weather had turned cloudy and blustery. Temperature dropped into the upper 50s and reminiscent of Malta hit. We found our way back to our hotel near the train station through the sheltered narrow streets.