Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 2 in Genova, Italy

Today has been a mad crazy freefall into narrow streets in the old city, into interviews, into the kindness and generosity of a friend and many strangers.

Without Paola there wouldn't have been the magical introduction to her hometown. I might have found these places but over time and without my translator.

This morning was meant to begin with a slice of the best foccaccia in the world and it did but that led to an interview and photographs an hour later. Not only that but we were sent on our way laden down with more of the best-ever foccaccia in the world. Photos to follow when my internet issues are resolved.

We discovered a cafe called Cafe Boomerang where the cappucchino was so creamy and light it had to be marked it down as a favourite.

We wandered the alleyways visiting a soap and ecetera place, an exotic old shop full of mysterious things and ended up conducting an impromptu interview with the owner.

Shoeshops, bookshops and then there was the fresh pasta shop with the cafe through in the other half - better I photograph it than explain, as words fail me here. On to the chocolate shop and we have an interview booked for 2.30pm and the shops ... did I mention how quaint they are, and I use 'quaint' because I'm not sure how else to describe the olde world charm of something that is real and apparently unchanged over decades.

Then there is the habit of aperitif here.
You order a drink at a bar and voila, a huge plate of food appears with it. It might be that I enjoy more than one glass of wine but I'm becoming quite traumatised by the quantity of food that comes with each glass. The waiter understood my 'Dear God!' last night and we all laughed.

So we stopped for a non-alcoholic Shirley Temple drink before lunch and out came the plate of food ... the peanuts, the pistachio, the chips, the salami, the cheese and the foccaccio.

It was only that I was needing to rest my achilles some before lunch.

Lunch was at Da Maria's - interview later this afternoon but it is known as being an authentic and affordable Italian kitchen-type restuarant. Paola chose wild boar while I caught up with an old love ... ravioli.

And somewhere in-between the breakfast foccaccia and the lunch there was also the very special and wildly extragavent expresso with bananas and whipped cream. We went to the original shop and not one of the copycat shops that have appeared since.

Genova is beautiful and warm and welcoming.
It has raced to the top of my favourite places in the world list ... let's see how it goes in the days ahead.

I hope alles goed where ever you are.


Simon said...

Paola told me on the phone this morning about the interviews and the free piles of foccaccia. Not that I'm envious or anything...
And the aperitivi are one of my favourite things about Genova.
Looking forward to seeing the photos (if you find time for that inbetween all the coffees and nibbles;-)

paris parfait said...

It sounds like you're really in your element - photography, beauty, interesting people and delicious food and good wine! Can't wait to see your photos. xo

furiousBall said...

wow, i'm just a wee bit envious :-)


Di Mackey said...

It's good to read of your pure heart, Simon. As for the photographs, I hope to download some tonight and then go wandering with my laptop to a wifi cafe. Let's see how it goes.

Oh Tara! I am!! :) How did you guess. Photos to follow Sunday night maybe xo

Peter said...

I translated your post for my SO Di, right after we came home from the yearly Antwerp sailboat race (gray, 12°C, some rain).

"Oh my", he said, "she's having the time of her life, what an amazing friend Paola turns out to be, and what a stunning city".

"I think we might consider a city trip", I replied with a smile on my face, "obviously, after I've successfully finished my Italian 101 course ;-) "

Di Mackey said...

Oh Van, I do believe you would love this. Let's mark it down on your 'things to do when you're in Europe' list.

Di Mackey said...

Hans is right, I am. 12o and rain is surprisingly untempting, Peter. I've been in shirtsleeves all day.

Lol, Italiano 101 huh ... I did that back in New Zealand a long time ago. I feel like I should listen constantly to the lessons on my mp3 now ... I would love to have this as a language of mine.

ML said...

Oh how fantastic the trip already sounds! I can't wait to hear more. And now you make me look forward to my own trip to Italy and elsewhere next month! I cannot believe though that it could be any better than yours is already starting to be! Have a wonderful time and cannot wait to hear more!

Lydia said...

Waahhhh, I want to travel to Genova! But, second best to that is reading this post and imagining all the places you mentioned (and the food in them!). So glad you are having a wonderful trip.

Manictastic said...

I. So. Totally. Envy. You. Right. About. Now.

Have fun :D

V-Grrrl said...

Happy you are so happy... : )

Di Mackey said...

Thanks ML. I'm sure you'll enjoy your travels as much as I'm enjoying mine.

Grazie, Lydia. If I keep practicing perhaps my Italiano will improve ;)

Oh Manic, I'm sorry. Does it help to know that I'm fighting a headache and wicked sore throat? That panodol is my best friend right about now?

Thanks Ms V :)