Genova, Italy

My immediate impression on arriving in Genova two nights ago was one of opulent splendor.  I walked with my pack from the main train station (sadly under construction) to my hostel in a minor side street off the main drag of Genova’s principle families from its heyday.  Palazzo sits side by side with Palazzo (now mostly museums, banks and office buildings) with entry doors several floors tall and stunning access stairs running up to first floor living and entertaining spaces.  I was completely floored – it seemed a new definition of the word opulence and I was determined to absorb as much as possible of the city’s splendor during my stay.  I signed up for the city museum pass, a steal at 16 Euros for two day (I visited 13 museums during that time) and made a meandering path through the city to find all of its various cultural spaces.

 

The most overwhelming thing about all of these spaces is the level of detail in ornamentation.  Its impossible to appreciate every part of every building because there are so many layered effects – wall paper, plaster, tile, sculpture  painting and the architecture itself are incredibly ornate.  Here’s a sampling of the textures I ran into yesterday.

 

Possibly my favorite of all the museums was this art gallery in a former convent cloister.  I really appreciated the design of the building, a stripped down version of the original space and the way it set off individual pieces to be appreciated, often with a slate background to further highlight them.  It was easier for the eye to catch detail when set off against a pure background than when surrounded by so much visual noise.

 

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3 responses to “Genova, Italy

  1. Della,
    Malea just sent your contact info…..WOW, I do not have time now to totally respond, yet your photos and the number of places you are visiting is amazing…you go girl!! You are now entering one of my most favorite location in the world….i.e. Cinque Terre,. There is a fine hostel in Manarola, a short (sorta short), climb up the hill, from the train station. Also a good little grocery, with fine cheese and bread for hike. I hiked many of the trails, with hiking pass, had lunch or dinner in each village then took train home (cost included in hike pass then). The color and beauty of the terraced land, gardens, olive tress, is beyond words. You will be totally in nature here and with the blue sea below it is stunning.
    There is a fine mosaic piece on wall outside the neighboring village…perhaps Riomaggiore.
    There is a restaurant towards the sea, in Manarola, after the rail bridge, on right as you go towards sea, with window porch like area, that serves the most incredible dish of seafood simmered in tomato broth for 24 hours….I’m sorry, I don’t have time to look for location or name of dish, yet owner will know, if you can take time to find this, you won’t be disappointed. Order one day ahead of dinner!
    Beyond this I hope you will stay a while in Lucca!
    Malea has strong memories of Lucca…someday, perhaps she can share them. The city is like a maze, with more great food in small restaurants.
    I look forward to exploring your photos later this week.
    Malea’s mom.
    Charlotte

    • Charlotte, Thanks so much for your comment. I am now a little behind in my posting – I’ll put up my photos of Cinque Terre in a day or so. I share your enthusiasm for the place. I hiked myself to exhaustion and took many photos and also just sat and looked out at the sea or down the terraces into the incredibly picturesque little towns in total delight. I feel I’ll need to return closer to (but perhaps not at the height of) summer to see the place more blooming but even in winter there were flowers a plenty and people out effecting repairs on fields and trails. Cheers, Della

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