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Monday, September 26, 2011

Genova and Santa Margherita

It’s been quite a weekend. I am trying to recover, but this week is going to go by faster than I expect. I just know it!
Today I took my second Italian test and I have a couple of assignments due this week, thus not being quite on top of it. But for the big news of last weekend, I went to the Italian Riviera! If you get a chance to go, you should. It was such a wonderful experience. I’m going to take it day by day because that is how much stuff we did! (Pictures will be at the bottom, I have a bone to pick with Blogger about uploading photos, so we have to make it simple so you can see the amazing scenery.) Without further ado Friday….
Friday we got on the bus at school and went to Genoa which was about 2 hours. I had only had coffee and a pastry for breakfast (you know the Italian way) and needed a little water and air during the ride, but it turned out ok. Talk about looking out the window! I know people wanted to sleep, but I just couldn’t between the passing scenery and the company.
In Genoa (which is the English way to say it…why do cities in Italian have to have an Italian and an English version?) we took a tour of the area. There is so much old and new mixed in one city. We’ll everything looks old but they have renovated it being the “new” part. We had the pleasure to be able to go up in the bubble and take a panoramic view of the city. That is some amazing coast here. The city is located in a cove and is a port, as well as being surrounded by mountains/hills. It was some prime real estate if it could be captured. We got to see the castle that the German’s used to take over the city and there are watch towers everywhere. There were more, but during the Second World War, Genoa was heavily bombed so some valuable history was lost. This is the town that Christopher Columbus (or as the Italian’s say it, Colombo) was from, and it wasn’t a new city then so there is a lot of history there. I saw the prison where Maro Polo was held when he came back from the east. It’s amazing that we know so much about a place like this. Genoa is also home to one of the largest aquariums in Europe, and it looked like a cool building from the outside, but I didn’t go in.
After some time spent here we hopped back on the bus and headed for Santa Margherita where we would be staying. Santa Margherita is one of those places that people describe when they talk about their dream vacation. After getting off I was in a group that went to the top of a hill where there is a beautiful villa and you can see most of the town. There is a church up there, which I can honestly say had the most chandeliers I have ever seen in one church. It was beautiful, the way the light caught on the stain glass windows and the chandeliers. After being hungry for what seemed like hours we decended on a small hole in the wall foccacia shop. They ran out of pesto when I got there. I was so bummed because I love pesto and this is the region that is known all over the world for their pesto. I had a sausage and an onion slice instead. Yum! We then checked into our hotel, got settled and headed to the beach.
I don’t know if I menationed it before, but the beach Alassio that I was at last weekend had soft, fine sand like I have never seen before. It stuck to you like glitter. This was not that sand. This was rocky beach to the not as pebble-y water. I didn’t end up going in but I was fun to watch everyone experience the water. It was a skipping rocks day as well.
We met up for dinner after a while and after having walked by the water and seen a beautiful sunset. The sunset was not a great as California ones but it was perfect for where we were. We picked a small local place to eat. It wasn’t by the water’s edge and it wasn’t fancy but it was just right. I had spinach tortellini in a cram sauce that had ground pine nuts. Again, Yum!
We tried to go get a sweet treat afterwards but learned that dessert is expensive, not that exciting, and is hard to find. We got gelato instead, and it was dipped in chocolate. Be forewarned, that though it was delicious, it should not be a dessert that you get when on a date or when in the broad daylight with the company of others. It’s messy and you get sticky fingers.
After sticky fingers we went back and crashed to be ready for the Cinque Terra adventure Saturday.
Can you believe that this was only one day? Neither can I.

Walking the old very narrow streets of GenovaThe front half of this building was the prison where Marco Polo was held prisoner after returning from the east and where he told the stories that were later spread around the area. (fun fact: Marco Polo was not literate)A watch tower defending GenoaThis is the church where the remains of John the Baptist are thought to be heldAnd this is the shrine for them. Sorry its blurry I hate when people use flash in churches!Hanging out at the beach!

Can you say beautiful Santa Margherita?

Had to save my favorite for last...until tomorrow!


  1. So beautiful! I am happy that you are getting to have these wonderful adventures, Belle!

  2. Amazing! Maybe i'll go someday... I'm so glad you're getting to see all of this!


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