Monday, July 3, 2017

Goodbye, Genoa


Our third arrivederci from Genoa, and the 3rd time was a charm in many ways...













From Fall of '13 to Summer of '17, with hopes to come back here for future visits to see, experience, and consume Genoa's many charms!



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Torniamo!

We return (torniamo) to Italy and Genoa, 2 years since our last trip and 3 years since wrapping up our year abroad. And we return to blogging as well, at least to capture the highlights of this visit.

Piedmont

Our trip begins with seeing family, including adorable nephew Teddy!










No trip to Piedmont would be complete without some Barolo...and in Italy, even the kids get to try the wine.  (Note to the grandparents: it was only the very low-alcohol wine!)



We also took a side trip into the Alps, to fuel-up on polenta before visiting the longest walking suspension bridge in the world. 
(Note to the grandparents: those are strong harnesses protecting the family!)






Elba

From the French-Italian border to the place of Napoleon's exile: Isola d'Elba.  Such a beautiful island, including half the area being a marine reserve of fish-filled water - filled up with bread, only to then be served with a side of bread at dinner!





Genoa!

And coming back to Genoa has been a return to familiar places, people, flavors and friends:









It has also been a return to the peculiarities of this wonderful city and country...

The juxtaposition of modern and ancient.

Businesses that close for 2 hours at both lunch and dinner!

Captive cats...and girls who miss their cat at home!


The narrow and steep streets of the historic district.

And the abundance of the Mediterranean, fully fried and flavorful!


All of this is cause for celebrazione!!


Friday, August 7, 2015

Arrivederci, ancora

We say goodbye again (arrivederci, ancora) to Genoa, and once again by hosting a party at one of our favorite pizzerias. The gathering is a microcosm of so many facets of our experience, both on this brief return visit and from our year spent living here.

There's the difficulty of organizing the event (or just about anything in Italy!), yet the genuine delight in being together - including the unrestrained kissing and hugging typical to Italian greetings! There's the crowded and chaotic nature of an industrial Italian city, punctuated by moments of incredible charm or breathtaking beauty. And there's often the underlying frustration of trying to connect deeply across the divide of language and culture, but also the abundant friendliness of everyone - not to mention the universal bond shared around fabulous food!

















We are sad to be leaving, but happy to have reaffirmed our great affection for Genoa and for Italy, and for the lifelong friendships our family has been lucky enough to form in our time here.

Road Trip(s)!

We've enjoyed some great trips to areas near Genoa, and (mostly) away from the heat.

Coolest of these (literally and figuratively) excursions: a visit to the spectacular underground caverns of Grotte di Toirano:





The cooling and cool properties of stone castles and fortresses have also been on the itinerary, including a trip to Forte di Bard with dear friends from Genoa.

And also a trip to see relatives in the town of Bardi, plus a repeat visit to its medieval castle.


The Mediterranean again offered a respite from the heat, this time courtesy of the beautiful village of Cervo and thanks to our beautiful friends who shared their get-a-way with us.











We also reunited with David and Stacey near Parma, for a shady and successful navigation of a massive bamboo labyrinth, followed by equally massive gelatos. (As well as Stacey successfully navigating a "get yer own!" battle with David!)


Everyone was a bit road weary, but the ever-present Autogrills on the Italian freeways (Autostrade) provided salvation and sustenance: offering everything from plentiful pasta to piglets, massive marshmallows to moscato, and lots and lots of coffee!


  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Genoa Goodness


We've enjoyed a kind of "greatest hits" during our return to Genoa, revolving around friends, food and fun.

From the outset, we were greeted at the airport by friends and focaccia - two of our most-missed aspects of life in Genoa! 





(Our matching t-shirts honor our wonderful hosts and a shared passion to clean up the often-soiled, otherwise beautiful narrow walkways of the medieval city center - one of our least-missed aspects of life in Genoa! In Italian they read: "Those who clean up their dog's poo go to heaven.")

A picnic followed later in the week, reuniting the girls with many of their classmates, as well as all of us with the lovely families from the school. It was a great gathering, and the girls had fun introducing everyone to "classic American snacks" we brought with us: fruit leather and turkey jerky. (Both of which quickly became two of the most-shunned foods laid out on the picnic tables!)









Palates were cleared and we were refreshed by multiple gelato and granita visits in the days that followed, plus a dip in the Mediterranean to beat the brutal heat. 



Next stops: outside of Genoa and (hopefully) out of the heatwave!




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We're Back (via Barcelona)!

A year after leaving Genoa, we are returning for a vacation: a chance to reconnect with friends, culture, language, plus food and wine!

Our frequent flyer ticket brought us through Barcelona first, for a few days of sightseeing and tapas eating - joined by Uncle David and soon-to-be Aunt Stacey.

Highlights included Gaudi viewing, museum visits that ranged from The History of Chocolate (samples included) to Picasso, and a cooking class which included a visit to a local market.  

This left us jet-lag adjusted, well fed, and prepared for heading back to Italy!