What is the first thing that you do when you arrive in a town for the first time? Try to get oriented, look people straight in their faces to know what they will tell you, waving a shy hello, hoping she will welcome you and let you in. Well, I do all this things and not necessarily in this order. I do like people and I’m used to stop them when I walk in the streets even if I do not need any information, just to see how they react and what they tell me. I did it even in Genoa. This town welcomes everybody and no one at the same time; there is no complete confidence with people arriving in this “little” town from the sea (it has one of the major commercial and wares harbors of Italy), from the air and from every other side of Italy. And it seems almost a sense of difence, from the huge invasion that everyday vivifies this wonderful and colourful town.
And I exactly felt this arriving at the rail station: a mix of colours, people, languages, smells, sounds that engage you from the start. I got out and immediately saw the sea and the harbour with a unbelievable huge Msc cruise ship, ready to leave with thousands of passengers. By bad luck I walked to the harbour directly, trying to find the Hotel of Tbe, and slip myself with a lot of doubts into the heart of town, the “Caruggi”, this is the exact word for those narrow alleys of the center.
It is really interesting to read the definition of this word, even if you will find a bit boring, but it will help you to understand and feel what I’m talking about: the term comes from quadrivium maybe linked to “chariot”. According to some may come from “carriaggi”, by the french word “charriage”. So as you see, a mix of latin, french, some spanish. And this mix is still existing!. This is what I saw before really experiencing the town.
Genoa as well as Lisbon is a level town: you can go up and down following your instinct and your curiosity and you will always find something interesting, whatever you are looking for. The first thing you will see is the rich town: the main and huge palaces (the “rolli” list is a very exciting piece of history) with their baroque style, and their life sculptured in the peculiarities of the people who have made these buildings and streets alive with the hustle of their social spheres. And then, going deeper, you will enter the soul of Genoa, the caruggi: confusing, meandering, out of breath, colorful intense, exhausting, as life. I had the chance to have a short visit during the last Tbe, but I also had the chance to meet my friend Sergio who introduced me to the secrets of this town. This a short photogallery, I’m sure not enough to tell Genoa as it really is. Inbetween you will find the photos of the colourfull stand of Rachid, a young seller met in Soziglia street (one of the most famous), a genoese version of Hell Raiser, a remebering of Balilla (a Risorgimental italian hero), and all the colours of the town. A balance between different worlds and languages that comes from ages simply as it comes! Enjoy!