Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 8 - Genova, Italy

Did you know that it is against Italian law for more than 3 people to sleep in a hotel room? We didn’t! Luckily, when we checked into the Sheraton in Genova, the kind hostess – whose name was Josy! – made a special exception for us. She even gave us an extra roll-away bed for the kids.

After goofing around in the hotel room, we went downstairs for dinner. The Airport Sheraton didn’t provide gourmet meals, but it was fun. The waiter was fun, and he taught us a lot of useful Italian words (please excuse my spelling):

  • Thank you = gracia
  • You’re welcome = prego
  • Please = per favore
  • Very good = molto benne
  • Good evening = buona sera
  • Hello = bon journo

I also now know that my favorite flavor of gelato is stracctiacella! That loosely translates to chocolate chip – only much yummier.

These first few hours in Genova confirmed it – we really love the Italian people. We can’t wait to go back when Susie, Mark, and Sean arrive later this month.

Our planned destination for our full day in Genova was two-fold: Porto Antico (the old port) and Piazza Ferrari, which is where Christopher Columbus’ house is! Naturally, we had a few issues with the GPS, so we didn’t exactly drive right there. However, we did get there.

As we were driving in, we could see an amazing, authentic pirate ship in the Porto Antico. Wow!! For those of you who don’t know, Max and Josey adore playing Pirates of the Carribean online. Max even has a small pirate flag tied to his backpack. So, sighting the pirate ship created great excitement!

Once we found it, we were thrilled! We explored the ship from top to bottom, stem to stern, and it was great. This was Max’s favorite part of Genova!

Next, we braved the streets between the Porto Antico and Piazza Ferrari. Again – wow! Everything was so incredible! The churches (there were several), the buildings, the interesting stores (from desserts to pasta!), the people . . . I was enthralled!

Here is an idea of what we saw.

Here is the Piazza Ferrari!

Here is Christopher Columbus’ house. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside.

Here is the view of Genova from atop the tower & fortified wall still standing.

We ended our day in the Porto Antico with a very Dado-like adventure. There was a gigantic cruise ship in the port, and Dado decided that we were going to try and board it! After about 30 minutes of walking around to find the boarding point, we actually succeeded in making it past the first guards. This was the check-in point, similar to a boarding gate in an airport. We were stopped by the security guard, and Dado said, “We just want to look around a bit, if that’s okay.” She said, “Sure.” and waved us past the security point!

Now we were walking along the actual ramp to the cruise ship! We actually made it onto the ship, we were literally standing on the ship, when the second security guard stopped us. He was a bit more serious, and he wouldn’t let us wander around the ship. Bummer! It was fun, though. Max wasn’t having quite so much fun because he was worried that the ship might leave while we were on it.

Here is a view of the cruise ship and the maritime building & fountain.

We had dinner in a very crowded shopping district, which was thrill-packed! The street was literally thronged with shoppers until the stores closed at 7pm. Then . . . poof! Everyone vanished.

Genova was great fun, and we look forward to more time in Italy!

Love to all!

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