Italian alleyways – a day in Genoa
Whenever I visit a new place, I love to go on the hunt for hidden spots. Equipped with this spirit it was not difficult to fall in love with Italian alleyways. To be surrounded by art and architecture is an incredible experience. Walking in certain places is like taking a train to the past… A collection of history, antiquities and workshops where you can still feel human warmth and the art of making do is still a rule of life.
Below is a selection of my most meaningful shots.
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Driven by instinct – it is like a treasure hunt
I am in Genoa on a warm summer morning. My starting point is the square that can be barely distinguished in the above photo.
I have just left the bakery whose sign is partially legible…“Grano” means “wheat” in the Italian language, and the bread smells and tastes so good, I cannot even describe it. I can enter and describe the alley in front of me, anyway. 😀
My instinct tells me that it might be the best place to start my exploration of Genoa’s alleyways. So I will let it guide me.
Escorted by buildings – I feel protected
The above alleyway is hardly wider than one meter and the sun never shines on it. The weather has suddenly changed: it looks like a fresh Spring (I can not imagine what temperature is like in winter).
Despite this, the atmosphere is absolutely evocative: the buildings that almost touch and seem to want to kiss each other harmoniously lead me out. There are various shops (some are closed, while others are crowded). Glee is in the air…
Here comes the icing on the cake: two people who live in front on the third floor, are basically chatting face to face. At one point one of them says: “See you later” and they shake hands… To some it may sound trivial, to me it is magical…
Endless alleyway – a scooter out of the blue
Although in the previous photo you could see the light in the distance, this alleyway appears to be endless. It has been a few minutes since I last saw someone or heard voices.
This silence is suddenly broken by the noise of a scooter. It is a lot more noisy than fast (deadslow, actually), but still it gets to overtake me, only to stop 10 meters down the street. Its female owner gets off and starts calling her mother (who apparently lives on the fourth floor) in a loud voice. I love this place!
Oh, that noisy scooter indirectly showed me that there is an end to this begi… Er actually to this alleyway. 😀
Another hill behind – I am about to find out something beautiful
Obviously the photos cannot tell that, but I have been walking for more than two hours and the high temperature is starting to make me feel uncomfortable… I have just walked past another uphill alleyway, when I suddenly notice a new scenery: some new colours surround me now. I feel I am close to find out another Genoese gem. What will it be? A hidden square? An ancient monument or maybe I will unexpectedly find myself on a small beach?
Dead end – funny but fun
Nothing like that: The uphill alley led me to a dead end street. Buildings, parked cars and walls surround the area. You just cannot go any further.
People’s looks are incomprehensible: I do not know if they are wondering why I am taking pictures of a dead end street or whether I am just another tourist who made a mistake and ended up here (the latter, hopefully).
What I do know is that the high part of the city stands out above the roofs and the windows look like stern eyes, reproaching me for being too curious.
Genoa, I beg your pardon… I adore you, but you are oh so hard to visit. No, do not take offense, I will walk away with some great memories. I walked under the burning sun for two hours, I went the wrong way and basically got lost, but it was worth it. During this time, I got to feel the atmosphere, I got to “breath” your alleyways and most of all I felt Genoese!
So again, it was definitely worth it!