Most of you know from following me on Facebook and Instagram that I recently made a big move from Bologna :'( to Genoa :D for work. It’s been a bittersweet change since Bologna was really the first city I called home in Italy, but I’m SUPER giddy about discovering a new Italian city. Honestly I feel like a child running around a theme park, begging mom and dad to ride every ride there is, pointing everytime I see something new. Every time we go out I’ve got my camera our like a proper tourist, shooting at literally everything, including pigeon hangouts?
The past few days have been a complete whirlwind, between saying goodbye to our friends in Bologna, moving a *hitload of boxes from Bologna to Genova (2 vans + 2 cars), buying out the entire IKEA store (seriously, we spent three hours in there because I couldn’t find the right forks? WTF?) and running bureaucratic errands all over the city (like applying for residency and starting the dreaded process of renewing my permesso di soggiorno – more to come on that later).
All I can say is thank goodness for the nearby sea – an aspect that makes me feel like I’m on holiday everynow and again. B-) I still can’t get used to the fact that I can walk few miles and see the ocean. There is a constant breeze from the sea on our balcony even though we can’t even see it. I mean I hear SEAGULLS (and churchbells) when I wake up in the morning. They make really strange sounds, but I like it.
The decision to move to Genoa is a change that many people sort of give me a funny look and say, “Why Genoa?”. My students in Bologna warned me – “Genoa is certainly not like Bologna!”. A few people have even mistakenly believed I was moving to Geneva, Switzerland. I guess Genoa, Italy not exactly a place many people know about on the map. The truth is I didn’t move here out of sheer desire to live in Genoa, but rather it was a work decision. So just like Bologna did, Genoa chose me in a way.
But you know what my friends? So far Genoa has been pretty cool. It’s an oddly beautiful city. I say ‘oddly’ because I wouldn’t exactly call it beautiful, like Florence or Rome, but rather it’s a city full of paradoxes: one moment there is a beautiful castle surrounded by green gardens and white marbled fountains, the next there is a modern skyscraper covered in dirt and graffiti. The port, although surrounded by an endless blue sea, is full of mammoth cruise ships, cargo boats, and industrial loading cranes, which kind of puts a blot on the landscape (You get over it when you go a few miles south where there is a natural view of the sea with a beach area for swimming). The historial center is full of small, dark winding alleways that can either be “charming” or a bit “shady” (and I don’t just mean physically :shock: ), depending on which way you turn. All I can say and is come and discover it for yourself!
As for the food? Coming from Bologna, aka the “fat” city, I have high expectations when it comes to food. So far, I’m impressed by the Genoese cuisine! I’ve bought fresh pesto from the supermarket several days in a row (the cashier, after noting my keen interest in pesto, recommended which brand of pesto and pasta to buy) which been excellent. Foccaccia has literally been my ‘daily bread’ – a perfect mid-morning snack alongside an espresso in between running errands. The farinata (a sort of chickpea flatbread typical of Liguria) gives french fries a run for their money in my opinion and is a tasty street food. We also had fish one night at a resaurant a bit outside of the city and it was SO FRESH and amazingly inexpensive. :P I give it my stamp of approval, but of course there a loads of eateries I still want to try.
That’s all the updates for now. In a few days the boyfriend and I head to America to escape the ferragosto dead period in Italy and to ‘initiate’ him into my crazy family (including attendance to my best friend’s wedding), which should be fun, at least for me anyways. More Genoa updates to come soon! :thumbsup: