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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Genoa - Day 2

I wake up to the news that the Spanish fisherman are still on strike with all ports still shut even though their socialist comrades in the government have given into their demands, they have now decided that it's not enough and they want more. Brilliant - does the "government" have paella for brains these days?

After breakfast I head to the station to check on my now no longer useable night train ticket from Barcelona to Milan. Alas, I was confronted by even more stupidity - because I bought the ticket in France I can only change it or get a refund in France! Hello, isn't there supposed to be something called the European Union? Isn't this the kind of abject stupidity that the European Union was supposed to eliminate or did I mistake it for a concept that actually would do something to eliminate the narrow-minded self-serving protectionist attitudes that have corroded European culture and stifled any form of real growth in a flood of red tape and petty bureaucracy.

After the idiocy of the train station I decide to brave more of Genoa. Taking a bus I head for the historic centre around Piazza de Ferrari. Alas I see no Ferrari nor a piazza full of them!

fountain

This is the fountain in the centre of the Piazza. It was redesigned as a pedestrian area in 2001. The fountain was designed in 1936 by Giueseppe Crosa di Vergagni.

piazza di ferrari

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Nearby is the Chiesa del Gesù e dei Santi Ambrogio e Andrea

church

church

This church looks out on Piazza Matteotti and was built by the Jesuits in 1589 over the original 6th century Chiesa de Sant Ambrogio. Giuseppe Valeriani designed the facade which was only finished at the end of the 19th century.

facade facade

There's a lot of these narrow lanes in this area of "il centro storico"

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and buildings with odd angles

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that seem to be just stuffed in to fill the space

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Located on Piazza San Matteo sits the Chiesa di San Matteo

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This Piazza used to be home to the Doria Family from the 12th to 17th centuries. The church itself was the Doria's family church and was built in 1125 and then rebuilt in Gothic style in the 13th century.

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Also nearby is the main church, Duomo di San Lorenzo situated on Piazza San Lorenzo.

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The church was founded in the 9th century - the 12th century Romanesque styled church was never finished. It's present day Gothic style facade dates from the 13th century though alterations were made in the 15th to 17th centuries and they include the rose window, cupola by Galeazzo Alessi and the Lescari Chapel with it's frescoes.

facade

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The rose window was redone in 1869 only the symbols of the four evangelists remain from the original 1476 window.

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Interesting titbit - during ww2 a bomb went through the roof but didn't explode.

lion

Two lions sit on either side of the facade and were made in the 19th century.

lion

I have lunch in a cafe on Piazza di Ferrari - a quite pleasant affair except for the beggar, who not once but twice, demanded money from me. I had enough when he physically shoved his hat in my face and in my best and most forceful Italian told him exactly where he could go.

He left and came back and then started on the waiter - asking for a little water. The waiter gave him a glass and then he asked for a glass of Amaretto! That was the last straw and he was ushered out.

For my return trip I decided on braving the metro and found it as packed as the bus - at least it was quicker. Although while leaving the metro station my eyes started to weep due to a certain pungent aroma - ahh, memories of Cologne.


I thought I'd include a couple of snaps of the hotel - this is the downstairs lounge

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and this is my bedroom

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