Marilyn Geary

Journeys Illuminating the Old Ways

Marilyn Geary

2014 April Day28 – Genova, il finale


Today is a special day, as it’s the last day. I said goodbye to Cheryl and saw her off on the metro to the train station, where she headed for Milan. Ciao, Cheryl! Ciao!


On my own, I found a focaccia booth on Piazza de Ferrari where they were selling focaccia as a cancer benefit of some kind. A good reason to buy more focaccia.


I popped into the Palazzo Ducale which has been showing an Edvard Munch exhibit. Skipping that, I went for the exhibit on food in Italy, held in the bowels of the Palazzo Ducale.

Interesting to see how the quality and quantity of food has changed the average height of Italians over time. Also interesting is the use of printed white cardboard boxes to convey information. This may only work in a gallery dating from the Middle Ages.


Next door was an exhibit showing US and Italian photographers who focused on poor farm workers and contadini. Interesting to see the similarities between Dorothea Lang’s subjects…
and those of the Ligurian paese.
Next I visited the city archives, Archivio Storico del Comune di Genova, which resides in the Ducal Palace.

It presented an interesting array of historic items related to food, including a set of measures used to standardize quantities.



On to the Cathedral with its grey and white marble facade, typical of Liguria.


I visited the Treasury for an extra few Euro, which brought me down below the cathedral into an exhibit area developed in the 1950s. It consisted of a series of rooms containing amazing treasures of the cathedral, including the bones of San Lorenzo, patron saint of the cathedral. Do you see them? Teeny tiny.

I was taken by this silver statue of the Madonna representing the moment of immaculate conception.

Passages in the dark, underground rooms included circular steps to allow visitors to come in close to the objects. I nearly slipped on one step and had visions of crashing down into the center of the treasures and ruining them and myself forever, but that fleeting moment of fear left me when I set myself securely on the steps and started paying closer attention. Ouch!

In the afternoon, thunder and lightning thrashed the skies of Genova. I decided to spend the rain time in museums on the Strada Nuova, but getting there in the storm presented a challenge.

Amazing how you find that water finds a way to flow downhill, particularly in a city built on hill slopes. I found a galleria that provided cover for most of the way to the museums.


The Palazzo Rosso, a 17th century former home of the Brignole-Sale family, contains art works, but more interesting to me were the rooms showing historical furnishings and how the residents lived. Here is a bedroom. A floor to ceiling mirror on the wall facing the bed amplifies the ambience.

The Palazzo Bianco also contains art works, including many Flemish works..


On the way home, I stopped at a candy store called Pietro Romanengo to pick up some gifts. The store has been in business since 1814, and the decor has not changed since.

Paintings of the four seasons decorate each corner of the ceiling, which is covered with painted silk.

Candies are made with recipes 200 years old. I asked about a box of sugared fruits, and the clerk told me they originated with mariners who needed to preserve fruit to avoid scurvy on their long voyages.


After another long day, I reluctantly headed for home. Although the Risorgimento Museum stays open until 7pm, I lacked the oomph to get there. It must save for next time, along with so many other sites and experiences.

It’s taken a bit to create these notes, but now I have a bread crumb trail to refresh my memory and photos that would have been lost with my camera had I not uploaded them. Thank you, Lauren, for encouraging me to take the time to keep a record!!

And a big thank you to those of you who have commented on these travel notes. You have kept me connected to home, which sometimes can fade away when traveling for a while. After nearly a month, I am sad to be leaving but glad to be coming home. Bittersweet.

Everywhere people rave when I mention San Francisco. We are blessed to live in one of the best spots on the planet, and I am never entirely sad to return.

Ciao, Ciao, Ciao…..


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