I am migrating most of my travel journals to Daveno Travels. This is an excerpt from my second international trip in 2011, where I returned to Florence, and went on to Genoa and Portovenere.
The train speeds through one final tunnel and at last arrive in Genova, which more resembles Florence than I expected it to. The train station is beautiful, with its rococo ceiling and stained glass windows. After finding an English speaking travel guide who points me in the right direction, I depart the station and walk through a downtown shopping district with wide sidewalks covered with logias like those that surround San Marco Piazza in Venezia, but with the addition of neon signs suspended from the vaulting.
I look for my lodging – the Ducale Genova B&B. I find the street almost by accident but I cannot find the building. I’ve asked 10 people where this address is, only to be waved off. Finally, on my last pass, I find a note with my name on it, taped to an unmarked green door at the base of a building with matching green shutters. Maria will meet me at 7 PM.
She unlocks the heavy green door and swings it open open. It closes on it’s own as we start up the stairs. This building was a convent in the 14th century, and Maria demonstrates the acoustics by flicking on a light switch, which we can hear as it clicks on on the bottom floor. Mother Superior could always hear the front door.
There’s a Marble Man standing in a grotto in the courtyard. Marie says I was clever to not pack a lot of stuff, since my room is at the top of the building.
This room is three times the size of the one I’m staying in in Firenze and includes a working kitchen, decorated with mirrors and handmade blue tiles. The bathroom is the size of the main room and includes a full size bathtub, a rarity among European B&Bs. The view is of the courtyard where the Marble Man stands, bordered by four 14th century towers. It’s not the splashy view indicated on their website, but it’s more quiet and sublime. I could easily take up residence here…