I’ve only been in Genova for 2 weeks, but the city has already come to feel like home. My coworkers are like family and the hostel has the comfort of a place I’ve lived forever. Perhaps this is how it has to be for people living on the road- you make friends fast and settle in quickly where ever you go, because there just isn’t time for apprehension or bad attitudes. Of course, I’m sure there are bad apples in the travel community, but so far I feel like I’ve lucked out here- I get to work with a really lovely and welcoming group of people in a relaxed and cozy hostel, trying to make sure the guests have a great time visiting this beautiful city. I’ve been feeling very grateful for how well everything has worked out so far.
So, what happened this week?
This week, one of my coworkers and I hosted a Ghibli movie week for the hostel guests: we picked our 7 favorite Ghibli movies and played one each night in the common room. Only a couple of guests showed up for the movies, but my coworkers and I enjoyed the nightly films regardless.
I also hiked up to Forte Begato this week. There are several large old forts perched on the hills above Genova, all of which make lovely hiking destinations, and a few of which are also museums. Forte Begato is the closest to the city, so I was able to hike to it on a whim when I had a few free hours one afternoon. The first half of the trip can be taken by funicular, which is a small tram that travels up and down the steep hills of the city (this is much faster than walking the winding streets and many, many staircases you have to navigate otherwise). The funicular stops at the upper edge of the city, and from there it is about an hour walk up to the fort. Or at least, it would be about an hour if you don’t stop every 10 feet to ogle the breathtaking views of the city, mountains, and sea that spread out before you on both sides of the road, as I did. The walk is very peaceful and mostly devoid of houses and buildings, and it was a wonderful way to escape the rush of the city for a few hours. I can’t wait to hike out to the other forts before I leave!
I also bought myself a pair of roller skates this week (because of course I did). I obviously didn’t want to lug my skates over from the states, but once I got here, the idea of going 9 months without skating was unthinkable. So I caved and bought myself a cheap pair of skates. Genova is NOT a great city to skate in (I skated halfway home from the sporting goods store before hitting cobblestones that were completely impassable), but luckily there is a little courtyard outside the hostel that is smooth enough to skate around in, which will do for now. Roller skating is not a big thing in Europe, and there is not a single rink in Genova (or maybe in all of Italy??). I had fun introducing my European coworkers to the idea of jam skating with the movie Roll Bounce, which they really enjoyed, and couple of them have also taken the skates for a spin. It will now be my mission to bring a roller skating revolution to Europe- I’ll let you know how it goes.
Otherwise, this week has been more of the same- exploring the city, eating too many pastries, and making dinner each night with my work family (one of the Italians taught us how to make gnocchi and farinata, which are apparently specialties of Genova, along with pesto and focaccia). I’ve also begun working on a comic about Genova, which will be part of a series of short comics about my travels this year. Hopefully I’ll have a sneak peek of that to share soon!
Oh, and some exciting news: my kids’ book, Sprout, is now available for pre-order on Amazon! It’ll start shipping on March 1st, and is available in hardcover and softcover versions. Here’s a link!
That’s it for week 2 in Genova. I’ll leave you with some of my favorite recent photos. Till next time, ciao!