Our First Look

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Monday, March 1, 2010

We check into the Hotel Soana, which is located on the fourth floor of an imposing stone building on Via XX Settembre, one of the main streets in Genoa. We then embark on a quick look at the sights near the hotel, starting with the home of Christopher Columbus, part of the city's original fortifications, and the opera house.
We visit two churches, both of which date back centuries and are covered in religious paintings. The San Lorenzo Cathedral dates back to the ninth century and is inspiring in terms of size, scale and decoration. I am not religious but say a quiet prayer. Then on to the harbour and a drink at the Bigo Cafe. All the while we wander from main street to back alley and try and absorb the atmosphere. An enjoyable first impression.
We walk back to the hotel. As we have not slept in over twenty four hours we take a siesta. All the way to Genoa, to sleep!

We get up later and go for an aperitif. This consists of buying a drink at an inflated price and being given free food, which can consist of olives, tacos, various small pieces of bread, and wraps with various fillings. Part of the adventure is finding out what you are eating. We then visit Cafe Brera, a self service place, rather like Woolworth's but with table clothes. The food is good, and cheap. I have roast chicken and potatoes, food salad and small bottle of wine for €9.90. Good value.
After we wander around the streets before going back to the hotel, and so to bed.
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