Vespas, espresso, pasta and Christopher Columbus!

European Union flagWithin a moment you have sped along the AutoRoute and it becomes the Autostrade and voilà France is behind you and you are in Italy! No passport control, no douane, no barricades, no police, just a dark blue square signpost with the familiar circle of gold stars and the words ‘France’ replaced by ‘Italy’. You are now in a different country! The roads are the same, the trees and plants but quick glimpses of the architecture reminds you that you are somewhere else.

Skyline in Genoa Italy, birth place of Christopher ColumbusTaller buildings, more compact, with longer, somewhat tattier looking shutters, the provencal ochre, blues and lavenders replaced with duller, more austere shades. The Autostrade hugs the coastline and twines its way along the Italian Rivera, close to the sparkling, beguiling Mediterranean. Small beach towns and fishing villages are frequently signposted, visited along twisting, winding switchbacks, bathed in sunlight beckoning you to sample their espressos, gelatos and pizzas closer to the water. You feel you should be in a convertible car with large sunglasses and a Hermes scarf neatly tied under your chin containing your beautifully coiffured locks, à la Grace Kelly!!

Genoa, Italy, on the Italian RivieraWithin 90 minutes you are pulling up outside a smart Italian hotel in the city of Genoa, a bell boy anxiously rushing to relieve you of your luggage as Manin shopping street in Genoa Italyyou mutter ‘merci’, stammer and replace it with a ‘grazie’, one of the only 5 words of Italian you know, Church in Genoa Italymaybe your French isn’t so feeble after all!!!!

Italian parmesan for sale indoor market in Genoa, ItalyGenoa, sprawling strades, with a tempting indoor food hall, parmesan,

fresh pasta, Onions in the food market Genoa Italyluscious fruits and vegetables! Bustling cafes and

Italian vespa in Genoa Italy

stylish people hurrying across magnificent piazzas and Vespas everywhere!

Harbor in Genoa Italy

An impressive harbor, complete with a authentic replica of Neptune’s Galleon, Neptune's Galleon in the harbor at Genoaappropriate for the city Neptune Galleon Genoa, detail of the bowwhere one of the world’s most famous explorers was born – Christopher Columbus!

Statue of Neptune on the Neptune Galleon in Genoa's harbor

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6 thoughts on “Vespas, espresso, pasta and Christopher Columbus!

  1. You captured the spirit of traveling between the countries perfectly. It is hard the first day when you cross the border to switch the way you say thank you. Reminds me of my travels. Nice post.

  2. Have you thought of offering your writings to travel companies … of course for a “small” remittance approxamately comparable to the price of Mercedes? It reads beautifully and is so superior to the the protypical and predictable blather on the travel brochures.

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