Charlie and I have been fortunate to travel to Italy a number of times. On this occasion, we visited Genoa in the Liguria region.
We stayed on the converted fourth floor of an Italian Palazzo. We approached by taxi, which was a hair-raising experience through the tiny streets.
The ancient city of Genoa still hosts a thriving port and the narrow streets of the old town are filled with life. Gilded churches abound. Prostitutes sit in doorways in the half-light. Threading our way through the maze of cobbled streets, we emerged from dim ravines into sunlit piazze.
We began to ascend, through wider streets, rising steeply up towards the mountains that embrace the city. Up and up, unable to see past the lofty buildings that scaled the hillside.
Then we emerged to wonderful views of the city and the sea beyond.
A night’s sleep and then we set off to explore some more.
At street level, the city is intense, occasionally to the point of seeming almost oppressive. Not so bad in the April sunshine, I found myself wondering how it would feel in the depths of January.
But as ever, in Italy, food was not far from our thoughts.
On the last day, we took the funicular railway up into the hills and walked back down.
And then we were back down into those narrow streets again.
Deep fried milk for dessert? Who knew?
But as always, every trip comes to an end.