Friday, 9 July 2010


It was just by accident that we went to Genoa at all, really.  Florence didn't entice us much and so we didn't stay but a couple of days.  I'm sure it had far more to offer than we found, but the bustle and the heat of the city wasn't very relaxing and so we decided to move on.  The question was, where to?  We considered Milan, but figured it would be much like Florence.  Bologna, as the food capital, was another option, but honestly, we were doing fine on the food part of the holiday!  The main consideration was that we had to be in Nice to catch our plane back home and so for me the obvious choice was Genoa.  There it was on the map, sitting right on the Mediterranean Sea (I had packed a swimsuit, after all), not far from Nice, so it was there that we went.

It was another case of slight panic when the tourist information wasn't at the train station.  They'd relocated to a square in the city centre, and the sign said to get a bus number 35 to the Piazza de Ferrari.  I'm always nervous about buses in strange cities.  You have to push a button to tell the driver you want him to stop at the next stop, but how do you know which stop until you get there?  And if you've never been before, do you even know it when you arrive?  The bus was packed and I was taking lots of space wearing my backpack, standing in the aisle.  That's not something I'll try again for a while; it's a great way to kill your back.  Fortunately, about the time that I had to move further back to let others get on, I spotted a sign for the Hotel Ferrari.  I suggested to Bill that was our best guess and it turned out to be right.  Sadly the guy at the information office was fairly clueless.  Staff at other offices when told 'city centre, with a bathroom' would come up with a suggestion and a price and we'd bite.  This guy pulled out a book and circled 4 options - two of them 'Best Westerns'.  To me a Best Western in Europe is like paying a premium price to eat white bread.  We chose one that was about 5 minutes away with an interesting name, Hotel Columbo.

It wasn't exactly inexpensive and our room did not have air conditioning, though the brochure said it did (some rooms do, some don't).  However, the decor was so fun we couldn't resist.  

There was whimsy everywhere you   

looked.  The receptionists must be used to people's reactions by now

but for a moment I thought I'd Stepped through the Looking Glass. 


Beyond reception was another small room, with a sofa, 


a very strange bookshelf holding every book any Italian would  ever want about

Genoa, a marble chess set, an incredible wall sized mirror and curio cabinet, and 

interesting standard lamps.

Fringe was an important design element, serving as door and window coverings, as well as being found on lamps and chairs.   

The lift/elevator took us up to the small kitchen 

and sitting area which led onto the terrace 


where our breakfast was served.  


(That's broken crockery glued to the front of the breakfast bar...)  


I showed you the view we had the other day.  


Bill and I took turns facing that view,


though the rest of the terrace was also very attractive.

Our room was decorated in greens, blues and beige.  

Teal coloured fringe covered the window, which also had glass doors and wooden shutters, as did all the hotel windows we encountered in Italy.  The bedroom light fixture was a sort of woven drum shape that cast dotted-line shadows on the wall.  


The paint work in the bathroom seemed to imitate this lighting effect.  

In the middle room there were wavy areas in blue and white.  

The green lacy chair sat in front of an old painted table which was plastered to the wall.  It took us a full day to notice one of the back legs had been sawn off and that while it was squared with the wall, the wall was slightly angled.  

There were two extra beds in the room, which we covered with suitcase contents in preparation for packing to go home; this would have been a bargain for as a family room.  There was also a small fridge but, as I said, no air conditioning.  This was the only problem -- other than a neighbour's TV echoing through the alleyway at 6:30 am.  We imagined it was a local getting his own back on all the bloody tourists.  On the other hand, we were nearly acclimatised to the weather and we only had a couple of nights left.  Also, the location was incredibly convenient, being within the Medieval part of the city, but more about that tomorrow.  

Perhaps Struggler or anyone else interested in decorating might find some inspiration here?  Me, I'm thinking I need to find somewhere to hang some 10-foot long fringe!


James said...

My dear Shelly,
I've been busy watching grandsons and haven't had much time to comment.I just wanted to let you know I'm still on your Italian tour and enjoying every post.

Struggler said...

Struggler is indeed extremely impressed by this creative decorating, even though I'm not sure I'd like to replicate the entire style at home! I do like the shadows cast by the light fixture - that's rather fun. I won't be gluing up broken crockery any time soon though!

Shelley said...

Hey James! Thanks for the positive feedback. As you know, comments are very encouraging!!

Struggler - This is the problem, isn't it? Trying to have some fun with the decor and still look like your house is inhabited by sane adults.