A Tale of Two Tours

Trip Start Nov 07, 2013
Trip End Dec 11, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tour #1

The Susans, being too snooty to stay in Genoa like Ken and Andrea went to the home of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, Portofino and Santa Margherita.  They had a bux driver who thought he was driving in the Gran Prix. Hairpin turns on a mountain road.  As with most tours they started with a church in Santa Margherita.  They walked around a beautiful square overlooking the Mediterranean.  The also took a leg breaking haul up a very high hill to discover another church, which was closed, but the views were exquisite.  Then they got on a ferry and went to Portofino, which was so tiny, it is only a little square on the water, surrounded by mansions.  You cannot live there unless you have been in People magazine.  The Susans were lucky to get in.  They were told that the cost to moor your yacht for one night in the harbor is 4,000 Euros.  Hotel rooms go for 3,000 Euros a night,  Last summer, Andreas Bocelli gave a concert just for the people staying there.  Then they came home.

Tour #2

 Ken and Andrea went on a walking tour of Genoa.  It is a beautiful town which at one time, and probably still now.  This city is where the money was.  The Genovese were the first bankers to the monarchs of Europe.  They built huge palaces and even built a road over the hill.  This road is known as via Garibaldi and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.  We visited a church where the road goes under the bell tower as there wasn't any place to to build it because the palaces took up too much space.  The walked through the labyrinth of medieval streets and then on to the later wider streets.  We also had a great time watching a group of preschool kids listening to street musicians.  The large cathedral is San Lorenzo.  Poor unfortunante San Lorenzo was grilled to death.  I am not kidding, the front of the church has a scene of a guy laying on a grill.  However, don't get confused, The Virgin Mary is the symbolic queen of Genoa.  
We also learned that the flag of Genoa and a red cross on a white background, which is also the crusaders cross.  You will be interested to know that the crusaders brought back John the Baptists ashes and they are in the church of St Mary of the Vineyard.This church also contained a large British bomb which fell on the church during Sunday mass and didn't explode.
There are 40 palaces in Genoa.  We visited one which contained elaborate ceilings that contained both one dimensional paintings which orphed into 3 dimensional sculpture, the Avatar of their day.  The doges of Genoa needed big impressive palaces to impress the royalty to whom they were lending money.

We also saw Paganini's violin which he called Cannone, for it's sound.  No one could figure out why it made the sound it did.  We couldn't take pictures of it, so you must visit Genoa if you want to see it.  Be careful, remember that Paginini sold his soul to the devil.

We came back for Turkish lunch  which was excellent and then Trivia (we were losers again).  Sue had withdrawal because there was no Bingo, we arranging an intervention, she was so depressed she went to her room for the rest of the night and drank red wine, watched a movie, read a book, while the rest of us enjoyed our sail away from the observation lounge and had a nice dinner.
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Earl and Nancy on

Wow -- sounds like a wonderful place -- and Andrea, you have quite a great writing style. With "all you extra time" you should write a book. Think of us as we rid the yard of leaves AGAIN. Take care and continue to enjoy this wonderful trip.

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