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Thursday, June 11 Genoa, Italy

We took the noon train from La Spezia to Genoa, a 2 hour ride through many tunnel, with steep mountains to the east and the sea to the west all the way. Many picturesque and colorful villages and small towns until we got close to Genoa which is Italy’s largest port and a large city. We came to Genoa in order to make certain that we could find boxes and packing material for our bikes for the flight to Edinburgh, Scotland on the 16th. The fellow who is the daytime clerk at our hotel is a fellow bike rider. When we checked in and told him what we needed, he immediately called several bike shops and connected with one that had cardboard bike boxes that he will pick up tomorrow and bring to the hotel for us.

He also gave us some bicycle routes for riding while we are in Genoa. If that weren’t enough, he gave us a walking route around the old city and told us that it was very beautiful.
We did not know that the old city had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. It’s filled with huge residences (called “Palaces”  built in the 16th-18th century for the very wealthy, including at least one king. On our walk we discovered building after building that were gorgeous, ornate, filled with art, sculpture gardens and huge. Everywhere you look there are great buildings built with the same architectural footprint, but ornate and distinct in their own right. We had no idea these masterpieces existed. Rather than try to describe them further, we’ll let the pictures we took do the talking.

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Ceiling of entry way in residence.

15-IMG_1992Grand staircase to enter residence from the enclosed courtyard.  Typical of all of the residences.

Scattered among the grand homes was the occasional outstanding church, one of which was spectacular with the interior almost all marble and marble inlay and original religious paintings by Peter Paul Rubens and other masters of the 18th century..

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