2 January 2014
If one pays attention, one will find Liguria is a region bustling with elderly. I had thought maybe all the young kids ran off for more successful career but instead, I found out that like Florida is the haven for elderly in the States, Liguria is the Florida of Italy. Its warm climate, year-round, mild temperature, humid when rainy, arid when sunny, its beautiful coast and still within the Italian country was the likely region for retirees to set up their last few years. Many elderly Italians I’ve met rarely know English or any other language, which I find odd considering this notion that Europeans speak more than one language.
Outside the main city of Genoa, you will find pension homes littered up and down the coast into the treacherous hills that seem to be engulfed by fog on rainy days.
Alas, our beautiful sunny days at the beach turned sharply cooler as a cold front drifted from the mountains and blocked the humid Mediterranean Sea, pouring bucketful of rain and fog.
My boyfriend’s father and grandfather are buried up on the hills of Bogliasco so we took the opportunity of dreary weather to visit their grave. Whereas in the State, there are rolling hills and plains of tombstones, land in Italy is very scarce, especially in a mountainous region. So they created steps where boxes are piled on top of each other, cursive names and dates with accompanying pictures decorated the marble facing. At the bottom of the hill are the older tombs. As one climbed up the hill, one sees the more recent deaths.
Never having gone to a cemetery for a burial or anyone else, I am always unsure of how to behave. Instead, I keep quiet and just watch as family members do their ritual rites for the dead.
The day continues to pour, spit, and finally drizzled out into mist by evening.
After visiting Nonna, we took a ride into Genoa, visiting an “oriental market” though it it far from oriental, a word I often find very offensive. Worst is when I hear someone call it “The Far East”.
This market reminds me of Florence’s Centro Market. At the time we went, many of the shops were closing. I did find an interesting milk dispenser. It is supposedly cheaper to buy a bottle and then get milk through the machine, which was much like a vending machine.
We finished the night by meeting family friend for dinner at Frateli di Bufalo. It is supposedly known for its buffalo milk, cheese and meat. We ordered bruschetta, fried balls consisting of rice, pizza, and potatoes, diavola pizza, and even ordered a coke! It has been years since I’ve had soda and was rather disappointed in the flat taste. Overall, it was a good place but also reminded me that much of Italy is a place I am sorely allergic to, making me very homesick for comfort food. Cheese and nuts scatter on food like cocaine for Italians, who are addicts to such fattening food.