Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Savona

First off, apologies for the delay in adding new commentary to the site, which is attributable to travel, a reversion to Eastern Standard Time (more on that later), and a really good book (to those who haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris). Anyway, much has occurred since Trofie Wife’s last writing, so it makes sense to begin with the promised accounting of our sojourn to Savona.

On Saturday, November 1 (All Saints’ Day) we headed to Savona, another port city, for our first jaunt in the opposite direction of Genoa. Martello’s guidebook on the Italian Riviera, eyeballed on the ride (prior to his inevitable passing out), taught us that Genoa and Savona have been rivals since ancient times, due to Savona siding with Carthage and Genoa with Rome during their epic battle. (Of course that rivalry continues to cease from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. daily when everyone breaks for lunch.)

Arriving around lunchtime, we decided to join the locals in dining. Unfortunately, some misguided ordering senza dictionary led us to select a lunch that had to be discarded (Martello did his best to break up the offending meat with a knife and swirl it around the plate so as not to overly offend the chef). Afterwards, Martello found our way to the site of Savona’s great fortress (where incidentally, the public bathrooms had apparently not been cleaned since the fall of Carthage). The fort boasts amazing views out to the sea and surrounding city and, as Martello discovered (and surreptitiously documented), is a good rendezvous spot for amorous teenagers.

We decided that it would be a good place to lord over, although most of the lording these days seems to be less fulfilling than it might have been in the days of balls and cannons (for example, there appeared to be a fleet of rental cars below one of the vistas; not very imposing nor impressive). Unfolding below the fortress we spotted a carnival—perhaps in honor of the holiday. We descended in order to investigate, but unfortunately there was no cotton candy to be found (isn’t a carnival’s raison d’etre the vending of cotton candy??). So we headed to the center of town to window shop and procure some long overdue lunch for Martello—pizza, which an already portly local dog tried to eat!

Incidentally, having decided long before we set foot in Savona that “My Savona” would be an excellent title for this post, it came as quite a shock when Trofie Wife stepped into a house wares store on the main drag (in order to purchase some discount dishcloths) only to find “My Sharona” (I kid you not!) playing as the transaction unfolded! (Martello missed the whole amazing coincidence while finishing his pizza on the bench outside, but in the spirit of upholding their marriage vows, fully believed Trofie Wife without demanding independent corroboration). We continued to explore Savona’s centro and were surprised by how the crowds continued to bustle in and out of shops into the early evening hours while musicians and bouncy stilt walkers (resembling rollerblades on springs) took to the square to entertain. We grabbed some gelato around 6:30 p.m. (perhaps edging towards dinner time in many communities) and sat in the main piazza joining dozens of Italian families who were all, from very young to very old, eating frosty treats; you have to respect a culture that makes ice cream such an integral part of the day! Savona explored, we decided to head home for dinner and had an excellent, fresh meal in Arenzano’s centro. We promise visitors that we will be sure to take them to this fantastic restaurant!

Sunday was not as eventful as Saturday; actually, it felt more like a Saturday in Philadelphia, when Martello and Trofie Wife would both be pounding away on their computers in pursuit of Mastery. After striking out at not one but two grocery stores (both closed by 1 p.m. on Sunday), we considered attending a local soccer game, but since it was pouring, and Martello owed his former Penn colleagues some feedback, we decided to stay in and have a boring but productive day (of course none of this production was directed at the blog…).

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

1 comment:

Nat said...

I was not such a fan of Then We Came to the End. He's a good enough writer, but I mostly found it irritating. What did you like about it?