Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Last Thursday marked l’arrivare de la delegazione di Brooklyn. The first of our two friends to arrive was le piccolo messicano (for those unaware, any neighborhood beyond Park Slope is officially south of the border). Unfortunately for our jet-lagged guest, his train from Milano was running sufficiently behind; unfortunately for Trofie Wife, a nice woman waiting with me on the platform tried to make small talk about this state of affairs, but after I nodded in mutual frustration about the train being late, I couldn’t respond to her further musings and finally had to say that I didn’t understand, which understandably left her confused as to how to proceed (and probably wondering how/why I nodded in assent to her first sentence). Needless to say, Martello and I both (though me especially) have to work on our small talk, particularly because people seem to think that we’re good folks with whom to strike up a random conversation. But I digress….Le piccolo messicano finally stepped onto the platform and was able to make it up the hill to our house and even stay awake for a bit before nodding off in the expected manner.

The other half of the Brooklyn delegation, le simpatizzanto della destra (let’s just say that he never ordered a “Yes We Can” bumper sticker to replace the unpopular one currently affixed to his sedan), landed on the Arenzano platform past Trofie Wife’s bedtime. Martello and le piccolo messicano went to pick him up and then proceeded to burn the midnight oil with the social lubricants in the house while Trofie Wife snoozed.

I raggazi slept in that next morning but we spent the post-siesta afternoon in Genoa, touring some of the stately palazzos (Martello spent the post-siesta afternoon at his office desk). Unfortunately, we weren’t able to snap any shots in either Palazzo Reale or Palazzo Spinola, but I’ll provide links to their Web sites so you too can envision life amongst Italian household treasures. Reale is known for its hall of mirrors, la Galleria degli Specchi, which provides the illusion of endless luxury (or, depending on your perspective, maybe just a poor man’s Versailles; see for yourself http://www.palazzorealegenova.it/specchi.html). The mansion also has a fantastic winding roof that Trofie Wife imagines was the setting for some rocking parties (wigs and powder flying everywhere) back in the day. One massive flaw, however, seems to be the size of the beds. Either these doges were teensy and always slept alone, or their original, massive beds were infested with 17th century bedbugs and replaced with Ikea mattresses. All I’ve gotta say is if I had inhabited a palazzo with a hall of mirrors and crystal chandeliers, I would’ve also sprung for the California King!

While the Reale sits on one of the main Genovese drags, across from the University (which the original inhabitants graciously funded), the Spinola is obscured on a side street. It endured significant Allied bombing during WWII and was mostly restored. It’s definitely darker and has more stories than the Reale. At its apex is a lovely, yet narrow, rooftop with panoramic views of the city. For a virtual tour, visit http://www.palazzospinola.it/English/visitavirtuale.htm. One strange note: Touring both of these mansions requires moving from room to room with a group at an appointed time. The guide nudges you forward, so there isn’t much time to linger on a particular piece of artwork or furniture (this was especially true at the Spinola, though to be fair, we were the second-to-last group of the day).

Following our time travels to the days of the doges, we hopped a train back to Arenzano and met Martello at home. The boys (well, two out of the three) made pizza using refrigerated dough and fresh toppings. It was quite tasty, though it included a bit too much hot pepper for Trofie Wife’s taste. Yet again, i ragazzi stayed up late to imbibe (though at a reasonable rate, I am ensured; given my own lack of a tolerance level, my definition of “reasonable” is way off from the supposedly acceptable norm) while I trotted off to dreamland. Thankfully, no one knocked on our door to complain about the noise…

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife


Rachiemoo said...

i like the pics of them cooking (and mo drinking!)

Trofie Wife said...

You taught him well, grazie!