Genoa’s beauty isn’t for the faint-hearted. The city is beautiful, but not in the traditional sense… Walking through the old city streets, you feel as if you are walking through the remanence of a once glorious republic. The Victorian, almost French inspired architecture on every street corner is charmingly scarred by amateur street graffiti and lack of upkeep. As you get closer to the port and the streets become narrower, the faces you pass become more and more diverse; proving that it’s still one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean.
Anyways, I like this city. Going from a slow-paced, traditional, tourist region like Tuscany to an touristically overlooked port city just north of the Italian Riviera is quite a change. On a daily basis, I speak more Italian here than I did over there. I mean it makes sense; in more touristy cities, Italians will encounter english-speaking tourists more often there than here. Additionally, working at a hostel in Genoa has it’s benefits. Aside from the free accommodations and food, everyone here is speaking Italian. Of course as none of the volunteers are Italian, we speak english to each other, but still everyone tries to speak Italian. As a matter of fact one of the cleaning ladies will ONLY talk to you in Italian and I LOVE it! I get to use my Italian in a work environment.
My workaway experience here has been incredible so far. Granted, I haven’t worked an actual shift yet, my first shift is this evening from 9PM – 1AM. It sounds like a shitty shift, but honestly it’s not bad at all. There are about 7 other volunteers working here and from my two days here I find that it’s a little family. Everyone eats and drinks together throughout the day, goes out together from time to time, and (what I love most) ends the day together in the courtyard and talks until 2AM. So even after my shift at 1AM, I will still have time to relax with company and a drink. Everyone here is so friendly and welcoming. My first day here I felt like I belonged. The hostel itself is lovely; it reminds me of a giant house more than a hostel. It’s situated on a hill overlooking the port, near Giardini Tito Rosina. In the early evenings you need to watch your head as parakeets in the trees above drop chestnut fruit. As I’m typing this right now, I’m on the 3rd story terrace surrounded by trees and a gorgeous view of the port. It’s really a nice, tranquil place.
I’ve only been here for two days, but I really love it so far. I have a great feeling about these next two weeks.