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Genova, Genes, Genoa, Italy – however you want to spell it – at last!

picture-29Photo: Erica Berman -The path that leads to home

In Genova, finally, until July 17! My third trip. Inquiring friends want to know why I chose Genova. No-one has ever heard if it. They think it is Geneva, and that I am in Switzerland.  The story is quite simple. In the fall of 2007 I needed a flat with high speed Internet in order to participate  in an Intensive Italian language class and learn Italian, finally.  Not wanting to be in the tourist mecca’s of Florence, Venice or Rome, it was proving difficult to impossible to find a flat that was both nice and had Internet (sounds implausible, but it is true). Finally, I came across a penthouse flat with terrace in Genova that seemed beautiful, and had Internet. Although I knew next to nothing about Genova aside from the fact that it was not touristy with the anglo community, that it was a port not far from Portofino and Cinque Terre, that it was home to the best pesto in Italy, that the ferry leaves from there to go to Sardinia, and that Chistopher Colombus was born there, I decided to check it out.

picture-101Part of the door to my friend Maria’s house

The irony, and beauty of the whole affair is that in my wonderful penthouse apartment, despite the efforts of  numerous Italians, the Internet just would not work with my Mac.

picture-33Portofino a short train & boat ride away

The beauty of this is that , because of the never functioning Internet, not only did I discover a city and an apartment that I adore and where I feel at home, I was forced out the door looking for cybercafes, shops and restaurants where there was WIFI. Something I most assuredly would not have done had it worked in my flat.

I ended up working, using the WIFI,  in an amazing alternative bookshop ‘Books in the Casbah‘ on Via Pre which is the immigrant area of Genova. The neighborhood is with edge, and also with great funky shops popping up left and right. I made a friend of the owner, Marco, in the process, whom I never would have met had I been home in my rented apartment. I also became friends with Raffaela a friend of the woman whose flat I rent, as she came over with her son Luca (who has a Mac) to try to get to the bottom of the non working Internet – to no avail.

picture-61Typical view of rooftops in Genova

All of this did loads more for my Italian then the classes I was taking with other foreigners like me (although the school was great and I highly recommend it, and the other I ended up using on my second trip). And here I am again, almost two years later, for the third time, in the same flat, and loving it again.

My Language Schools:  adoortoitaly.comwww.amalelingue.it

Fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, Provence and Tuscany: haveninparis.com

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Written by Erica Berman

Erica BermanErica Berman grew up in Lexington,Mass. After graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism and an intensive summer at Middlebury College (Vermont), Erica came to Paris with hopes of submerging herself in French culture and perfecting her French -- and she never left. Erica is the founder and owner of Haven in Paris and the blog HiP Paris. She now splits her time between Paris (Montmartre), Maine (Damariscotta), Massachusetts (Lexington) and Italy (Genova). In her all-too-rare free time, Erica likes to travel off the beaten track, explore Paris, read, take photos, cook, ski, hike and enjoy long Sunday brunches with her friends.

Website: Erica Berman

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Posted in Italy tips & suggestions | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Genova, Genes, Genoa, Italy – however you want to spell it – at last!”

  • Hello Erica, I know this post is a bit older, but I found it while googleing Genoa and the language school amalelingue. I am planning my 3 months stay in Genoa from June to August and was looking for reviews on that language school. So did you like it? I was going to take 20 lessons a week with a group, and add a few private lessons here and there. Also, how did you find your appartment? Sorry, these are a lot of quesitons, but maybe if you have some time you could get back to me. I am so excited I found someone that has done the same!!!
    Anne G.
    xx

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