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Hospitality in Genoa

Day 6 & 7- Piedmont and Cinque Terre

By Hospitality in Genoa

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Day 6:

We started our exploration of Piedmont in the town of Barolo. This small but mighty town is celebrated for its production of one of Italy’s most esteemed wines, the Barolo.

From Barolo, we ventured to the nearby town of La Mora, where the Agricolo Brandini Vineyard awaited. Known for its exceptional wines, the vineyard offered a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the art and flavors of winemaking.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by picturesque vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. The serene beauty of the landscape set the perfect backdrop for a memorable wine tasting experience. We learned about the vine-to-bottle process, cultivation to harvest and aging. We also explored the cellars and barrels, gaining insights into the winemaking techniques that make Agricolo Brandini wines truly special.

Our wine degustation continued through a very sophisticated lunch made with regional products. It was a very valuable learning experience.

Day 7:

The Piedmont weather got the best of me. I decided to stay in Genoa to rest, it allow me to meet a very nice pharmacist that recommended typical Genovese restaurant in the city.

The Lavazza Experience + Free Day

By Hospitality in Genoa

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After an early train ride we arrived in Torino. Our day begins at the heart of coffee culture – Lavazza. Founded in 1895, Lavazza has become synonymous with Italian espresso excellence.

We had the great opportunity to visit the production center and learn about the Lavazza brand all that while enjoying delicious coffee. We then departed to the Lavazza Museum. The Lavazza Museum takes you on an immersive journey through the history of coffee, showcasing the company’s evolution and the art of coffee-making. From vintage coffee machines to interactive exhibits, you’ll gain insight into the intricacies of coffee cultivation, processing, and brewing.

After immersing ourselves in the world of coffee, we venture out to explore the captivating city of Torino. We began our city exploration at Piazza Castello, the beating heart of Torino. Admire the grandeur of Palazzo Madama and the Royal Palace, two magnificent landmarks that showcase the city’s past.

Free Day:

During this free day I explored Genoa a bit more and allow myself a small shopping spree. A relaxing day to recharge my batteries.

Day 3 – My favorite Day

By Hospitality in Genoa

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Our day began in the charming town of Santa Margherita Ligure, a vibrant coastal gem known for its pastel-colored buildings and picturesque harbor. We wandered through its narrow streets, soaking in the lively atmosphere and admiring the elegant villas that dotted the landscape.

Next on our itinerary was the world-famous Portofino, a place that truly embodies the essence of the Italian Riviera. As we approached the harbor, we were greeted by a panorama of pastel-colored houses, luxurious yachts, and a backdrop of lush green hills. We hiked up to Chiesa di San Giorgio, a small yellow church on top of the hill, to enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the charming village below. We then wandered through the picturesque streets, discovering hidden boutiques, stylish cafes, and elegant piazzas that exuded an undeniable sense of glamour.

Leaving Portofino behind, we set sail for the secluded and enchanting village of San Fruttuoso. Nestled in a small bay, accessible only by boat, this ancient fishing village welcomed us with its pristine pebble beach. We  enjoyed a leisurely swim, and took a nap on the big rocks, basking in the serenity of this hidden paradise which almost made us miss the boat to our fourth location.

As the day drew to a close, we made our way to the charming village of Camogli, known for its colorful houses and vibrant maritime culture. The town’s pebbly beach and picturesque harbor were lined with fishing boats and tempting seafood restaurants.

Our day exploring Santa Margherita, Portofino, San Fruttuoso, and Camogli was a whirlwind of coastal beauty, historical treasures, and unforgettable experiences. From the glamorous streets of Portofino to the hidden coves of San Fruttuoso and the colorful charm of Camogli, each destination offered its own unique allure. This was the best day of this program.

Arrival in Genoa

By Hospitality in Genoa

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DAY 1:

After a beautiful night in Rome, the eternal city that effortlessly merges ancient ruins with a modern cosmopolitan vibe, Malwina and I got on our way to the airport to start the Hospitality in Genoa Program. After a smooth flight, we stepped off in Genoa, excited to begin our Genoese adventure. It was now time for Malwina and I to separate to discover our apartments. My apartment nestled in the heart of the old town, welcomed me with its cozy ambiance and true Genovese architecture. To get to it we had to walk through Genoa’s vibrant squares and narrow alleyways, which at first looked spooky, to unveil a beautiful little “piazza” and the huge green door of the building.

It was now time to meet with others from the group around a nice plate of pasta. We all got to know each other and laugh about our struggle to get to Genoa. Later that day we all had to meet Piazza di Ferrari for a brief orientation and gather over dinner. We savored traditional Ligurian dishes such as pesto Genovese, focaccia bread, and fresh seafood delicacies. Our taste buds danced with joy as we explored trattorias tucked away in the city’s charming corners, discovering new flavors and indulging in the simple pleasures of Italian cuisine.

DAY 2:

We all met again for a tour of the city. We embarked on a walking tour of Genoa’s captivating nooks and crannies. The city surprised us at every corner with its maze-like streets, picturesque harbor, and splendid medieval architecture. We then took the train to Nervi a close by city on the water. The weather was beautiful and the city reminded me of my hometown. As we strolled along the picturesque promenade, we couldn’t help but marvel at the crystal-clear waters and the breathtaking cliffs that hugged the coastline. We all agreed we would come back during our free day to enjoy it a bit longer.

Later, we took the train back to Genoa to learn about Genovese cuisine and cook a delicious meal. I enjoyed it so much, learning about the products and getting a taste of what slow food represents was truly eye opening. We all left the stomach filled and new recipes in hand.

May 17th

By Hospitality in Genoa

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The next day, we gathered early in the morning for a guided tour of Rome with Professor Rice. We visited iconic landmarks like the fountain and the Colosseum. At the fountain, we took numerous photos and made wishes while tossing coins into the water. In a heartwarming turn of events, we witnessed two couples getting engaged within just 15 minutes. We cheered and celebrated their joyous moments. Afterwards, we entered a breathtaking building that had stood for over 2,000 years.

Following the tour, we had some free time, and my friends and I decided to make the most of it by indulging in a delicious meal. We found a restaurant that served incredible food: pizzas, pastas, delectable tiramisus, and mouthwatering fondants. Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to savor some authentic Italian coffee.

With renewed energy, we embarked on further exploration of the city. Our next stop was the Vatican, where we wandered around, giving each other impromptu tours while looking up information online. We also made a stop at a shop to buy souvenirs for our families. Many of us chose shiny rosaries as special keepsakes. As we headed back to the hotel, we made a quick detour to grab snacks and drinks for the train journey that awaited us. Gathering our belongings, we made our way to the train station and boarded the train, spreading out the food we had purchased on the table. The five-hour train ride turned into a joyful and entertaining experience for all of us.

May 16th

By Hospitality in Genoa

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The day in Florence began with a rainy start, dampening the spirits of many. However, I couldn’t contain my excitement and donned my flashy rain jacket, ready to explore the city. Professor Rice led us on a tour, showcasing the city’s magnificent buildings, the resilient bridge that survived the war, and a golden-nosed pig known for bringing luck when rubbed. As soon as the professor mentioned it, I sprinted towards the pig, enthusiastically rubbing its nose. Energized and determined, I was fully engaged in the tour.

Afterward, we had some free time, and my friends and I were eager to visit a vintage jewelry shop we had heard about. Although the line was long, with only six people allowed inside at a time, we patiently waited for nearly two hours. Finally, it was our turn, and Jerm bought a necklace, while Pauline treated herself to a ring and a pair of exquisite earrings. The wait may have taken up a significant portion of our free time, but it was worth every minute.

After our long wait at the vintage jewelry shop, we were ready for a satisfying meal. We found a cozy Italian restaurant where we indulged in delicious pasta dishes. The comforting atmosphere and laughter-filled conversations added to the dining experience. We paired our meals with glasses of fine Italian wine, making it a memorable and enjoyable meal in Florence.

Later, we indulged in some shopping, with some of us finding stylish clothes and myself purchasing an adorable tote bag featuring a baby angel and a little cat reading “Puss in Boots.” We had fun exploring the city before heading back to the hotel. As we gathered for our group meeting, exhaustion caught up with us, and we unintentionally dozed off in the lobby. Once we regrouped, we collected our belongings and made our way to the train station, ready to embark on the next leg of our journey to Rome.

May 15th

By Hospitality in Genoa

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Our day trip to Pisa began with a train ride that provided a much-needed break from our busy schedules. We were all exhausted from the previous days, filled with non-stop activities, and I, in particular, was still recovering from being sick. As we boarded the train, weariness took over, and we all dozed off, quickly succumbing to the gentle rocking motion of the train. The journey felt like a blink of an eye, and before we knew it, we had arrived in Pisa.

Once we stepped off the train, Professor Rice took us on a captivating tour of the city, sharing intriguing facts and recommendations for local cuisine. As we leisurely strolled through the charming streets, an amusing incident unfolded. It was only when we were walking towards the Pisa tower that the pieces finally fell into place for me. In that moment, I blurted out, “Wieża w Pizie!” (which means Pisa tower in Polish), exclaiming my sudden realization. Dawn, who happened to be right behind me, burst into laughter at my delayed connection. Afterwards, we were given free time to explore, and Jerm and I took the opportunity to venture into the bustling market. Jerm had become infatuated with a pair of sunglasses Elia had worn, so we scoured the stalls in search of a similar pair. With our hunger growing, we stumbled upon a cozy café nearby, where we indulged in mouthwatering Italian focaccias. Fueled by delicious food, we embarked on a playful photo spree, capturing hilarious moments with the leaning tower as our backdrop.

After a tiring but exciting day in Pisa, we boarded a train and made our way to Lucca. This city turned out to be a lot of fun! In a lively plaza, we stumbled upon a talented musician who had everyone dancing to his music. Professor Rice guided us through the city, sharing interesting facts. We had free time to explore, and my friends and I enjoyed a delicious lunch in the square, savoring pasta and white wine. We then decided to rent bikes and race around Lucca, interacting with locals along the way. It was an absolute blast! Later, we took another train to our final destination, Florence, where we checked into our hotel and had a fantastic group dinner. The food was amazing, and we had a lot of fun trying different wines. After a day filled with laughter and enjoyment, we finally went to sleep, ready for more adventures ahead.

Saying Goodbye

By Hospitality in Genoa

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In our free day, I decided to have a relaxed slow day in Genoa, in which I caught up on laundry, cleaning to prepare to leave, packing, and finishing up assignments. I had a small breakfast, which was a very tasty sandwich right across from our apartment, and started cleaning and packing. I enjoyed my moments of rest and got ready to go out for our final group dinner. I had a delicious lasagna and great veal, as well as great conversation with good company. It was nice talking to everyone before we all departed our separate ways. We got in a couple of nice group photos for the memories.

 

On my day of departure, I left early to spend three more nights in Rome. I wanted to explore more than what we did during our day trip, such as a tour at the Vatican, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the inside of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. I left early from the apartment to the train station, and said goodbye to Genoa. It felt very bittersweet, as I had an amazing trip and met great friends, but it was soon time to head out. I arrived in Rome and head to my accommodations to start my last couple of days in Italy.

Reflection 7 – The lasts days :(

By Hospitality in Genoa

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Day 13 – Free day

We were all pretty tired from the entire trip, so this free day was very much needed! We slept til the 11:00am and then we decided to go souvenir shopping. We went to the the stores that are down by the port area as well as the classical Via XX Settembre stores. Around 3pm, we went to a restaurant that is close to the port to have our last lunch together! Throughout the day, I was kind of sad the the program was coming to an end. After that, we decided to head back to our apartments to finish packing and get ready for dinner!
We got all dressed up and went to our last group dinner to the Michelin star restaurant Rosmarino. The food was absolutely delicious! Also, after dinner, we decided to hang out a few more hours in Piazza della erbe. This was the last time I saw all the students that participated in the program. I was sad that the program was coming to an end, but so happy to have made all those wonederful friends that I’ve never would’ve met if it weren’t for Hospitality in Genoa.
Moreover, that night the local soccer team had won an important match, so people were out celebrating on the streets. It was pretty cool to see this celebration! What a coincidence that it happened in our last day!

Day 14 – Departure

All my roommates had early flights, around 3- 5 am. Therefore, we said goodbye to each other the night before.
When I woke up, the apartment was empty. I had to take out the trash and clean the apartment a little to leave it ready for the housing agency. Since I am staying one more day in Genoa, I packed my bags quickly and decided to chill in the apartment til it was time to leave.
I am honestly going to miss that apartment and my roommates so much! The connections we made in this trip are forever and I really hope we stay in touch!
Throughout the day, I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed this trip. I had a great time with all the students and the professors! It was my first study abroad, and I can say it was unforgettable.
I hope I get the opportunity to do this again in the future.

Reflection 6 – Milan and Fernet!

By Hospitality in Genoa

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Day 11 – Rome & Genoa

We started the day off by going to the Spanish steps located in the city of Rome. Professor Rice explained the history behind them, and he went on to give us a quick tour of the major sites of the city, including the Trevi Fountain, and the Panthenon, the oldest Roman temple. It was impressive!
After that we had some free time to wonder around Rome. After eating at the famous sandwich shop, All’antico vinaio, we rode the city bus with the tickets Professor Rice gave us. This was a unique experience, since we felt like locals taking public transportation to the city. We finally reached the colosseum and wondered around the area. We did took a lot of pictures from different angles of the colosseum and even ate a restaurant that is just in front of it! Honestly, this day felt like a dream, since I’ve been watching TV shows and moves about this wonderful city for so long!
In the afternoon, we found the rest of the students around the area too and we decided to take the metro back to the hotel. From there, we took a 5-hour train ride back to Genova Brignole, which the train station we recurred to during the program.

Day 12- Milan

This was the last day we had a “day trip” from Genoa. We were all very tired from the day before, but at the same time excited for Milan! We dressed nice and went to the train station were I got a delicious focaccia to enjoy on the train ride over there.When we got there, we went on a quick tour of the city, including the Duomo di Milano, galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the Quadrilatero fashion area. After that, we went shopping to the shops closer to the duomo, which were the ones we could afford. After, we decided to go to an Asian restaurant, where they sold bowls, to take a break from pastas.
From there, we went to the Fernet Branca Distillery. I was very excited for this experience, since I am from Cordoba, Argentina, where the famous drink of “fernet with coca-cola” was invented. The tour and our tour guide were awesome, very interesting and it honestly taught me a lot I did it know about fernet. Additionally, it was also fun to see how excited Professor Dodge was, he was so happy during the tour, clearly he loves fernet!

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