Genova – Revisiting Boccadasse (2008)

Coming from Nice, after a 90 minutes drive, I arrive in Boccadasse, a small fishermen’s village in the middle of the city of Genova, Italy.

In the 70s I used to live here for a while, with my Italian girl friend Laura, a native to Boccadasse. Our daughter Francesca was born here, her grandparents still live here.

This is still a village, most people who live here, were born here. The city of Genova doesn’t stimulate tourists to visit this place. No road signs, no parking lots, either you know where to go, or you don’t.

In this small community all people know each other. I must admit that sometimes, when I lived here, it was a bit too small for me.

The old fishermen’s church. So many of the fishermen didn’t come back, and while the remains of their small boats washed ashore after a storm, their survivors found comfort in San Antonio church. Many of the people of Boccadasse are religious Roman Catholics as well as fierce communists, and I had to get used to that combination.

On top of the hill that forms Boccadasse, you will find the old castle.

Time to go to my old house.

On the way there, a view of the Mediterranean.

And there it is!

Little has changed. Laura and I lived in nr 57, occupying the first floor with a small bedroom on the second.

Quite a climb after a couple of drinks, I remember that.

Another view of the sea on the way back.

It’s great to see that the owners of these houses try to keep everything intact and original.

Many houses are under construction, but they are restored, not rebuilt.

It’s lovely to be back. So peaceful, this village in the middle of this huge city.

I hope Boccadasse will be the same when I return here in a year or two.

Update: on the 4th of November, 2011, the city of Genova was hit by severe floods. I was in Holland and I heard it on the news. It was chaos, several people had died, landlines were disconnected, and I couldn’t get in touch with my daughter or her family. Then I managed to get in touch with Francesca’s niece. She promised me to find out what happened, and a couple of minutes later she called me back. They were in safety, but the electricity was disconnected and they still couldn’t leave the building.

Six people died in the floods: Shpresa Jala (29), an Albanese woman, with her daughters Joy (8) and Gianissa (11 months), Angela Chiaramonte (40), bookstand keeper Pietranera Evelina (50), and a young man S.C. (19), who’s name can’t be published now because his parents haven’t been found yet.




About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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