One of those Exceptional Days here in Genova

This morning, in dire need of an espresso after a superb yesterday, I wandered over to Mentelocale Cafe with my laptop hoping to put together a post while drinking that coffee.

I sat down and set myself up at Mentelocale Cafe then realised I stepped into the maelstrom that is the International Music Festival.  The 'background' music playing as I work here is mind-blowingly good.  As in, non-stop concerts at the major courtyard of Palazzo Ducale - from 09.30 until 13.30.

Genova retains its superb reputation with me.  It's a city where I have learned to accept the unexpected will happen.  Later, wandering the ancient city streets, marching bands would appear randomly ... complete with baton-twirling girls, smiles pinned in place, uniforms immaculate.

Let's just say it was surreal but quite 'Genova' for me.

But this post is really about yesterday.Yesterday I passed by a lovely local woman I had photographed and chatted with, by chance, more than two years ago.  She had been leaning on a windowsill and I had asked if I might photograph her.  She agreed then had come down to chat with me.

Fast-forward to May 2014, last time I was here in the city, and I recognised Paola at a table next to me at a cafe here in the city.  I said hi, not sure she would remember me photographing her but she did. 

Then yesterday, on the way back to the apartment, I passed her again.  She lives in a beautiful fishing village not too far from the city and I live in Belgium.  I don't take these random meetings forgranted.

We stopped and chatted for a little  bit, as she was wondering if I was still here from May.  I ended up telling her of the 'New Way of Seeing' project.  I mentioned I was taking my business partner out to the village I had met her in and she invited us to visit her. 

After a coincidence (or two), we ended up spending some enjoyable hours talking with her.  It was so very good to finally sit down and talk.

But honestly, the coincidences that are happening on this visit are remarkable.  We are meeting the people we are meant to meet but that seems to be the way it unfolds here in Genova.  Every time I come here, I find another reason to love the city more ... if that's possible.

Then last night, we had another sublime dinner at Stefano Di Bert's remarkable restaurant, at the invitation of singer and bass guitarist, Donatella and Luciano.  I met these three via Alessandra, a woman I feel so very privileged to know.   I met Alessandra via Barbara, again it feels like a privilege to call her a friend, and I met Barbara via the most adorable Francesca.

It's like that here in the city.

Stefano, once again, presented a huge range of the most divine wines matched to the most exquisite food.  It felt like we were eating and drinking some kind of sublime art collection ... perhaps.  A marriage of beautiful food and really good wine was almost overwhelming at times.

It was another rather relaxed 'after midnight' walk 'home' through this city I love so well. 

Voila .. it has been like that so far.  No camera, no photos.  I'm sorry.  I arrived here so tired that I have been leaving my camera behind.  This situation should change tomorrow ...

Meanwhile, the shot that follows ... I was up on my bed working on my computer, mezzanine floor, old Rolli palace, huge windows open, beautiful view of the street down below and realised I really must share.  I am so loving this place.