I am learning that there's not much sweeter than spending time with good people in the quiet of the late evening ... talking while drinking a lovely red wine and sharing delicious food.
I'm learning the delights of Genova, that city small enough to bump into old friends, and new, most days I go out.
I already knew that I loved when someone chats to me on a bus. There we were, two strangers ... her with her electronic Italian to English dictionary. Me with my book. We chatted, in English but with her introducing me to some new words. We parted in the city but I think we will meet up again. She extended a very kind invitation.
And so, of course, I attempted to describe my yesterday over on Facebook: 'I love Genova :-) I was heading for my favourite cafe when a woman called out to me. I couldn't remember who she was but she knew me ... It turned out that we'd never met, we have mutual friends on Facebook and she recognised me. But there was more than that, she was with another woman I had quietly wanted to meet for years ... and they invited me to join them, there at the cafe, with their lovely friend from the States. It was really really lovely and ... it turns out we're all friends with Silvia :-)
Temple replied in my comments section, with her take on our meeting: I was the woman who called out: saw a lanky blue-eyed blonde whose face I recognized from here sloping across a famous piazza and just said, You're Di Mackey aren't you? She was a bit startled to say the least, but it was indeed her and the rest is as recounted. Plus we 3 Yanks gave her a lesson in US political science she isn't likely to forget for a long time. Namaste, Di, great meeting you!
It was a truly good day because I met them, and because before meeting them, that woman traveling on the same bus into the city, had started chatting with me.
And then I got to spend a couple of hours with Mau, cameras in hand I went city-wandering with that globe-trotting friend, last seen in 2014. A big blister on the sole of my foot limited us some ... but the gelato, it helped in the 36 celsius heat.
Silvia invited me out to dinner last night. She wanted to introduce me to the restaurant called Maniman. It was divine and, as is always the case when I spend time with SIlvia, there was much laughter but balanced with more than a few serious moments. She's a wise woman.
And then we ended up down in the city, living the paragraph that opens this post. We started with an espresso but with a delicious red wine and good food soon followed. Il Genovese remains my favourite restaurant here in the city. It's a place you must eat when you come here.
And then, as if all that wasn't enough ... I got a ride home on the back of motorbike because it was 2am by the time we had done with stories I'm still laughing over when I recall them. I can't recount them here. but I laugh every time that I think of them.
And I feel extremely fortunate to have had all of that in one day, and so very sad about the earthquake that happened, here in Italy yesterday. We were far from it and I knew nothing until my sister emailed me, wondering if I was okay.
It's heartbreaking to realise how many have been lost in those small villages. I think we just need to enjoy every single day, and as many moments as is possible because we just never know. We never do.
Buongiorno from Genova, Italy, where I find photographs like this one, out there in the caruggi.