This morning, I set the alarm for 6.15am, giving me time to clean the apartment before leaving ... two loads of laundry to do.
I woke at 5.20am and lay thinking how unfair it was, knowing there was no way to sleep again.
I showered, put the first load of laundry through, and packed. I began mopping floors and then voila, almost 8am, and I needed breakfast.
I sat at an outside table at Caffe Degli Specchi, with a cappuccino and brioche, realising that today was the day of leaving Genova ... again.
And so I walked, through the city's centro storico ... walked until just after 8.30am. The air is a soft 17 degrees celsius, the sun is out and, as always, all around me was the quiet hum of this city I love.
'Ciao!' is everywhere. It makes me smile. People arrive in the cafes, pass each other in the street, arrive at work ... 'Ciao'.
I'll miss that.
Someone has written a long story on the footpaths here. Beautiful Liguria has the story on Facebook. I didn't have my camera but I stopped this young guy and asked what it was about. Apparently, it's something to do with WWII. It's neatly written and seemed like another of those surprises that Genova presents to her people. It happened in the night I think.
Anna, from the Beautiful Liguria website, let me know about the story today: 'It is a story of love between a Jewish lady and a Russian guy in world war II.'
Laundry is already out and hanging across via Ravecca. My kitchen window is open and, here I am, this New Zealander who simply loves those times when she comes stay awhile in this private, elegant, chaotic, sometimes dirty, exquisite, secretive, ancient, post-modern city nestled between the hills and sea.