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A NEW WAY OF SEEING - A PHOTOGRAPHY RETREAT FOR WOMEN, IN GENOA, ITALY, 2014

Not only has Di changed my perception of the city I have called home for the past six years, she has also taken me beyond my own limits as a photographer. She has inspired me to stop living my entire life on the default settings I have grown so comfortable with. By pushing a camera to its limits and learning how to manipulate the manual settings, I, for the first time in my life, realized how much potential I was wasting by always deferring to my default auto setting.

Leah Armstrong, from Help! I live with my Italian mother-in-law, and her article about the workshop over at Holiday Mag.

Come join me on a journey of discovery in an exquisitely ancient Italian city.

 

'Visit' Genova via Stefano's RIGHICAM.

Of all the things I wondered about on this land, I wondered the hardest about the seduction of certain geographies that feel like home - not by story or blood but merely by their forms and colours. How our perceptions are our only internal map of the world, how there are places that claim you and places that warn you. How you can fall in love with the light. Ellen Melloy, Writer
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the quick brown fox

Come travel with me to...

Rome from xx to xx December 2099

Sunday
Nov232014

Club La Claque, Genova

I love Genova. It's a city of secrets that can be difficult to find but they are so stunningly intense when discovered.

Friday night, Barbara invited me out to Club La Claque and for just 15 euro we were able to listen to Stefano Marelli sing with the truly talented trumpet player, Raffaele, accompanying him.  I would love to hear more of their music. 

Then came Marina Rei and her magnificent band and they played until midnight.  I can't even begin to describe her performance.  She drums as she sings, plays keyboards too, and her voice is divine.  Finding a youtube performance that begins to capture her is difficult.

Walking back through the city after midnight, some Palestinian/Syrian guys were giving the most delicious impromptu musical performance I've seen.  Somehow they radiated joy and pulled all those passing by into their circle of music. I ended up talking to their friend from Lebanon for a while.

So ... Friday was just another beautiful night here in Genova.

Sunday
Nov232014

Days Full of Music and Laughter ... Genova

Saturday night and I was invited to Alessandra's place, with Barbara, Federico and Davide too, for aperitivo before heading out to Teatro Govi and a superb show by the Paul McCartney tribute band(not the best sample but it gives you a sense of their talent perhaps).

Genova is gifting me some beautiful music this visit.  2 nights in a row and there has been music that has had me trying not to  rock out of my seat and dance.

But it's more about the fact that I know some really good people here ... and I'm meeting more all the time. 

Barbara has been teaching me Italian in the quiet times and has actually given me hope that I might speak it one day.  She was surprised to realise I had the sounds required. (I was probably more surprised.  I'm so used to apologising for all of my languages that to be praised felt like some kind of magic).  I will go on with the work.  I think it's more than time I learned to speak here.

Today was all about a most divine Sunday lunch and yes, that was me, the New Zealander there in the midst of her beautiful warmhearted family.  Afterwards there was a family photography session and so much laughter that I'm still smiling.

It's been like that ...

Friday
Nov212014

Genova!

I'm back in Genova and so truly madly deeply glad to be here. 

It seemed like I had plugged into some kind of joy-refill machine as soon as I stepped off the plane in Milan.  And that feeling grew as the train took me across the plains and in through the hills to Genova.

I am here.  And that ... that is a very good thing.

Photographs and stories to follow in the days ahead.

Monday
Aug182014

I Am Missing That City, Its People ...

Coffee at Douce in Piazza Matteotti, Genova.

Or perhaps I am generally missing good coffee.  Even the highway autogrills do good coffee in Italy.

I am missing green beans, lightly cooked.  Tomatoes from Il Bio di Soziglia.  And adding the best riccotta from Le Gramole Olioteca to that mix.  Missing Francesca and Norma too.

Then I miss the possibility of eating Ravioli fatti in casa al “tuccu” di carne at Roberto's place, Il Genovese because Tuccu is the most divine sauce ever invented ... any place here on this earth.

I miss Stefano's restaurant because there are always stunning surprises in store when you eat and drink there. 

I miss the possibility of hearing Donatella singing and Luciano play there.  I am learning to miss Donatella's fried squash flowers too.  They were divine that night she took Helen and I home and cooked for us.  

I miss Barbara and Alessandra.  I most definitely miss Stefano.  I miss Lorenzo

I miss the 'ciao's' that I hear in the street.  I miss Pino & Silvana, and their divine pizzas.

I miss Boccadasse and my seat up on the hill, I miss Outi, Paula and Paola.  There is Davide, Federico, and Leah, and so many others. 

I'm thinking now  ... perhaps it all adds up to the fact that I'm simply missing Genova. And forgive me if your name isn't here because I'm sure to be missing you too  :-)

Yes.

Below, a photograph of Luciano playing bass guitar (really, he is), taken at a performance he and Donatella gave recently.

Monday
Aug182014

Luciano Susto, Genova

I first heard Luciano play at Stefano's Antica Hostaria Pacetti.  He was performing with his wife, Donatella.  Together they are Susto e Soranzio.

They have become friends.  Friends who were kind enough to invite Helen and I into their beautiful home on the hill one evening, friends who generously share their world with us.

I took the following photograph during an aperitivo performance at Stefano's restaurant one evening ...