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Thursday, 23 August 2007

CK Goes to Italy – Genoa (Genova)

Out of the recommendation from a colleague of mine, I was curious about this refurbished old port town. I would like to see how a once dirty, dusty, noisy and chaotic port has been turned into a European City of Culture. Another attractive point about this city is that, it is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.

After a smooth ride on an Intercity train for about one and a quarter hours from Stazione Milano Centrale to Stazione Brignole, I was stepping on the Genoese soil on the 26th day of May, 2006. As the waterfront is just about 1 km west of the train station, I started my exploration on foot along the main shopping boulevard, Via XX Settembre. One of the corridors' Gothic arches are very pleasing to the eyes.

At the end of Via XX Settembre is Piazza de Ferrari with many buildings of Renaissance architecture. The name of the square has nothing in relation to Enzo Ferrari, though.

A fountain occupies the centre of the square, dominating the front of Museo dell'Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti.

Standing proudly at one corner of Piazza de Ferrari is the Palazzo della Borsa which housed the former stock exchange.

The other corner of Piazza de Ferrari occupied by Palazzo Ducale, in which I took the stairway leading to the upper corridor to check what was up there. In fact there's nothing much to see, as the palace is nowadays used for temporary exhibitions only.

Adjoining Piazza de Ferrari is Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. I continued walking westward along Via San Lorenzo and the bell tower of Cattedrale di San Lorenzo was already in sight. Another black-and-white-striped structure?! Oh gosh! The Italians really like the Nyonya 'Kueh Salat!'

The front facade of the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is also decorated with black and white marble stripes! There are even Gaudi-like spiral columns beside the doors which look like candy sticks! I wonder whether it is edible?!

Take a break, have a portrait! I couldn't resist to pose in front of this 'Kueh Salat' and 'candy sticks'. Haha!

OK! Now let us take a look at the refurbished waterfront of Porto Antico by the world-renowned architect, Renzo Piano. I like this suspended canvas structure very much. The sprawling steel columns, the strings of steel cables and the white canvas all synthesised into a beautiful shape and form.

I took a shot from another angle which makes the structure a resemblance of rigs on a vessel. I hope I've not got the concept of the architect wrong. Hehe!

When it was lunchtime, guess what I did? I bought a roasted pork leg all for myself! The crust was a bit hard, but the meat inside was still pink in colour and juicy. Yummy!

After a lunch which was pleasing to the eyes and also the stomach, I was full of energy to start exploring the Acquario (Aquarium). The architecture was also done by Renzo Piano.

At the very end of the Acquario, a spherical greenhouse is used to showcase the tropical rain forest of Madagascar.

The first segment of the Acquario showcases the tiny living creatures in the sea. These translucent jellyfish were very well highlighted under a blue background.

The aquarium is in fact a very good place to practice the panning technique. With all the fast moving fishes, it takes a lot of practice to get a clear shot.

A living shellfish is displayed at another part of Acquario. Triton used the shell to make his horn.

These are the South American tropical fishes, I think.

A stationary sawshark with another one passing by. This shot allows me to express the contradiction of still and motion.

Although it is an aquarium, a green gecko can also be found here.

And two of a kind parrots were putting up some show as well.

It was already in the late afternoon after I've come out from the Acquario, so I went back to the train station to catch a train back to Milan.

If you would like to read my other posts on Italy, these are the links:

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