Tis Returns to Italy! Day 34: Live and Let Live in Genova
One of the things I love most about Genova is its “Live and Let Live” approach.
In the many cities of Italy that I have been privileged to experience, Genova is by far the most diverse. The sheer variety of cultures represented in its people gives it a fascinating flavor. Walking down the streets you can hear many different languages, meet people from all over the world, and most deliciously, eat a wide variety of foods.
Not that I don’t simply love Italian food, but it is heavenly to have a Peruvian place just outside my door.
The people of Genoa are tolerant of all types, with most going casually about their days, letting others do the same. As I was sitting in the old neighborhood bar from my Sunday “Museum of Life” experience, a lesbian couple stole a kiss as an old man sat in the corner at the table next to them. His reaction? He slowly took another sip of his espresso.
One night, as I was walking home, I still had a bit of work to do. I noticed a caffè with tables outside and decided to grab a drink while I finished my work. I walked inside what I thought was the caffè attached to the tables, and ordered a beer. As the guy behind the counter pointed to the beverages on offer, including sodas, waters, and juices, I realized I had walked into a kebab stand run by devout Muslims. The beers were being sold by the restaurant next door that owned the tables.
I excused myself and headed next door. After I bought my drink and sat at a table, I watched the scene around me. People were walking up to the kebab stand, getting food from there and a drink from the restaurant before settling into a table. The restaurant sold Italian food and was run by a family of Asian descent.
It struck me how many signs I’ve seen that restrict outside food or drink. Here, it doesn’t matter. Do you want a kebab but also a beer? Help yourself. Take a seat. Enjoy.
One of the loveliest surprises of Genova has been all the amazing cultures I’ve been able to enjoy, and how they seamlessly flow together in the fabric of this amazing city.
Genova, I am in love!