By: Eela Nagaraj
Today we had the opportunity to spend the first part of the day sightseeing and learning about the history of Genoa. After starting the day off with a tasty breakfast at the Hotel Villa Flora Bogliasco, we caught a short train to Genoa. Our first stop was the Palazzo Reale, where we walked through the many artfully decorated rooms, including a hall of mirrors modeled after the famous hall in Versailles.
Here is the outside of the palace from the balcony:
We then walked through the city, passing by the University of Genoa and going into several churches along the way. We also passed by a palace that was up for rent as well as another which had been converted into a shopping center! (We were told that there are so many palaces in Genoa that many have been repurposed.)
We had lunch along the waterfront, where the food selection ranged from fried fish to cheesy focaccia to some of the tastiest sandwiches in Genoa. The food tour did not stop with lunch, however, as we proceeded to browse the aisles of Eataly, a huge specialty grocery store reminiscent of an Italian version of Whole Foods. We marveled at the fantastic sauces, marmalades, sweets, and dried pastas, many of which are unheard of in the US.
After visiting Eataly (incidentally, a name that carries a lot of insight into the character of the trip), we had the amazing opportunity to take a private tour of the Palazzo San Giorgio, which is still an operational government building and is therefore not usually open to the public. The building has its own rich history, as it was initially founded as the seat of political power of Genoa and was later taken over by the port authority. We were shocked to hear that several centuries ago, when Venice and Genoa were at war with each other, Marco Polo was captured and imprisoned in the Palazzo, and that it was in fact during his imprisonment that a writer began to record his memoirs!
We then stopped for gelato (because when in Italy, or should I say Eataly…) before heading to the Cathedrale di San Lorenzo, a stunning cathedral with a black and white exterior.
Finally, we visited the Palazzo Ducole which is the seat of the Doge. Here is a photo of us in front of a fountain outside the palace.
For the final part of the day, we scrimmaged a team from Genoa called Locatelli. It was a fun match and we traded caps at the end of it. Here's a picture of the Locatelli players with their new Harvard swag.
We finished off the day with a great dinner at Clipper before heading back. We can't wait to continue sightseeing and training tomorrow. Tchao!