January 10, 2009

Our new friend Luca

Last night (2008.01.09) we went out with a "friend of the villa": Luca (I may not be spelling it correctly, but it is pronounced: loo-cah). He was very nice and hospitable. He spoke english very well and took it upon himself to show us the town. Being a native of Genova, he took us to a place he said served the best pizza in all of Genoa...and he was probably right! The pizza was fantastic! He then took us around some of the areas where only the locals go (no tourists), which we would have never been able to do without him (mostly because we would have never found this places). The last place he took us was one of the coolest little "pubs" ever. It was a quaint setting in the interior when you first walk in...lots of little tables with couples or small groups of italians huddled around candlelight, wine, and conversation. (Luca and his friends know the owner and are regulars) He then led us to a tiny set of stairs leading down this tiny passage. The stairs were in the middle of the room with only a low wall to surround the other three sides of the hole in the floor. If you hadn't been shown them, you would have never even known they were there!! The stairs led down into an old well under the floor that was about 6'x12', with a glass floor looking down into the lower half of the well (that still had a little water in the bottom that was lit by a soft blue light). It was mostly dark except for the 50 candles they brought in to light up the room. It was a fascinating interior space with walls of stone and plaster that were hundreds of years older than any of America's "historical" buildings!!! There were no chairs, everyone sat on pillows around the perimeter, facing inward towards the glass floor. At first, there were about 14 of us (students), Luca, and two of his friends. Later, everybody trickled home to the villa leaving only 5 of us and about 20 Italians (all friends or acquaintances in some way or another). (only Derrick, Heather, Ryan, Lindsey, and myself were there until 3:30am with these graciously friendly Italians) We sat for hours just talking to each other, learning Italian, teaching English, learning little nuances about each other's cultures. It was a very rich experience and already made this entire trip very worth it! Graci Luca!!! I met a couple of guys who were super friendly (and interested in the American slang from the movies) and chatted with them most of the night. One of them, Mario, is in computer science at the university here in Genova. So, we were about to talk about web design (a common language we shared! PHP, HTML, etc..) like huge nerds for a while....haha! Anyways, Lindsey took lots of pictures, so when she gets a chance to post them on Facebook, I'll come back and update this post with a link to the album so that you can see this place for yourself. Ciao!!!

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