This and That… Genoa and beyond…

Here’s a map of where we went today — see the black linemap2.jpgWe’re now in Tuscany, quite near Pisa.  Today was May Day but we missed the parades, somehow even in Genoa, which has a huge number of trade unionists who primarily work on the docks, as it’s the biggest port in Italy.   Here are some nice photos. The round towers are the original walls of the city of Genoa, The two Caribinieri were coming back from the parades.  Question: Why do Carabinieri always go places in twos? Because one knows how to read and one knows how to write.  (Our guide’s humour).

And more:

 

I saw rice paddies for the first time, land prepared and then flooded. Tons of hectares are under water because of rice, and there are olive trees, and all the land seems cultivated.

Passed by a gym or Palestra in Genoa’s old town– with Zumba classes. The white on the mountain is not snow but Carrara Marble — just what Michelangelo used — outside of Genoa.  Then there was the wig shop in the red light district of Genoa…  Cartoon in the New Yorker I was reading today:

cartooon-ny

By far and away the best long article I’ve read about Guantanamo is about a prisoner from Mauritania — who was tortured and imprisoned in Gitmo for 7 plus years. Read it in last week’s New Yorker: prisoner Written by Ben Taub and it’s called The Prisoner of Echo Special.  When people ask me why I won’t go to the US for any reason I say I won’t till Gitmo is shut — this article will explain the reasons….

prof-cafe.jpgLarry donated this photo — he took it when our bus stopped …

Finally we got to Lucca, the walled city of Tuscany.  Because it’s May Day there were many, many Italian tourists — here are some sights:

The Matruschka dolls (nesting dolls out of wood) were a souvenir from  the old Soviet days, I suppose since it is May Day. Cypress trees are all over the countryside, sometimes surrounded by  olive trees.  This square in Lucca is a round and used to be a Roman coliseum more than 1000 years ago — the archways are proof.  When the church needed stone for the churches, the coliseum was dismantled  and so this square is a circle now of shops and houses. Here is a postcard I just bought, which allows you to see it better: circle-lucca

 

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