Sunday, 28 February 2010

Day 121-122-Genova, Italy

I remembered it was exactly a year ago, on my mum's birthday that I bought the Rolla Dolls. Today, Mum turns 70 years old and I am 2 hours away from her birthday dinner. If my dolls have birthdays, then I guess it is theirs too. So to celebrate in true royal style, the Rollas went on a holiday to meet the real Rollas.

The picture on top was the very 1st glimpse of Italy they had. It was from a train window at Milano Centrale where we took the Eurail from Milan to Genova. We had headed there straight from the Milan Malpensa Airport and it was around 9-10am. It was drizzling and the weather was to be wet everyday that we were in Italy. You won't believe it but I love the Italian drizzle. Soft and tender, they are like Evian from a spritzer. Totally refreshing.

Rosanna met us at the train station at Port Principe and we went straight to her home. Let me tell you a secret, Rosanna lives in a dollhouse too! I love her home. It was warm, cosy and very sweet!

I went into the bedroom to put my bags down and true to the legendary Rolla's hospitality, I found these packages on the bed, so beautifully wrapped I didn't want to open them at all.

So many wonderful gifts which I will share later but this one (which I reluctantly unwrapped that evening just before dinner) was the lucky blog candy dip that Rosanna organised and to top it all, she made a miniature version of the apron!

The 2 days with Rosanna went by too quickly in beautiful Genova. Although we took a grand total of about 2000 pictures of this trip, I won't torture you with them. Here are my top picks to show off the Genova I have come to love:

The Alleyways,
Via Garibaldi

(17th Feb 2010)

Painted ceiling of an apartment block

Frescoes and gilded ceiling of a church

The Fishing Village
(18th Feb 2010)

The Quaint Houses
A small hilltop bungalow with a faux drawbridge

To save on taxes (which are based on the number of windows), this house has trompe l'oeil windows. The closed ones are all fakes.

The Market

The SeaportMarG, me and Rosanna walking toward a lunch spot

Lunch, courtesy of Roberta

The Mystery
This century old chocolate shop is in some dark and danky back alley with no signboard. They however sell the best chocolates in Genova. The little pots on the shelves were made entirely of chocolate for the carnivale. Adults puts sweets and candies in these pots for their children to find on the last day of the carnivale.

The Best Meal In Europe
Home Cooked Genoese Dinner

Starters: **panissa fritta e sacripantina (fried chick peas in flour) , Anchovies in oil, salami, bread
1st Course: **pasta al pesto 2nd Course: Artichoke Pie
3rd Course: pollo alla cacciatora -chicken stew in tomato sauce
Dessert: Sacripantina made with finger biscuits, butter, sugar, eggs and marsala (a christmas specialty)

Dishes are all lovingly cooked by Rosanna (except maybe the bread) and those with asterisks are my favourites. Seriously, I don't know how she keeps her petite size.
We have the pesto pasta and artichoke pie for breakfast the next morning. I think I will have the same pesto pasta again this July.

Most Memorably,
The Friendships

The Last Look
While waiting for the bus to bring us to the train station away from Genova and toward Venice, this is the view I see from the bus stop. Rosanna's La Casa Rossa, the life size house she is modeling her next dollhouse after.

Ciao Bella!
Me and Rosanna chatting every chance we have


Lize said...

Oh what a lovely visit! And Genova is so beautiful! The Italians know how to treat the palate, don't they! Chocolate pots filled with sweets and all in an unassuming little back alley shop! Just what you wish to find!

So the Rollas met the Rollas? Did the mini Rollas come back with you or did they continue their world trip?

Glad to see you are back Sans in Blogworld! Missed your stories, Sans.

Meli said...

Sans, what a wonderful trip and photos!!! but the best of all is the time you spent with Rosanna!!! Your faces are all so happy and smiling!!
Good to meet both families!!!
The photos are just fantastic. Italy is a treasure in all their conners!!
When Spain????
Warm regards,

Eva said...

A post for Sans...Horay! I have missed you...thanks for writting comments about your trip.
I am so happy that you have great memories about your trip, in special the Italian part. And it is wonderful to see your happy faces.
I love pasta with pesto too...
By the way: Happy new year and happy birthday to your mum!

PS...what will it be happen this July.....???? ;)

Pubdoll said...

So great you shared these lovely photos with us Sans, I have missed you immensely!
I love Italy and visiting Rosanna must have been so wonderful, she and Walter look like such a sweet and beautiful couple and it seems like you all had loads of fun together! Even though I have just eaten, the food look so delicious I still get water in my mouth! But the best thing for me personally with your trip was that now I can see pictures of you and your lovely smile(and MarG and FayZ as well of course) on both your's and Rosanna's blogs!

The Casa Rossa also looks beautiful, I'm looking forward to see Rosanna's take on it!

Now I'm waiting to see some photos from the rest of the journey! :-)

rosanna said...

Walter and I are still smiling... I feel a teeny tiny dop in my eyes too... They have been great days. I love how you posted the pics and I'll borrow them from you for my folder :o)) Best wishes to Mum and hugs to you all, Walt and Ro

rosanna said...

PS couldn't you use Photoshop and reduce a bit (a lot) my nose ? hugs

Lize said...


Pubdoll said...

Oh, I forgot too! Say happy birthday to your mum from me as well! :-)

Debbie said...

Wonderful photographs of your trip to see Dear Rosanna and her family. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. Great shot of La Casa Rossa. xx

Liberty Biberty said...

A very happy birthday to your Mum!!
What a wonderful post! Genova looks like the most wonderful place and all your pictures are fabulous!

Lize said...

Just dropped by..
tip-toe, tip-toe...
like a thief in the dark...
'stole' your blue door image
promise not to publish it
but perhaps one day 'recreate' in mini.
Gone in a flash,
loot saved to my desktop!

Sans said...

Hooo hooo hoo, Lize, you are sooooooo funny! How can I not be cheered up every time I read your comments when I was away. I wish for a 100 little tippy toes that will sneak in here. And lookie friend, of all the images you took, you took the one I took! You see, I use many pictures taken by FaiZ with his SLR whachamacallit highfallutin digital camera in this post but the one you picked was taken by me with my 4 year old Sony-walkmanish camera. haha,guess we all love the same able-to-miniaturise kind of shots!

I am afraid I am unable to leave my Rollas there. Seriously , I am too attached to them. There are no replicas available otherwise I would have left the clones in Genova :).

Snowfern said...

Sans, Welcome back!!! and happy birthday Momma Sans!~

looks like you had a great time ^ ^ i fluffed up all your cushions for your return, could you tell? XD XD XD and that apron is just too cute (both versions of it XD! )!!!!

Sans said...

Meli, we were very happy. Both Walter and Rosanna are hilarious and they make us laugh all the time. Can you imagine how funny Walter is if he can make us laugh without knowing how to speak English?

And don't make that invitation :) for me to come to Spain, I am very impulsive and may just suddenly decide in 3 days that I am going to Spain to meet you(ask Rosanna :) lol). I think with this trip however, I have finally "broke the bank" except it is me who is broke and not the bank! I need to save money now for my next big trip to Europe:). I will make Spain a destination, at least 2 cities, Malaga (you) & Barcelona (Eva). :).

contar said...

Congratulations for being able to realize so charming trip
Italy is vellisima and assurance that you sabra her to enjoy all the senses.
I envy her
Who could.
An embrace

Felicidades por poder realizar un viaje tan encantador
Italia es vellisima y seguro que usted sabra disfrutarla con todos los sentidos.
la envidio
quien pudiera.
un abrazo

Sans said...

Did you read that Eva? I ammmm coming to finnnnd you! hehe! Not so soon, I am afraid.

I know which dolls I shall bring if I am going to Spain :). Can I just say that it is no joke trying to transport the dolls around? Of course, I broke Rolla's turban (you can already see how it is crooked in the 2nd pic) and Ro's nose ring is no longer on her nose despite the fact that her nose is rather perky and perfect without photoshop, exactly like Rosanna's. :) and therefore, great for nose-ring!

Eva, can I just tell you how your comments are such delight to read when I was away? I think that's why I didn't miss home too quickly :).

Oooh, did you mention pasta al pesto? Arghhhh, that makes my mouth water again! You know we do not use fresh basil here so I smelled for the 1st time at Rosanna's how fragrant the real pesto pasta should be! Walter was laughing at me cos I was quite rudely putting the plate of pasta to my nose all the time!

Sans said...

Helene!! I am shrieking with delight! Your Karl Edo's room is simply gorgeous :)!

I have missed you my dear friend although reading your comments help a whole load. When the madness in my office dies down, I shall write you a nice long boring email :):). Will you believe I still have not finished "My Name Is Red"? Although I managed till pg 402 by the time I left Milan. So I am only a wee bit away.

What can I say about Italy? It has completely changed my mind about Europe. I know now what to do, 1.don't visit 10 churches in one day (2 max),2. take as many train rides with scenic views as you can and most importantly, 3. visit friends who make you laugh a lot :).

The next time I post pictures of myself again will be a long long time from now. Perhaps in July ;).

AND are you sure you want to see more pics of the rest of my journey?? They sure didn't interest my family at my mother's birthday dinner :(. I have half a mind not to post anymore as I know vacation photos more often than not, only interest the people who went on them! lol

Sans said...

Dear darling Rosanna, can I confess that when I posted the last picture, I felt the teeeeeniest weeniest Italian-drizzle drop in my eyes too. It was with difficulty that they did not fall but then I read your second comment and I laughed so hard, I could no longer stop my tears. You are one crazy funny gal!

SuZ is nicknamed 'adobe queen' but I find photoshop very hard. If I know how to,1st thing I do is a makeover of me! Nose, eyes, face, chin and my thunder thighs! O yes that gelato tummy has to go as well! I think I will go virtual full time :):).

Wait for me to put up the original photos on picasa. There are some more of Genova. I will let you know how to access my picasa album after I am done. Maybe in the weekend?

So, are you going to tell them about July or am I?

Pubdoll said...

Ha, ha 10 churches in one day sounds like a lot, but I have done that mistake myself, but with both churches and museums on our honeymoon, can you believe it!
I was totally exhausted after that holiday :-) But Italian churches are so beautiful! Though I managed to spend an entire month in Venice, never visiting the Basilica di San Marco! But to my defence it was under renovation and I think I visited most of the other churches there as well as some of the museums.

Sans said...

Debbie, you don't know how happy I am to read your comments. Rosanna and I were reading your "how sometime things are here to test you" post and shaking our heads and making tsk-ing noises while trying to prepare for dinner. At least Rosanna was. Anyhow, I have gone over to your blog and read that you have some test results and they are ok..phew! Will want updates please!

Gemma (Gempo) said...

Congratulations for your hollidays in Italy is a wonderful country, I like very much, lovely fotography and dolls. Congratulations for the new music in the blog. Best wishes

rosanna said...

Well..I suppose you are the one who can let the cat out of the bag. After all the guest room is yours. Did you hang the new "book" bookshelves yet? Please show us some Slovenia, I've never seen it in winter. Hugs Rosanna

Tallulah Belle said...

Oh my goodness I am sooo behind.

I had no idea you were going over to see Rosanna....oh my.

What a wonderful time you all had...I am beyond green with envy.

And you are going back in July ???? :-) Via California by any chance lol.

I am so pleased you got to meet and it looks like oyu had a wonderful time.

Happy Birthday MommySans.

Sans said...

Thank you Mercedes :). Most of the pictures here are taken by FaiZ except all the ones with the dolls :), the last 3 pics of the ones in the fishing village and the chocolate shop :). Those are by me :).

Sans said...

Cindy, thank you for fluffing the cushions. Were you too busy to vacuum the floor after that ? Cos you know, it was filled with the dust from the cushions! That's how I could tell! ;p

Luckily Europe is quite expensive. Otherwise I would have bought even more things to clutter the house! Oops. I forgot I bought 3 bookshelves from Genova. Sighhhhhh.. I need to go to S-SOS or Shopping Anonymous meeting. What do you think a group of shopaholics will discuss in this meeting?

Ara said...

Looks like a wonderful time had by all!! How wonderful you and rosanna got to have time to spend together and discuss minis!! Your pictures look like exactly what I saw when I was in Italy for a few months! Truly it is one of the most beautiful countries! Hope your are rested from the trip!! hugs, ara

dora said...

Well susan, the truth is that these meetings with l@s blog friends and thumbnails make very excited, I also had the opportunity to meet Marian and Rosa, (a fellow thumbnail), makes only a few days since we went my husband and I holiday and we went through the city of Burgos, where we met with these friends.
So, I understand that you spend you as well with Rosana, I am very happy.
receives a hug Carmen

Sans said...

Contar, Tal vez en mi viaje a España, podemos atender? Va a ser muy divertido para mí. Tengo tantos amigos de blog en español. La casa de muñecas de la comunidad española es muy fuerte!

By the way, I have been to Seville :):). Wish we knew each other then !

Sans said...

Gemma, you like the theme from Godfather, huh? :). I am terrible and Rosanna must be rolling her eyes if she can hear the music. I had to do this in a hurry :).

Glad you like the pictures. You guys are very lucky to live in such a beautiful region.

Sans said...

Helene, when I was there, part of the Basilica is still being renovated! You stayed 1 whole month in Venice??? How many gondola rides did you take? Ok, I am doing Venice next, reply me in the next post :):).

Sans said...

Jayne, I made the decision very very last minute and only reveal my plans in the 2nd last post :). Did you see the cushions in my 2nd last post? I did that post for you actually!

I will make the announcement on the July thingy soon. BUT when your guest room is near completion, I am going to invite myself there to stay. I will bring you saris and oriental bedsheets ok? The flight is sooooo long but I have never been to California.

Sans said...

Yes, Ara, Italy is really quite quite special :). Just today, my colleagues were going ooohing and ahhhing at the pictures on FaiZ's facebook. One of them told me her next Europe destination is definitely Italy :) and that is after seeing our pictures. *Ahem! By the way, Ara, that piano of yours really rocks!

Sans said...

Carmen, I just went over to your blog and saw your pictures at Palmeira (Spain? Africa?)? They are just as wonderful !

dora said...

Hello Susan, I am not not the Darling, I am being in the middle of the chinito and Darling, of blond hair. I forward to welcome you, and I take to eirte you have an award on my blog awards.
receives a hug Carmen
You know about the translator, will be well translated?

Sans said...

Carmen, perfect translation :)! Thank you for the sunshine award :):):)

Jean Day said...

So wonderful!!!!! I just loved seeing everything, what a terrific time you had. You and Rosanna are the nicest people ever, you must have had a great time together.

Sans said...

Nicest? Rosanna maybe :):) and you, JD for that great compliment :). That trip will be a most unforgettable one now that I have documented it here! But really, with or without the blog, I will remmeber it forever.

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