Facilities of the town
Favorite thing: And there is a picturesque fish shop displaying its wares.
And a cafe that sells good ice cream.
And a post ofice which keeps strange hours.
And a taxi stand by the railway station. There is a means of summoning a taxi (I forget if it is a phone or a button to push) if there isn't a taxi waiting. And there usually isn't. But the one time we needed one it came pronto.
And there is a little supermarket opposite the Post Office.
And there is a manicurist who works from home and has a plaque up on her wall.
And a gruppi di amici who met in the town square. And smoke and chat and stare at the passers by. If it is raining they move down the road a little under the railway bridge opposite where the ambulance parks.
When you get tired of Ligurian cuisine ...
Favorite thing: ,,, not that it is not good but we are not even served lasagna because that comes from Bologna - there is a cute little takeaway in Via Mazzini - three steps from the railway station.
Pizza, stuffed pide bread, russian salad, chicken legs, quichey things etc etc.
All quite cheap and luke warm from the bain marie - I asked but they can't and won't heat it up for you. Maybe because anything too hot (or too cold) is bad for you.
I like pesto. But not every day.
Favorite thing: There is a large heated swimming pool near the post office and supermarket which seems to do good business all year round. Us fellows from the Study Centre got in free - as a courtesy - but I hadn't bought a costume with me, never believing it would be possible to swim in Italy in December.
But the micro climate in this part of Italy makes the weather so very mild and pleasant most of the time.
Several fellows did use it and gave it top marks.
One Fellow made use of the tiny gym called Fit & Beauty situated a short distance away - and he was happy with that. But he had to get a certificato from Dottore V. Pettrozzelli first.
The beach in Bogliasco looks quite pleasant, if rather wild, and we saw surfers out there whenever the waves warranted it. It's a pebble beach though, not a sand beach. And rather steeply shelving so I would have been nervous of it. And I can never see the fun of sunbathing while lying on pebbles.
But I am not the outdoor type. Tougher types than me would probably enjoy it a lot. The surfers seemed to be having a hoot and a holler.
Gianni rules the roost
Favorite thing: One Sunday morning - after a national holiday which caught us all by surprise - we got up for breakfast. No breakfast. Door to the dining room locked. So we started foraging for ourselves and in rushed Gianni - covered with confusion. He had slept in.
Suddenly we put two and two together.
In Bogliasco they have this party every year for the people who were born in 1951. If any of us had been born in 1951 we would have been invited - but alas - none of us were.
The party had been on the national holiday. Which I will try and find out. And sneak a pic of Gianni if I can. He is usually a bit fierce and tells us off if we write - no lunch - on the board. We should write in Italian. No pranzo.
On second thoughts Gianni is really fierce. I will get a pic of the board I think.
Fondest memory: I took my courage in both hands and pretended I was taking a pic of some of the Fellows feeding their faces and managed to get Gianni in shot.
Also found out that the holiday was for the Immaculate Conception. Quite a big deal apparently.
I would have loved to have gone to that 1951 party - but I was born in 1949.
I had noticed this shop ...
Favorite thing: ... because in the window it had a tray of the most tempting candied orange slice dipped in chocolate and I was going to buy a few slices - until I saw they cost 62 euro a kilo! I nearly fainted.
But it was a bleak Sunday and nearly everything was closed and I was craving gelatine (my nails have been splitting) so I ventured in. And they had bins of all sorts of other sweets including what I was craving - soft jubes. When I made myself understood the nice lady told me they were called gelatina. And she also showed me the little segmented cane baskets where you put your selections - segregated into categories as it were - so they can be weighed seperately.
When you speak very little Italian and don't understand the local customs it doesn't take much to put you off. But the lady was so nice to me I will be making this shop a regular stopping off point.
Maybe even risk treating myself to one slice of the 62 euro a kilo stuff on my last day in Bogliasco.
The etiquette of the waiting room.
Favorite thing: Once you are up the stairs you will see a sign saying - Studi Medici. This is not where the Medici family retire to read and pay their bills. This is the doctor's surgery.
I entered and looked for a receptionist. No, just a waiting room heaving with people happily chatting in Italian to each other and answering their mobile phones.
I had just enough Italian to stammer out a query.
And a few people pointed at one of the woman. Gradually I understood that I was to see the doctor after her. (At first I though she must be the receptionist.)
Another customer arrived and looked around enquiringly and asked something and everyone pointed at me and I nodded. Yes, she went in after me.
Phew - got that one sorted.
Then she engaged me in conversation waving a packet of pills and I thought she was saying that I went in before her. So I cheerfully nodded. But when finally it was my turn she dashed in.
It appeared I had agreed that as she just wanted a repeat prescription to allow her to jump the queue.
But as it was her village and her doctor I would have agreed even if I knew what she had been saying.
Golly, it's complicated.
Need a haircut?
Favorite thing: You can get a cheaper haircut here than in Nervi or Genoa. I am sure if it is more than 15 euro they are robbing you. No English spoken. But just step in, sit on the bench, wait your turn. Two chairs. One barber.
The trick is to find the place. No way of knowing it is a barber's shop unless you know. Men only. But as I get a number 4 clippers I reckon they could be persuaded to do me. Or then again, perhaps not. This is a traditional, non touristic sort of place, the only visitors are probably the Fellows from up at the Fondazione Bogliasco - foreigners wearing different clothes and walking around not knowing where anything is talking all sorts of languages to each other. We stand out like sore thumbs.
I haven't tested it out but it could be in this sort of village where a woman does not get her hair cut at the barber's shop.
Fondest memory: PS Like all the shops in the village it is closed between 1 and 4.
PPS Sandro - who is Italian - told me a story at dinner last night about how 3 times he tried to get a haircut and each time he was told the barber was too busy. Then one of the guys on the bench intervened and said something like - Give the poor guy a haircut.
Sandro noticed he got a new barber sheet - everyone else got the same one - and got a spray with the atomiser - no one else did. There was no price list - he was too unnerved to ask for the price and was sweating on how much it might be (Rip the stranger off sort of thing) so was very relieved it was only 10 euro. But I suspect it was more than the locals pay.
Everyone paid in cash and there could be a reason for this - and a reason why the shop is not at all obvious.
Can't always get what you want
Favorite thing: There is a news stand in the Piazza - (closed between 1pm and 4pm) but they don't keep foreign language newspapers. That includes English. In Italy English is a foreign language.
And they don't have any postcards of Bogliasco, or in fact any postcards at all.
I tried all over - including Nervi and Genova for postcards of Bogliasco - and it is quite picturesque - well worth a postcard - but no luck.
This is a local news stand for local people.
She doesn't sell envelopes either but directed me to the tabbacchi who does sell envelopes.
The magic cupboard at the Villa dei Pini
Favorite thing: Open sesame at 7-15pm and close sesame at 11pm. FREE FOR ALL. But don't despair at 11pm because then there is a magic fridge.
Smoking (with the permission of others present) permitted in the salon and if Gianni is in a good mood he will leave the french windows open so you can hear the waves crashing against the cliff. But you must remember to chiuso before you stagger upstairs.
Or perhaps take the lift because the stairs creak something awful. And they creak all the way across the tread. No way of getting upstairs without the creaking.
Favorite thing: Of course by the time I had got my prescription it was after one and the chemist was closed. So I had to walk back up to the villa and then back down again at four.
Do not believe him if the guy closing up the Tabacchi shop says it is aperto at tre. Either he is having fun with the tourist or he thinks tre means four.
(Actually, now I think of it, I went in today and asked him for quattro packets of malboro rossi and he gave me three until I asked for one more. Some sort of three/four problem going on there I think.)
The antibiotics cost 10 euro - and he gave me the script back with a receipt stapled to it.
But I don't think I will bother the travel insurance with it. 10 euro is cheap at the price to feel well again.
Need a doctor?
Favorite thing: I got sick, a cold turned into a chest infection (yes, I know it is because I smoke) so I went down to the village to find Dott. V. Petruzelli. No appointment necessary. And he was surprisingly easy to find because he had a brass plaque up. You do have to know the surgery hours though and I have no idea how you would find this out. Maybe just turn up, at a likely time, hopefully.
I was told it wouldn't cost me anything - but couldn't ascertain if it is because doctors are free or if it is because this doctor bulkbilled or if he would send the bill to the Fondazione Bogliasco.
He certainly never got me to sign anything or show him my id or even took my name or address - except my name for the blessed prescription of antibiotics which cured me.
He had quite enough English to get through to me and was very cheerful and happy and after he listened to the noises in my chest told me I had a chest full of cats. That is apparently the Italian way of describing the sound of someone breathing with a chest infection.