Life on the Farm

Today we left our “Palace Apartment” and downtown Genoa and headed north to Bettola, the village that our Lavezzi ancestors emigrated from in 1870. The logistics were complicated a bit by Lew’s trip to meet John Lavezzi’s plane from Barcelona.

(If you missed the explanation of why John has been cooling his heels there instead of joining us in Genoa, take a look at Judy’s blog,, or my “Tale of Three Cities” post from Saturday. Tonight I’ll just say that it wasn’t voluntary, but John has been reunited with his passport, and we with him, and we’re all glad.)

We would be splitting our group for part of the day, but first Lew took Rob to the airport to pick up the car that Rob and Elizabeth will be using. They took their luggage, and a while later the rest of us reversed our routine from Sunday, schlepping our luggage portside to meet both cars. It was easier this time, because it wasn’t raining and we know the Genovese vias and vicos better. Then both carloads headed to parking for the Porto Antico (the old port, more recreational than the more modern Port of Genova), where we would enjoy the port, pick up some supplies, and, of course, have lunch.

That done, I rode north to Bettola with Rob and Elizabeth as Judy, Lew, and Elaine planned an afternoon visit with a Genovese friend before meeting John’s flight. Rob is a good driver, and he wasn’t flustered by the hours climbing mountainsides on winding switchback roads. (This part of Italy is the northern extent of the Appenine range, which runs down the boot of Italy like a spine.)

The three of us arrived about 5 PM at Ronco delle Rose, which will be our lodging for the next two nights. RDR is an agriturismo, which is basically a farm that takes in tourists: a very popular type of lodging in Italy. In this case, the farm is a vineyard, and we’re looking forward to seeing it in operation tomorrow.

After we brought in our bags, Rob drove Elizabeth and me south a few kilometers to La Vecchia Stazione (The Old Station), a bar owned by Francesco Costa. Francesco is probably a cousin–at least one Costa married a Lavezzi–but we’ve never figured out the exact relationship. But Francesco is a genial host who enjoys conversation, especially since it gives him a chance to practice his English. After conversation, foccaccia, and beer, we headed back to RDR to finish unpacking, make use of the wi-fi, and soon, hit the sack.

As I write this, we’re expecting the other four members of our group to arrive from Genoa in about an hour. I’ll be here to let them in through the gate.

Today’s photo: Ronco delle Rose is an agriturismo, which is a farm that also lodges tourists. In this case, it’s a vineyard, and this is a panoramic view from the back of our temporary home.

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Author: StgCoach

Retired teacher and public education leader. Pastoral musician, community activist, parliamentarian, and photographer.