Seems fitting that a statue of hometowner Christopher Columbus stands in front of the train station in Genoa, Italy, where I began my journey home to America. From Genoa, a train would lead to Rome, then on to Rome’s port of Civitavecchia, where I would board a cruise ship, Azamara Journey, to cross the Atlantic to Miami.
If you are not encumbered with heavy suitcases, Genoa’s Piazza Pri train station is an easy walk from the harbor, where the MSC Splendida unloaded me after seven nights cruising in the western Mediterranean.
I found the train station thanks to good directions from two passersby who spoke no English, which equaled my capabilities in Italian.
“Tren,” I said. They pointed straight ahead.
“Grazie,” I said. “Prego,” they replied.
The station has high ceilings and a long past, but it’s not much in the way of passenger comforts. I couldn’t find a coffee shop, until a pretty woman walked by, and I said, “Coffee?” figuring that however she took the question, her answer would work for me. She pointed to the right, then left, as she moved on.
“Grazie,” I said. “Prego,” she replied.
So, I sat waiting for my train to Rome, reading the latest edition of the International Herald Tribune (2.50 Euros, about $3.50) and sipping on what the menu called “American coffee” (at 1.30 Euros, about $1.80).
How did they make “American coffee?” They poured me an espresso in a big cup, and provided a small pitcher of hot water to dilute the strong coffee into something more “American.”
“Grazie,” I said. “Prego,” the waiter replied.
Italian, it’s easy.