You’re probably overwhelmed with ornate and wonderful guitars from Day 7…so now we’ll relax at some ornate and wonderful churches the next morning.

Day 8 was going to be a big deal – unbeknown to me, I was going to be giving a talk about harp guitars at a special “meeting” and exhibition that Franco had arranged.  I quickly did an outline, including musical terms, for our translator Sylvia, so she could try to prepare (I, of course, would ignore my notes and wing it as usual).

We were told to just show up later in the afternoon, and that Franco and staff at the hotel had everything under control.  So we had the whole morning to ourselves.  We took off from the hotel, wandering at random through the warren of major, minor and barely passable thoroughfares of the city.   I forget what day of the week we’re on, but it wasn’t Sunday, as the churches were largely empty.

This was one of our favorite buildings (and a well-known city landmark) which we saw multiple times (I don’t think we ever got in).  St. Lorenzo’s Church, dating back to the 9th century (though being rebuilt and added to over the centuries).

I forget the significance of the black and white marble “stripe” construction…something to do with declaring one’s neutrality?

The steps are a popular hangout

A loitering lion, in remarkable shape

We had been told by our guide Sylvia to try to peek inside this next building, the Church of the Gesù, which was originally locked when she took us there.  On this morning as we strolled by, we spotted a guided tour just entering, so we tagged along at the rear.

The doors suggested nothing too extravagant

Inside was another matter

Certainly the most outrageously decadently decorated Roman Catholic church I’ve ever seen.  This goes back to the 1500s.  Along the way, columns, carvings, frescoes, etc were created by the finest Italian artists.  Later, 2 Rubens paintings were added.

The old Genoese wealth is apparent in every nook and cranny

Breathtaking, as in “overwhelming”

Restoration continues, but seemed 90% complete

Looking back at the organ pipes

It was hard to fathom and take in, and we didn’t want to leave.  But it was time to find some lunch, and change clothes for the afternoon event.

Next week: Genoa’s one-day, first-ever public Harp Guitar Exhibit!