In Search of Genoese Harp Guitars, Part 7

As you recall, last week’s issue left us exhausted after an entire day of harp guitar discoveries.

So for Day 4, it was kind of nice to relax for a bit.

After sleeping in, we all met for lunch, treated by our hosts, Alberto and Luisella Basso.   It was a fantastic, multi-course seafood meal, including a host of creatures of the deep that were new to us (including “baby fish” cakes, and at least 4 types of cephalopods) – all delicious!  And of course, the ubiquitous lunch wine (*hic*).

L-R: Franco’s daughter Rosella, Jaci, Rosella’s husband Giorgio (hiding), Alberto Basso, Enrico De Filippi (a wine merchant friend, who has also extensively interviewed the Genoese guitar followers of Taraffo), Franco, Luisella Basso, Sylvia (our indefatigable translator), me, and Ljuba Moiz, a virtuoso concert pianist.

That afternoon, a few of us went back to the Paganini Conservatory, to hear a special concert played on Paganini’s violin.  Though we had only decided on this the day before, Franco apparently has connections, because we were ushered in to the V.I.P. event past a throng of v.i.p. hopefuls waiting at the door.

With all the hushed and revered ceremony of the Pope’s own entrance, the legendary fiddle was brought in…by none other than our pal, Alberto Giordano! (the priceless instrument’s caretaker, it turns out…).  As polite and solemn as ever, I think I still caught a quiver of a gloating smirk on my friend’s face.  The violin is stored at another facility, and letting it out of its cage is apparently a big deal.  I’m not just talking the earpiece-wearing security men at every turn (more than Obama gets, I bet), but the police and also series of fire trucks surrounding the building.  Serious!  In the unlikely event that a fire somehow broke out, we, the audience would have surely met our demise in a fiery, trampled death, but the violin would be guaranteed of safety.

The concert was nice.  The violin sounded great (played by a local orchestral pro, whose name is in my files somewhere).  I was less thrilled with the guitar – not the guitarist (another friend of Franco’s), but the decision to use a modern nylon-string classical guitar instead of a period romantic guitar, that would have been a much better match for the violin and the period music played.  Ironically, in 3 days, I would be seeing (and touching) Paganini’s personal guitar – if only they had gotten that!

After the concert, Jaci and I strolled on our own for a bit.  She loves all the art and architecture, but wherever we go, seems to have a thing for interestingly-textured doors…

If we don’t come home with as many photos of doors as instruments, there will be hell to pay.

One has to step up into this record shop

Getting dark soon, so last pics:

More wonderful sculpted facades, both 3D…

…and 2D

Now to find a quaint dining establishment before heading back to our room for the night…

Next week: an impromptu visit to a local guitar collector…

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