Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Genova - Palermo ferry service by GNV (Grandi Navi Veloci)

If you are heading for Sicily coming from the north, you may want to take the GNV ferry from Genoa (Genova) to Palermo. It departs late in the evening and arrives in Palermo the following evening.

Here is how you find the GNV ferry in Genoa by car:

  • take the motorway exit Genova Ovest
  • keep left and follow directions for "Porto - Terminal Traghetti"
  • Then turn right down the helicoidal road which comes to the end at a set of traffic lights.
  • Go straight on and after about 100 m. take the underpass to enter the Port and perform check-in operations.

The address for the navigation system should be "Ponte Assereto".

GNV = Grandi Navi Veloci. Here is the Homepage:

Please leave a comment if you find any errors in this description - or if it helped you find the ferry!

We had difficulties finding the ferry. Even with this description, GPS and a passenger looking for the street signs as well, we managed to miss the last exit, which took us on a 20 minutes detour in Genova. Without a GPS we would never have found it, I think. To makes things as inconvenient as possible the Genovese street sign have extremely small letters.

So finding the ferry made the beginning of our GNV (Grande Navi Veloci) experience rather bad. It should get worse. When entering the harbour, the unfriendly and not-English-speaking persons there were not able to explain where we could buy tickets. And as we tried to find out where to buy tickets, a trailer smashed into our car (we were parked), luckily only making cosmetic damage (repairs in Norway costing 1200 euros though) - and later we learned some lessons about the criminals working in the insurance business in Sicily/Italy.

Well, if that wasn't bad enough, the extremely poor and unprofessional customer service on the ship was added to our misfortunes. Disinterested, disorganized and unfriendly is how we must characterize the staff on board (exept for one woman in the cafeteria, who actually smiled occationally).

First we got a cabin that was not cleaned. Three men (!) followed us to the cabing to make sure we were not lying. Then, instead of just giving us a new cabin, they had us waiting for 15 minutes while they cleaned it. But then it turned out that the heating was broken, making it unbearably hot in there, and after another 15 minutes we got a new cabin.

Luckily, our car was trapped in the corner, so we were the last ones to leave upon arrival in Palermo. Because when the time finally came for the cars to leave the ship, all hell broke loose. The leaving was not organized by GNV to make it smooth, no it was "me first - me first - me first", resulting in a totally chaotic situation with Italians honking their horns and behaving like small children because they wanted to get out first. Jesus Christ!

This is what met us when we arrived at the cabin we got.

The entertainment consisted of a character singing karaoke.

"CruiseShow" - heading for Palermo.

My car after having been hit by a trailer in the Genoa harbour area.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Io m'aggio posto in core a Dio servire (I have a place in my heart for God reserved)

The Sicilian School was a small community of Sicilian poets gathered around Frederick II, most of them belonging to his court, the Magna Curia. Headed by Giacomo da Lentini, they produced more than 300 poems of courtly love between 1230 and 1266, the experiment being continued after Frederick's death by his son, Manfred.

Giacomo da Lentini is credited by many scholars for inventing the sonnet, a literary form later perfected by Dante and Petrarch - and later: Shakespeare. He uses it in a number of poems. Here is the most famous:

Io m'aggio posto in core a Dio servire,
com'io potesse gire in paradiso,
al santo loco c'aggio audito dire,
o' si mantien sollazzo, gioco e riso.
sanza mia donna non vi voria gire,
quella c'ha blonda testa e claro viso,
che sanza lei non poteria gaudere,
estando da la mia donna diviso.
Ma no lo dico a tale intendimento,
perch'io pecato ci volesse fare;
se non veder lo suo bel portamento
e lo bel viso e 'l morbido sguardare:
che 'l mi teria in gran consolamento,
veggendo la mia donna in ghiora stare.

I have a place in my heart for God reserved,
So that I may go to Heaven,
To the Holy Place where, I have heard,
People are always happy and joyous and merry.
I wouldn't want to go there without my lady
The one with fair hair and pale complexion,
Because without her I could never be happy,
Being separated from my lady.
But I do not say that with blasphemous intent,
As if I wanted to sin with her:
If I did not see her shapely figure
And her beautiful face and tender look:
Since it would greatly comfort me
To see my woman shine in glory.

(Source Wikipedia)

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