Dark forests and flying Ferraris - August 13
Steve in front of Madonna in rock face
Steve & Antonio in Genova
Room with a view, Savignone
I was invited by Antonio Bigotti, mayor of Savignone, to receive an award for my work with Genesis. In 1972 the young Antonio travelled overnight on a Lambretta without sleep to see Genesis play in Paris, which he admits was crazy, but is a cherished memory...
As soon as Jo and I reached Genova airport we were whisked off to join Antonio along with deputy mayor Francesco Medica and several Italian friends plus pals Nick and Peter for a meal beside the sea. We were shown around part of Genova, including Christopher Columbus' birth place, before driving on to picturesque Savignone in the heart of the nearby hills. Here at the beautiful historical Palazzo Fieschi (also our hotel) I received the award, and Genesis tribute band Real Dream thundered into the evening to an enthusiastic crowd.
Festivities continued into the night... Woken in the morning by a riot of church bells, I opened the curtains to a fabulous view of characterful buildings and forested hills, worthy of any Merchant Ivory scene.
That day a group of us travelled up to an impressive outcrop with a Madonna statue etched in a dark niche. It looked like the last outpost of Catholicism in a wild pagan setting, where the ancient rocks are said to still resound with the howls of wolves. It was here we all had another celebratory meal, singing and playing whilst the Lambrusco flowed in a restaurant which clung to the side of a church.
Afterwards we headed even deeper into the dark forested interior, dodging the odd flying Ferrari on a narrow road winding its way around deep valleys and gorges. We finally arrived at a remote place where a bridge, according to legend built by the Devil, took the road past a spooky double mountain crag. An old fortress perched precariously on the summit. It was an intriguing otherworldly trip...
The following day Jo and I left the sunny shores of Italy for the milky clouds of home. A big thank you from us both to Antonio as well as Francesco, Mino, Stefania, Marina and everyone who organised this a really special visit.
A gathering of friends
Steve exchanging guitar ideas with talented young Ricardo
Steve and Jo with fortress on the craggy mountain