I packed a cooler and made a very comfortable mattress in my car, with the intention of saving money on food and lodging while still seeing some pretty cool stuff. I arrived in Genoa around 5:30pm, and immediately began looking for a place to park for the night so I could put my plan into action. I found a place in a residential area, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of a man hooking cables to my bumper. So I poked my head into a sleepy cafe, and politely asked if the man (the one with his arm around my shoulders, whose name is Adolfo) spoke English. He said he didn't, but that his son spoke a little, and I should wait until he got back. He asked if I wanted a coffee, and I said "That would be nice." I didn't leave that cafe for seven hours. After I finished the coffee Adolfo offered me beer (and who am I to refuse?!), and kept filling my glass as I emptied it. His wife Clara offered me food, but I insisted that I had already eaten. She waited an entire hour until she couldn't stand it anymore, and then forced a plate of wonderfully delightful pesto lasagna upon me. It was amazing. After that plate of food she brought me another kind of pasta (I'm not sure what it was; I believe I was still dazzled by the pesto). After I managed to finish that plate she brought me a cup of strawberries and ice cream. The son, Giovanni, (who had long since arrived), asked, "Did you like it?" Um. Yes, I "liked" it.
Throughout the evening I had really good conversations with Giovanni, and through him, with the whole family—and later, all the friends of the family who came by to see the American. They treated me like a king, and when it came time to say goodnight I asked how much I owed. They wouldn't let me pay, no matter how much I protested. What an amazing experience. I went there asking about parking, and I left with a wonderful memory.