[ENG] Construction 124: The “crêuza” alley (part 1)

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Ready to climb another step of the Domus? Make yourself comfortable, because this could result as one of the longest chapters. In case it turns out to be too long, I think I’ll divide it in two or more parts, as already done for other elements.

Let’s start with some basics for non-Genoese readers. You’re surely wondering what a crêuza is. To answer that, I need to explain a word that we will find again when working on the main street: the caróggio.

Caróggio (or caruggio) is the word with which the characteristic
and narrow porticos and shady alleys of many cities and villages of the Ligurian Riviera are indicated in the Genoese language. 

And now let’s see the crêuza:

Different from the caruggio, but associated to it by the narrow
proportions, the crosa, or rather the crêuza, is a mule track, stairway or even a small slope that descends steeply from the hills to the valley; if located near the sea, often near trivi (crossroads of three roads) the crêuza becomes a Crêuza de mä, or a sea crêuza, as it was sung by Fabrizio De André in the homonymous song. “ ¹

So the narrow and very steep alley that runs laterally to the Domus climbing up the hill is one of these crêuzas. Given the very steep slope and the impossibility of following it with a cart, I decide to pave it with a staircase to make it easier to walk. It is not rare however, in Genoa, to see even steeper ramps paved without steps!

The first step to complete the alley will be to finish the concrete floor obtaining a smooth and uniform surface. Both in the sloping section and in the flat area next to the entrance porch, there will be enough space for the insertion of the stones and bricks that will form the flooring.

At the base of the ramp I insert a small curbstone. This will make the alley definitively pedestrian and will serve as a protection for the drain located at the base of the wall. It’s a bit low, however, and I’ll make a new taller one later.

The next operation will be the positioning of the wooden formworks to create the base of the steps.
Once calculated their height and the distance between a rise and the other, I use some wooden slats (left over from the construction of the floor and the staircase) to delimit the different areas to be filled with cement.

A slight carving on the surface and a sprinkling of water will improve the grip of the new cement on the underlying one. Then it will be necessary to let the structure dry slowly to avoid cracks.


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