WELCOME TO GENOA
Genoa, (It's Italian name is "Genova") is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and has been an important International port, industrial, commercial and financial centre for centuries. It's long history is full of pain and glory.
Antique Genoa was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 209 BC, and was later occupied by the Ostrogoths. The Lombards captured Genoa and other Ligurian cities in about 643. From the 8th century, Genoa was little more than a small, obscure fishing centre, slowly building its merchant fleet which was to become the leading commercial carrier of the Mediterranean Sea. By 1100, Genoa had emerged as an independent city-state, one of the so-called "Maritime Republics", along with Venice, Pisa and Amalfi. Its trade, shipbuilding and banking helped support one of the largest and most powerful navies, leading it to domination of much of the Mediterranean for a few centruries, often in conflict with its great rival, Venice. The city's Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is one the oldest in the world.
By the sixteenth century, Genoa was flourishing, thanks to the efforts of Andrea Doria, who established a new constitution in 1528, that made Genoa a satellite of the Spanish Empire. Under the ensuing economic recovery, many aristocratic Genoese families, such as the Balbi, Doria, Grimaldi, Pallavicini, and Serra, amassed tremendous fortunes. At the time of Genoa’s peak in the 16th century, the city attracted many artists, including Rubens, Caravaggio and Van Dyke, and local architects developed an impressive reputation as the city’s splendid palaces were being built. Reflecting its declining economic and political power, in 1797, Genoa became a French protectorate. Although the Genoese revolted against France in 1814 and liberated the city on their own, delegates at the Congress of Vienna incorporated it into Piedmont, thus ending the three century old struggle by the House of Savoy to acquire the city. The city soon gained a reputation as a hotbed of anti-Savoy republican agitation, although the union with Savoy was economically very beneficial. In 1860, Garibaldi set out from Genoa with over a thousand volunteers to begin the conquest of the South of Italy.
Genoa, "La Superba", has impressive landmarks to match its glorious history. Part of the old town of Genoa is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is rich in art, architecture, music and gastronomy.
Blessed with a mild and unique climate (the city has never recorded temperatures below zero during the day), Genoa is a year round destination. The structure of its medieval part is articulated in a maze of squares and narrow alleys. The 16th-century and baroque period is evident in the San Matteo square and the ancient via Aurea, now beautiful Via Garibaldi. Remains of the ancient 17th-century walls are still visible not far from the beautiful San Lorenzo cathedral.
The symbols of the city include the 117 metre high "Lanterna" (lighthouse) and the monumental fountain of the Piazza De Ferrari, where the Palazzo Ducale, the residence of the Doges, is also located. Perhaps the most impressive area is nevertheless the Via Garibaldi. This district was designed in the mid-16th century to accommodate Mannerist palaces of the city's most eminent families, including Palazzo Rosso (now a museum), Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi, Palazzo Lomellino and the Palazzo Reale. Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso are also known as Musei di Strada Nuova. Genoa's waterfront has been completely restored and symbolized by the stylized "Great Bigo" . After you have seen all of the above, here are some other things to do :
* Take the "Castelletto lift Levante" (Piazza Portello - Castelletto) which rises a vertical 57 meters to the stunning views from the Belvedere Montaldo, from which you can admire one of the most beautiful landscapes of Genoa.
* Visit the attractive nearby fishing port of Boccadasse, and have lunch or dinner there at Trattoria Osvaldo (via della Cas, 2R)
* After visting the impressive San Lorenzo Cathedral, wander to Cafe degli Specchi at salita Pollaiuola 43/r for a light lunch
*After the fabulous museums of Via Garibaldi, enjoy a meal at the M cafe at Palazzo Rosso
* When visiting the waterfront, do not miss the fascinating Galata Museo del Mare, with its 17th century Genoese Galley, its subarine, and its museum of the great Italian emigrations of the 20th century