Genoa is a seaport city in northen Italy, the capital of region Liguria. As it was the city of ancient Ligurians its' name probably originates from a word Genoa which meens "knee" , or in other words "angle" in ligurian and it refers to its' gegraphical position.
It is a town closely linked to Versilia, it is located in proximity of the Cinque Terre area and it has also a motorway net (A12) communicating directly with Tuscany.
Genoa's history goes all the way back to ancient times and an Italic tribe of Ligures. Some archeological finding from the 5th and 6th century B.C. testify that the town was occupated by the Greeks but its fine harbour was in use much earlier perhaps by the Etruscan. Some inscriptions from the area of Genoa suggest that the Pheonicians were also present in Genoa's territory. In the Roman era the city was allied to Rome during the Second Punic War and consequently destroyed by the Carthaginians in 209 B.C.. After the Carthaginian Wars had ended, Genoa was rebuilt and given municipial rights. As its economical power grew the city begun spreading over the surrounding areas. The city's trade included skins, wood and honey that were shipped in the mainland, mostly to Piacenza and Tortona. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire Genoa was occupated by the Ostrogoths and then, just after the Gothic War it was made the seat of the Byzantines' vicar. The Lombards subbmited in the 643 and their kingdom was annexed by the Frank empire in the 773. The several centuries that followed made the city lose its power becoming only a small and unimportant city. Nevertheless, Genoa continued to build its merchent fleet slowly and became the leading commercial carrier of the Mediterranean Sea.
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Genoa developed into one of the "Maritime Republics" (Repubbliche Marinare) along with Venice, where trade, shipbuilding and banking supported one of the largest and most powerful navies in the Mediterranian. The Republic of Genoa begun spreading over the surrounding regions obtaining the control of almost entire Tyrrhenian Sea. Its' alliance with the Byzantine Empire gave it opportunities to expand into the Black See and Crimea. The wealthy republic begun collapsing when the Black Death was imported into Europe in 1349 from the Genoese tradeing post at Caffa (Theodosia) in Crimea destroying its economy and killing its population. It adopted the Venetian model of government and was presided over by the doge. The period was also the time of continuous wars against Venice.
After the discovery of The New World the trade routes shifted and the Mediterranean sea lost its importance. Consequently, Genoa's political and economic power begun to decline. In 1797, under Napoleon's pressure, it became a French protectorate and was annexed to France in 1805.
The recent history saw the bombarding of the city during World War II by the British fleet. It is interesting to know that one of the bombs fell into the Cathedral of San Lorenzo but did not explode.
In July 2001 the 27th G8 summit took place in the city, and the event will be forever remebered for the violent protest that escalated into a death of one protester, Carlo Giuliani. The police was accused of excessive use of violence and the officials involved are on trial since 2007.
Sights of Interest
Genoa Aquarium in Liguria, Italy
The most important sights in the centre of Genoa is Piazza de Ferrari where the Opera and the Palace of the Doges are situated. There is also a house considered to be the place where Christopher Colombus is said to have been born. Strada nuova (today Via Garibaldi) was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. This part of the old city was designed in the mid 16th century and housed the city's most powerful families. These historic building are Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale. Other famous sights are St. Lawrence Cathedral, cemetery of Staglieno and the Museum of Oriental arts with one of the largest collections in Europe.
Genoa also has a large acquarim situated in the Old Harbour which was transformened into a mall, and an ancient lighthouse, 'La Lanterna', the oldest lighthouse in the world.
The economy of Genoa revolves maily around the port which was extended in the 1950s due to the industrial zones of Milan and Turin which needed supplies. There has been an increase in the container trans-shipment. The city is also an important exit point for the oil pipelines to Switzerland and Germany. The surrounding districts such as: Sampierdarena, Cornigliano and Multedo are important heavy industry centres. Other significant industrial sectors are papermaking, textiles and transport.
The city has an airport, Cristoforo Colombo, built over the see.