was once a major player in European politics. The Republic of
Genoa called itself the “Republica Superba,” or Proud
Republic. What’s ironic is that Genoa’s favorite son,
Christopher Columbus, was born here, but it was in large part
due to his discovery of alternate trade routes that his
hometown’s influence and power began to dwindle.
Today, Genoa remains Italy’s main port
city for commerce and industry. Many of the 820,000 residents
of the city make their livelihood from the sea, mainly through
shipping. But the Genovese economy has expanded, with bustling
banking, electronics, and communications companies finding
Genoa has suffered in recent years, with
little to attract an expanding Italian tourism business. Most
travelers bypass Genoa in favor of Florence, Rome, and Venice,
or just use Genoa as a transfer point for trips to the Italian
or French Rivieras. The city’s efforts to hold a
quincentennial celebration in honor of Columbus in 1992,
complete with a face-lift of the harbor area, fell apart amid
political infighting and delays. Today, crime and pollution
are bigger problems here than in other Italian cities.
there is plenty to see and do while in Genoa. The small
streets twist and turn through the city, with lots of hidden
restaurants and shops to delight the adventurous traveler.