- Alternate uses, see Genoa (disambiguation).
Flag of Genova
Christopher Columbus monument in Piazza Aquaverde
Genoa (Italian Genova (jen'o-vah), Genoese Zena (zay'nah), French Gênes) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of Liguria. It has a population of ca. 700,000.
Genua was a city of the ancient Ligurians. Its name is probably Ligurian, meaning "knee" (from Proto-Indo-European *genu 'knee'), i.e. "angle", from its geographical position, thus akin to the name of Geneva. Alternatively, the name has been claimed to derive from Latin Janua ("gate"). Faithful to Rome while other Ligurian and Celtic peoples of modern Northern Italy stood by Carthaginians in the Second Punic War, Genoa lost its importance as a Roman port city after the rise of Vada Sabatia, near Savona.
During the Middle Ages, Genoa was an independent and powerful republic (one of the so-called Repubbliche Marinare, with Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi) mainly oriented on the sea. Genoa was the most persistent rival of Venice, and like Venice its nominal republic was presided over by a doge (see Doge of Genoa).
The Genoa Stock Exchange
Crusaders from Genoa brought home a green glass goblet long regarded in Genoa as the Holy Grail itself and thought to be emerald.
The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont. At various times Genoa had several colonies in the Mideast, in the Aegean and the Black Sea, whence the Black Death was imported into Europe from the Genoese trading post at Kaffa (Feodosiya) in the Crimea), in Sicily and Northern Africa. It possessed the islands of Sardinia and disputed Corsica with Corsicans and France until 1768.
Famous Genoese families such as the Dorias had practically complete control of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The Republic became part of the French Empire until 1815, when the delegates at the Congress of Vienna sanctioned its incorporation into Piedmont (Kingdom of Sardinia).
Staglieno: A monumental cemetery
Famous Genoese are (traditionally) Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci, admiral Andrea Doria, violinist Nicolò Paganini and Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini.
- The port of Genoa is the first in Italy. It ranks second in the Mediterranean after Marseille, France.
- The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest in Europe.
- Other landmarks of the city are the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), St. Lawrence Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), The Old Harbor (Porto Antico), transformed into a mall by architect Renzo Piano, Via Garibaldi with its superb palaces and the monumental cemetery on Staglieno's hill.
For 2004, the European Union designated Genoa as European Capital of Culture, along with the French City of Lille.
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