Flag of Genoa
|Comune di Genova|
A collage of Genoa, clockwise from top left: Torre della Lanterna, Piazza de Ferrari, Galleria Mazzini, Brigata Liguria Street, view of San Teodoro from Genoa Port
Location of Genoa in Italy
|• Mayor||Marco Doria (Independent – Left Ecology Freedom)|
|• Total||243.60 km2 (94.05 sq mi)|
|Elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2012)|
|• Density||2,500/km2 (6,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. John the Baptist|
|Saint day||June 24|
Genoa (// Italian: Genova [ˈd͡ʒɛːnova]; Genoese and Ligurian Zena [ˈzeːna]; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is the capital of Liguria and the sixth largest city in Italy, with a population of 604,848 within its administrative limits on a land area of 243.6 km2 (94 sq mi). The urban zone of Genoa extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 718,896. The urban area of Genoa has a population of 800,709. Over 1.5 million people live in the metropolitan area. Genoa is one of Europe's largest cities on the Mediterranean Sea and the largest seaport in Italy.
Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba ("the Superb one") due to its glorious past and impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List (UNESCO) in 2006 (see below). The city's rich art, music, gastronomy, architecture and history allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of north-west Italy, is one of the country’s major economic centres. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, and its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages. The Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the city’s prosperity since the middle of the 15th century. Today a number of leading Italian companies are based in the city, including Fincantieri, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo STS and Edoardo Raffinerie Garrone.
- 1 History
- 2 Flag
- 3 Geography
- 4 Administration
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Language
- 7 Economy
- 8 Transport
- 9 Education
- 10 Main sights
- 11 Culture
- 12 International relations
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 Bibliography
- 16 External links
Ancient era and early Middle Ages
A city cemetery, dating from the 6th and 5th centuries BC, testifies to the occupation of the site by the Greeks, but the fine harbor was probably in use much earlier, perhaps by the Etruscans. The ancient Ligurian city was known as Stalia (Σταλìα), so referred to by Artemidorus Ephesius and Pomponius Mela (this toponym is possibly preserved in the name of Staglieno, some 3 km (2 mi) from the coast). Ligurian Stalia was overshadowed by the powerful Marseille and Vada Sabatia, near modern Savona. It was allied to Rome through a foedus aequum ("Equal pact") in the course of the Second Punic War. It was therefore destroyed by the Carthaginians in 209 BC. The town was rebuilt and, after the end of the Carthaginian Wars, received municipal rights. The original castrum thenceforth expanded towards the current areas of Santa Maria di Castello and the San Lorenzo promontory. Trades included skins, wood, and honey. Goods were shipped to the mainland, up to major cities like Tortona and Piacenza.
The city's current name is derived from the Latin word meaning "knee" (genu; plural, genua), from its geographical position at the centre of the Ligurian coastal arch, thus akin to the name of Geneva. The Latin name, oppidum Genua, is recorded be Pliny the Elder (Nat. Hist. 3.48) as part of the Augustean Regio IX Liguria.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Genoa was occupied by the Ostrogoths. After the Gothic War, the Byzantines made it the seat of their vicar. When the Lombards invaded Italy in 568, the Bishop of Milan fled and held his seat in Genoa. Pope Gregory the Great was closely connected to these bishops in exile, for example involving himself the election of Deusdedit. The Lombards, under King Rothari, finally captured Genoa and other Ligurian cities in about 643. In 773 the Lombard Kingdom was annexed by the Frankish Empire empire; the first Carolingian count of Genoa was Ademarus, who was given the title praefectus civitatis Genuensis. Ademarus died in Corsica while fighting against the Saracens. In this period the Roman walls, destroyed by the Lombards, were rebuilt and extended.
For the following several centuries, Genoa was little more than a small centre, slowly building its merchant fleet which was to become the leading commercial carrier of the Mediterranean Sea. The town was sacked and burned in 934 by North African pirates and likely abandoned for a few years.
In the 10th century the city, now part of the Marca Januensis ("Genoese March") was under the Obertenghi family, whose first member was Obertus I. Genoa was one of the first cities in Italy to have some citizenship rights granted by local feudatories.
Middle Ages and Renaissance
Before 1100, Genoa emerged as an independent city-state, one of a number of Italian city-states during this period. Nominally, the Holy Roman Emperor was overlord and the Bishop of Genoa was president of the city; however, actual power was wielded by a number of "consuls" annually elected by popular assembly. Genoa was one of the so-called "Maritime Republics" (Repubbliche Marinare), along with Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi and trade, shipbuilding and banking helped support one of the largest and most powerful navies in the Mediterranean. The Adorno, Campofregoso, and other smaller merchant families all fought for power in this Republic, as the power of the consuls allowed each family faction to gain wealth and power in the city. The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont, Sardinia, Corsica, Nice and had practically complete control of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Through Genoese participation on the Crusades, colonies were established in the Middle East, in the Aegean, in Sicily and Northern Africa. Genoese Crusaders brought home a green glass goblet from the Levant, which Genoese long regarded as the Holy Grail. Not all of Genoa's merchandise was so innocuous, however, as medieval Genoa became a major player in the slave trade.
The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire. As Venice's relations with the Byzantine Empire were temporarily disrupted by the Fourth Crusade and its aftermath, Genoa was able to improve its position. Genoa took advantage of this opportunity to expand into the Black Sea and Crimea. Internal feuds between the powerful families, the Grimaldi and Fieschi, the Doria, Spinola, and others caused much disruption, but in general the republic was run much as a business affair. In 1218–1220 Genoa was served by the Guelph podestà Rambertino Buvalelli, who probably introduced Occitan literature to the city, which was soon to boast such troubadours as Jacme Grils, Lanfranc Cigala, and Bonifaci Calvo. Genoa's political zenith came with its victory over the Republic of Pisa at the naval Battle of Meloria in 1284, and with a temporary victory over its rival, Venice, at the naval Battle of Curzola in 1298.
However, this prosperity did not last. The Black Death was imported into Europe in 1347 from the Genoese trading post at Caffa (Theodosia) in Crimea, on the Black Sea. Following the economic and population collapse, Genoa adopted the Venetian model of government, and was presided over by a doge (see Doge of Genoa). The wars with Venice continued, and the War of Chioggia (1378–1381)-- where Genoa almost managed to decisively subdue Venice—ended with Venice's recovery of dominance in the Adriatic. In 1390 Genoa initiated a crusade against the Barbary pirates with help from the French and laid siege to Mahdia. Though it has not been well-studied, the fifteenth century seems to have been a tumultuous time for Genoa. After a period of French domination from 1394–1409, Genoa came under rule by the Visconti of Milan. Genoa lost Sardinia to Aragon, Corsica to internal revolt and its Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Asia Minor colonies to the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Genoa was able to stabilize its position as it moved into the sixteenth century, particularly thanks to the efforts of Andrea Doria, who established a new constitution in 1528, making 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. According to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and others, the practices Genoa developed in the Mediterranean (such as chattel slavery) were crucial in the exploration and exploitation of the New World. Christopher Columbus, for example, was a native of Genoa and donated one-tenth of his income from the discovery of the Americas for Spain to the Bank of Saint George in Genoa for the relief of taxation on foods.
At the time of Genoa’s peak in the 16th century, the city attracted many artists, including Rubens, Caravaggio and Van Dyck. The famed architect Galeazzo Alessi (1512–1572) designed many of the city’s splendid palazzi, as did in the decades that followed by fifty years Bartolomeo Bianco (1590–1657), designer of centrepieces of University of Genoa. A number of Genoese Baroque and Rococo artists settled elsewhere and a number of local artists became prominent.
In May 1625 the French-Savoian army that invaded the Republic was successfully driven out by the combined Spanish and Geonese armies.In May 1684, as a punishment for Genoese support for Spain, the city was subjected to a French naval bombardment, with some 13,000 cannonballs aimed at the city.
It was occupied by Austria in 1746 during the War of the Austrian Succession. This episode in the city's history is mainly remembered for the Genoese revolt, precipitated by a boy named Giovan Battista Perasso and nicknamed Balilla, who threw a stone at an Austrian official and became a national hero to later generations of Genoese (and Italians in general).
Being unable to retain its rule in Corsica, where the rebel Corsican Republic was proclaimed in 1755, in 1768 Genoa was forced by the endemic rebellion to sell its claim to Corsica to the French, in the Treaty of Versailles of 1768.
With the shift in world economy and trade routes to the New World and away from the Mediterranean, Genoa's political and economic power went into steady decline. In 1797, under pressure from Napoleon, Genoa became a French protectorate called the Ligurian Republic, which was annexed by France in 1805. This affair is commemorated in the famous first sentence of Tolstoy's War and Peace:
"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes.(...) And what do you think of this latest comedy, the coronation at Milan, the comedy of the people of Genoa and Lucca laying their petitions [to be annexed to France] before Monsieur Buonaparte, and Monsieur Buonaparte sitting on a throne and granting the petitions of the nations?" (spoken by a thoroughly anti-Boanapartist Russian aristocrat, soon after the news reached Saint Petersburg).
Although the Genoese revolted against France in 1814 and liberated the city on their own, delegates at the Congress of Vienna sanctioned its incorporation into Piedmont (Kingdom of Sardinia), 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 (having its climax in 1849 with the Sack of Genoa), although the union with Savoy was economically very beneficial. With the growth of the Risorgimento movement, the Genoese turned their struggles from Giuseppe Mazzini's vision of a local republic into a struggle for a unified Italy under a liberalized Savoy monarchy. In 1860, General Giuseppe Garibaldi set out from Genoa with over a thousand volunteers to begin the conquest of Southern Italy. Today a monument is set on the rock where the patriots departed from.
In the late 19th century and the early 20th century, Genoa consolidated its role as a major seaport and an important steel and shipbuilding center. During World War II Genoa suffered heavy damages, from both naval and aerial bombings. The city was liberated by the partisans a few days before the arrival of the Allies.
In the post-war years, Genoa played a pivotal role in the Italian economic miracle, as the third corner of the so-called "Industrial Triangle" of northern Italy, formed by the manufacturer hubs of Milan and Turin and the seaport of Genoa itself. Since 1962, the Genoa International Boat Show has evolved as one of the largest annually recurring events in Genoa. The 27th G8 summit in the city, in July 2001, was overshadowed by violent protests, with one protester, Carlo Giuliani, killed amid accusations of police brutality. In 2007 15 officials, who included police, prison officials and two doctors, were found guilty by an Italian court of mistreating protesters. A judge handed down prison sentences ranging from five months to five years. In 2004, the European Union designated Genoa as the European Capital of Culture, along with the French city of Lille.
The flag of Genoa is simply a St George's Cross, a red cross on a lime white field. The patron saint of Genoa was Saint Lawrence until at least 958, but the Genoese transferred their allegiance to Saint George at some point during the 11th or 12th century, most likely under the impression of the rising popularity of the "warrior saint" during the crusades. Genoa also had a banner displaying a cross since at least 1218, possibly as early as 1113. But the cross banner was not associated with the saint; indeed, the saint had his own flag, the vexillum beati Georgii (first mentioned 1198), a red flag showing a George and the dragon. A depiction of this flag is shown in the Genoese annals under the year 1227. The Genoese flag with the red cross was used alongside this "Saint George's flag", from at least 1218, known as the insignia cruxata comunis Janue ("cross ensign of the commune of Genoa"). The saint's flag was the city's main war flag, but the cross flag was used alongside it in the 1240s. The Saint George's flag (i.e. the flag depicting the saint) remained the main flag of Genoa at least until the 1280s. The flag now known as the "St George's Cross" seems to have replaced it as Genoa's main flag at some point during the 14th century. The Book of All Kingdoms (c. 1385) shows it, inscribed with the word iustiçia, and described as
- "El señor della á por señales un pendón blanco con una cruz bermeja. Encima está escripto «Justicia» d’esta manera"
- "And the lord of this place has as his ensign a white pennant with a red cross. At the top it is inscribed with 'justice', in this manner."
The city of Genoa covers an area of 243 square kilometres (94 sq mi) between the Ligurian Sea and the Apennine Mountains. The city stretches along the coast for about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the neighbourhood of Voltri to Nervi, and for 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the coast to the north along the valleys Polcevera and Bisagno. The territory of Genoa can then be popularly divided into 5 main zones: the centre, the west, the east, the Polcevera and the Bisagno Valley.
Genoa has a borderline humid subtropical (Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Csa), since only one summer month has less than 40 millimetres (1.6 in) of rainfall, preventing it from being classified as solely humid subtropical or Mediterranean.
The average yearly temperature is around 19 °C (66 °F) during the day and 13 °C (55 °F) at night. In the coldest months: December, January and February, the average temperature is 12 °C (54 °F) during the day and 6 °C (43 °F) at night. In the warmest months – July and August – the average temperature is 27.5 °C (82 °F) during the day and 21 °C (70 °F) at night. Generally – summers/holiday season lasts about 4 to 6 months, from May/June to September/October. The daily temperature range is limited, with an average range of about 6 °C (11 °F) between high and low temperatures.
Annually, the average 2.9 of nights recorded temperatures of ≤0 °C (32 °F) (mainly in January). The coldest temperature ever recorded was −6.8 °C (20 °F) on the night of January 1985; the highest temperature ever recorded during the day is 35.4 °C (96 °F) on the July 1971 and August 1990. Average annual number of days with temperatures of ≥30 °C (86 °F) is about 8, average four days in July and August.
Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C (64 °F), from 13 °C (55 °F) in the period January–March to 25 °C (77 °F) in August. In the period from June to October, the average sea temperature exceeds 19 °C (66 °F).
Genoa is also a windy city, especially during winter when northern winds often bring cool air from the Po Valley (usually accompanied by lower temperatures, high pressure and clear skies). Another typical wind blows from southeast, mostly as a consequence of atlantic disturbances and storms, bringing humid and warmer air from the sea. Snowfall is sporadic, but does occur once or twice per year.
Sunshine hours total above 2,200 per year, from an average 4 hours of sunshine duration per day in winter to average 9 hours in summer. This value is an average between the northern half of Europe and North Africa.
|Climate data for Genoa|
|Average high °C (°F)|| 11.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)|| 8.5
|Average low °C (°F)|| 5.5
|Rainfall mm (inches)|| 101.8
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||7.7||5.6||6.9||8.1||7.0||5.0||2.8||5.0||6.0||8.0||7.1||6.5||75.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||117.8||130.5||158.1||192.0||220.1||246.0||294.5||266.6||201.0||173.6||111.0||111.6||2,222.8|
|Source: Servizio Meteorologico, data of sunshine hours|
The Municipal Council of Genoa is led by a left-wing majority, elected in May 2012. The mayor is Marco Doria, expression of a progressive alliance composed by Democratic Party, Italy of Values, Left Ecology Freedom, Communist Refoundation Party and other minor lists.
The city of Genoa is subdivided into 9 Municipi (administrative districts), as approved by the Municipal Council in 2007.
|Municipio||Population (% of total)||Quarters included|
|Centro-Est||91,402 (15.0%)||Pré, Molo, Maddalena, Oregina, Lagaccio, San Nicola, Castelletto, Manin, San Vincenzo, Carignano|
|Centro-Ovest||66,626 (10.9%)||Sampierdarena, Campasso, San Teodoro, San Bartolomeo|
|Bassa Val Bisagno||78,791 (12.9%)||San Fruttuoso, Marassi, Quezzi|
|Media Val Bisagno||58,742 (9,6%)||Staglieno, Sant'Eusebio, San Gottardo, Molassana, Struppa|
|Valpolcevera||62,492 (10.3%)||Borzoli, Fegino, Certosa, Rivarolo, Teglia, Begato, Bolzaneto, Morego, San Quirico, Pontedecimo|
|Medio Ponente||61,810 (10.1%)||Sestri, Cornigliano, Campi|
|Ponente||63,027 (10.3%)||Crevari, Voltri, Palmaro, Prà, Pegli, Multedo|
|Medio Levante||61,759 (10.1%)||Foce, Brignole, Albaro, San Martino, San Giuliano, Lido, Puggia|
|Levante||66,155 (10.8%)||Sturla, Quarto, Quinto, Nervi, Sant'Ilario, Bavari, San Desiderio, Borgoratti|
At the beginning of 2011, there were 608,493 people residing in Genoa, of whom 47% were male and 53% were female. The city is characterised by rapid aging and a long history of demographic decline, that has shown a partial slowdown in the last decade. Genoa has the lowest birth rate and is the most aged of any large Italian city. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled only 14.12% of the population compared to pensioners who number 26.67%. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06% (minors) and 19.94% (pensioners). The median age of Genoa's residents is 47, compared to the Italian average of 42. The current birth rate of the city is only 7.49 births per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to the national average of 9.45. As of 2006, 94.23% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group is from the Americas (mostly Ecuador): 2.76%, other European nations (mostly Albania, Ukraine, the former Yugoslavia and Romania): 1.37%, and North Africa: 0.62%. The city is predominantly Roman Catholic, with small numbers of Protestant adherents.
The Genoese dialect (Zeneize) is the most important dialect of the Ligurian language, and is commonly spoken in Genoa alongside Italian.
Ligurian is listed by Ethnologue as a language in its own right, of the Romance branch, and not to be confused with the ancient Ligurian language. Like the languages of Lombardy, Piedmont, and surrounding regions, it is of Gallo-Italic derivation.
Ligurian agriculture has increased its specialisation pattern in high-quality products (flowers, wine, olive oil) and has thus managed to maintain the gross value-added per worker at a level much higher than the national average (the difference was about 42% in 1999). The value of flower production represents over 75% of the agriculture sector turnover, followed by animal farming (11.2%) and vegetable growing (6.4%).
Steel, once a major industry during the booming 1950s and 1960s, phased out after the late 1980s crisis, as Italy moved away from the heavy industry to pursue more technologically advanced and less polluting productions. So the Ligurian industry has turned towards a widely diversified range of high-quality and high-tech products (food, shipbuilding (in Sestri Ponente and in metropolitan area - Sestri Levante), electrical engineering and electronics, petrochemicals, aerospace etc.). Nonetheless, the regions still maintains a flourishing shipbuilding sector (yacht construction and maintenance, cruise liner building, military shipyards). In the services sector, the gross value-added per worker in Liguria is 4% above the national average. This is due to the increasing diffusion of modern technologies, particularly in commerce and tourism. A good motorway network (376 km (234 mi) in 2000) makes communications with the border regions relatively easy. The main motorway is located along the coastline, connecting the main ports of Nice (in France), Savona, Genoa and La Spezia. The number of passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants (524 in 2001) is below the national average (584). On average, about 17 million tonnes of cargo are shipped from the main ports of the region and about 57 million tonnes enter the region. The Port of Genoa, with a trade volume of 58.6 million tonnes it is the first port of Italy, the second in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units after the port of transshipment of Gioia Tauro, with a trade volume of 1.86 million TEUs. The main destinations for the cargo-passenger traffic are Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Barcelona, and the Canary Islands.
Several cruise and ferry lines serve the passenger terminals in the old port, with a traffic of 3.2 million passengers in 2007. MSC Cruises chose Genoa as one of its main home ports, in competition with the Genoese company Costa Cruises, which moved its home port to Savona. The quays of the passenger terminals extend over an area of 250 thousand square metres, with 5 equipped berths for cruise vessels and 13 for ferries, for an annual capacity of 4 million ferry passengers, 1.5 million cars and 250,000 trucks. The historical maritime station of Ponte dei Mille is today a technologically advanced cruise terminal, with facilities designed after the world's most modern airports, to ensure fast embarking and disembarking of latest generation ships carrying thousand passengers. A third cruise terminal is currently under construction in the redesigned area of Ponte Parodi, once a quay used for grain traffic.
The Airport of Genoa (IATA: GOA, ICAO: LIMJ) is built on an artificial peninsula, 4 NM (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) west of the city. The airport is currently operated by Aeroporto di Genova S.P.A., which has recently upgraded the airport complex, that now connects Genoa with several daily flights to Rome, Naples, Paris, London, Madrid and Munich. In 2008, 1,202,168 passengers travelled through the airport, with an increase of international destinations and charter flights.
The main railway stations are Genoa Brignole and Genoa Principe, the first situated in the east side of the city centre, close to the business districts and the exhibition centre, while the second is in the west side, close to the port, the university and the historical centre. From these two stations depart the main trains connecting Genoa to France, Turin, Milan and Rome.
Genoa's third most important station is Genoa Sampierdarena, which serves the densely populated neighbourhood of Sampierdarena. A total of 23 other local stations serve the other neighbourhoods, on the 30-kilometre-long coast line from Nervi to Voltri, and on the northern line through Bolzaneto and the Polcevera Valley.
The municipal administration of Genoa is projecting to transform these urban railway lines to be part of the rapid transit system, which now consists of a light metro which connects Brin to the city centre and is called the Metropolitana di Genova (Genoa Metro). The metro line has been recently extended to Brignole Station, with the opening of the new station in December 2012. The Corvetto station between De Ferrari and Brignole is currently passed-through. A possible further extension towards the eastern, densely populated boroughs was planned, but the municipal administration is keen to improve the public transport investing in new tram lines instead of completing the extension of the light metro. The current stations of the metro line are Brin-Certosa, Dinegro, Principe, Darsena, San Giorgio, Sant'Agostino and De Ferrari, and the line is 5.3 km (3.3 mi) long.
The city's bus and trolleybus network is operated by AMT (Azienda Mobilità e Trasporti S.p.A.). There is also the Drin Bus - demand responsive transport service (DRT) that connects the hilly, low-density areas of Genoa.
The first organized forms of higher education in Genoa date back to the 13th century when private colleges were entitled to award degrees in Medicine, Philosophy, Theology, Law, Arts. Today the University of Genoa, founded in the 15th century, is one of the largest in Italy, with 11 faculties, 51 departments and 14 libraries. In 2007–2008, the University had 41,000 students and 6,540 graduates.
Genoa is also home to other colleges and academies:
- The Italian Shipping Academy
- The Ligurian Academy of Fine Arts
- The "Niccolò Paganini" Conservatory
- The Italian Hydrographic Institute
- The Grazia Deledda Academy and School
The Italian Institute of Technology was established in 2003 jointly by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, to promote excellence in basic and applied research. The main fields of research of the Institute are Neuroscience, Robotics, Nanotechnology, Drug discovery. The central research labs and headquarters are located in Morego, in the neighbourhood of Bolzaneto.
Florida International University (FIU), based in Miami, Florida, United States also has a small campus in Genoa, with the University of Genoa, which offers classes within the FIU School of Architecture.