Genoa between past and present
People usually think about Genoa as the maritime Republic, city of expert sailors and sea explorers far away from home and involved in leaving the mark of their moves in distant places like the “Galata” district in Istanbul (the old Constantinople). Otherwise, people imagine them fighting against the famous pirates which inspired Emilio Salgari in his novels, who travelled with his imagination towards Panama around the second half of the XVI century, or to the Buenos Aires suburb “Boca”. Here, in 1851, the Genoese was the most diffused dialect so that a visitor could believe he was “living on the coast of the dynamic Liguria”, as Console Carlo Belloc said (Toso. Xeneizes: 101).
Actually, people seldom think about a Genoese citizen in his homeland managing seaward businesses over the years, witnesses of faraway ages. A few of them suffered world wars, crisis and economic recoveries remaining almost unchanged over the years until now. We are not talking about monuments but lively places where people conduct business every day trying to maintain the right balance between innovation and tradition in order to keep pace with nowadays market.
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These small shops are also a touristic attractive element of Genoa. After 1992, year of the Columbus Celebration and of the opening of the aquarium, and especially after 2004, when Genoa was named European Capital of Culture and became one of the emerging cultural tourist destination in Italy and Europe. This kind of caring and sustainable tourism has its strong points in the medieval city centre, which was almost completely renewed, and in “Palazzi dei Rolli” (rolls’ palaces), which were included in 2006 in the UNESCO World Heritage List, in the nineteenth-century streets and in the architectural creations of the Twentieth Century.
Genoa is also a city of events, thanks to its museums, theatres, summer arenas and especially to Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), seat of “Fondazione per la Cultura”, which enrich the agenda of the city with an intense and diversified programme to offer entertainment and cultural activities.