“That was magnificent Genoa. This playful diversity of houses, churches and palaces in the thin heavenly air, shining with an incomprehensible blueness, was the only one.
“Genova la Superba” – magnificent Genoa. This is how the Italians call this majestic port city, the capital of the historical region of Liguria and the province of Genoa. And indeed it is. Genoa impresses with its history, architecture and extraordinary beauty of landscapes. The history of Genoa goes back to ancient times, when a small Greek colony was founded on the territory of present-day Genoa. In the 10th century, Genoa became one of the largest Mediterranean ports, and by the 12th century it became an independent city-state. In 1470, a university was opened in Genoa, in 1492, a native of Genoa, Christopher Columbus, discovered America, in 1797, Napoleon transformed the Republic of Genoa into Ligurian, then Genoa became the main port of the Sardinian kingdom, and later of the whole of Italy. Today, Genoa has not lost its significance as an important center of historical events, so in 2001 the G8 summit was held here. Numerous sights of Genoa attract tourists from all over the world. One of the most famous cathedrals in Europe is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), founded in the 5th-6th centuries, and built in its current form already in the 12th century. This cathedral is full of legends: here are stored the goblet, which, according to legend, was on the table during the Last Supper, and the relics of St. John the Baptist brought from the crusade in 1098, stored in the Cathedral Chapel of San Giovanni and was conceived as a repository of Christian relics of Genoa. Residents of the city consider the Cathedral of San Lorenzo a blessed place. So, in 1941, a bomb hit the cathedral nave, but did not explode. Other historic cathedrals include: Church of St. Donato (San Donato), built in the Romanesque style in the XII century. Church of St. Augustine (Sant’Agostino) – Gothic church of the XIII century. The Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation (Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato) is a real pearl of the Genoese Baroque, built in the 16th century. The neoclassical façade of the basilica was built in the 1820s and 30s by the architect Carlo Barabino. In addition to magnificent architecture and amazing frescoes, the basilica houses many sculptures and paintings from the Baroque era. The Church of St. Cyr (Chisa di San Siro) is one of the oldest in Genoa. The church, built in the 4th century, was dedicated to the twelve apostles, and later, after one of the first bishops of Genoa, St. Cyr, was buried in the church, it became the first Genoese Cathedral. The interior of the church is decorated with wonderful frescoes by masters of the 16th-17th centuries. The central square of Ferrari (Piazza De Ferrari) is the focus of life in Genoa, there are branches of the Bank of Italy, as well as grandiose fountains. Genoa is home to the second largest aquarium in Europe and the largest aquarium in Italy. The aquarium is spread over an area of one hectare, which houses 39 pools with a variety of marine life, and three pools are home to dolphins, sharks, seals and sea turtles. Another attraction of the city that everyone wants to see is the House of Columbus. In this inconspicuous, ivy-covered house, the great traveler was born in 1451. One of the symbols of Genoa is the Gates of the Old Town or the gates of Port Soprano (Porto Soprano, in translation – the highest), which in the XII century were an integral part of the majestic fortress wall, the famous quarter with the palaces of the Genoese aristocracy – Palazzi dei Rolli (Palazzi dei Rolli) delights with the beauty and grandeur of its architectural masterpieces built in the era of Mannerism and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Among the famous palaces of the quarter is the White Palace (Palazzo Bianco), also known as the Luca Grimaldi Palace, as it was built in 1530 – 1540. a representative of one of the powerful Genoese Grimaldi families. Because of the snow-white facade, the palace began to be called White in 1716, and in 1889 it became a public gallery, which presents a wonderful collection of paintings of the 16th century, including works by Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, Paolo Veronese. One of the most important historical buildings of Genoa is the Ducal Palace (Palazzo Ducale), built in the XIII-XVI centuries as the residence of the Doge. The decoration of the palace represents the luxury of different eras, there are two halls decorated with unique frescoes and sculptures: the Great Council Hall and the Small Council Hall, as well as the Doge’s Chapel, decorated by Giovanni Battista Carlone. Today, the Ducal Palace is a grandiose museum complex, concerts and exhibitions are held here.
Magnificent Genoa does not lose its grandeur and charm even today. Comfortable hotels, gourmet restaurants, plenty of entertainment. Grandiose architecture combined with a rich history and the beauty of seascapes. The city where Christopher Columbus and Nicolo Paganini were born. The romance of past eras, glorified in the masterpieces of world art, about which Gumilyov once wrote: “In Genoa, in the Doge’s Palace, there are old paintings in which the brigantines are strangely similar to swans …”