Genoa is the capital city of Liguria. It is located in northwestern Italy, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of north-west Italy, is one of Italy’s major economic centers.
On October 12, 1492, Columbus landed in the Bahama Islands on his first voyage. This event spawned the “Columbian Exchange” of goods from the New World” to the “Old World” and visa versa. The Columbian Exchange was the widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations (including slaves), communicable disease and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres (Old World and New World). His ships were nicknamed the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.
Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. These voyages led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. The events led to the establishment of permanent settlements in the island of Hispaniola. This initiated the process of Spanish colonization which eventually led to the European colonization of the “New World“.
Marvel at the 16th and 17thcentury “New Streets” of Genoa that can be found in the historic city center. There are many interesting sites in Genoa. The Cathedral of St. Lawrence (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo) is a church in the Italian city of Genoa, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Genoa.
In this childhood home of Christopher Columbus; his memory permeates the town. Genoa’s historically impressive “urban development projects represent plans by the public authority to parcel out a system of lodging based upon legislation.”( UNESCO) These palaces can be found on the Strada Nuova.
On Via Garibaldi, Genoa’s most beautiful street, the 16th century Palazzo Bianco houses an outstanding collection of Genoese art by Luca Cambiaso, Bernardo Strozzi and Giovanni Benedetto. At the Palazzo Rosso, Carravaggio’s “Ecce Homo” (Man of Sorrows) can be viewed; as well as frescoes by de Ferrari and Domenico Piola.
The Palazzo Ducale was the seat of Genoa’s ruling doges and also contains important masterpieces. The Palazzo Reale was used by the kings of Savoy and has an ornate 17th century interior.
The “Rolli” palaces were patrician residences built by the wealthiest and most powerful aristocratic families of the Republic of Genoa. These dwellings were built at the height of Genoa’s seafaring prowess.
The Palaces in Genoa are generally three to four stories high and feature spectacular staircases, courtyards and loggias overlooking gardens. The owners of these palazzi were obligated to host official visits of State as decreed by the Senate in 1576. These formal visits contributed to the dissemination of their architectural model, which attracted famous artists like Peter Paul Rubens.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides. To learn more about Italy, visit www.vino-con-vista.com
- “Oh Columbus, Our Hero!” (todaysbriseis.wordpress.com)
- Chicago’s 59th Columbus Day Parade 2011 (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Think You Know The Real Christopher Columbus? (npr.org)
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