Thursday, December 06, 2007

Genoa, Liguria, Italy

What a great city this is! We had driven by Genoa on a rainy day back in the spring of 2007 and had been disinclined to visit at that time due to the difficulty of parking and the inclement weather. Well, this morning when we awoke, our little boat was tied up alongside the quay less than a mile from downtown of this soon to be discovered city - and the weather was gorgeous!
After another obscene breakfast we pulled on our walking shoes, grabbed our cameras and strode off to town.

Old town Genoa was a walled city (of course) and at least two of the gates are fairly complete and very accessible. The interior of the old town is amazing with its confusing warren of extremely narrow streets separating huge, seven and eight story ancient buildings in the residential areas, while the busy retail and market streets, many of them covered to some degree, make up the business part of town. Genoa appears to be a vibrant and prosperous city with an easy blend of old and new, built around a large bay in the northern Mediterranean. The Old Port occupies the eastern side of the bay with the modern port wrapping clear around the western side. Genoa is a major European port handling million tons of freight each year.
Christopher Columbus was probably born in Genoa in 1451. This energetic man, often attributed with the discovery of America without ever having set foot in that country, appears however, to have had quite a remarkable birth. For example, according to historians, he was born over a period of 25 years (between 1435 and 1460) in at least four different places - Genoa in Italy, Chios in Greece, Majorca (Spanish Balearic Islands), Galicia, and other places in Spain. Even more outstanding, he was buried in at least three different places. Following his death in Spain at the age of 46 to 71 his burial took place in Sevilla, Spain; Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and also in Havana, Cuba. It must be great being famous.
Today, 7,000 pounds of fruit was consumed on the ship along with 470 gallons of coffee.

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