Genoa is the capital of Liguria and the sixth largest city in Italy, with a population of 608,676 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. In the metropolitan area live between 859,000 and 1.4 million or 1.5 million people. 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's 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, since the 19th century, hosts massive shipyards, oil refineries and steelworks, while its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages. The Bank of Saint George is among the oldest in the world, as it was founded in 1407, playing an important role in the city’s prosperity from the middle of the 15th century.
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.
Monuments and Places To See
Genoa's historic centre is one of the widest of Europe (about 400.000 m2). The structure of its oldest part is articulated in a maze of squares and narrow caruggi (typical genoese alleys). It joins a medieval dimension with following 16th-century and baroque interventions (San Matteo square and the ancient via Aurea, now via Garibaldi). Remains of the ancient 17th-century walls are still visible nearby San Lorenzo cathedral, the most attended place of worship of Genoa.
The symbols of the city are the Lanterna (the lighthouse) (117 m high), old and standing lighthouse visible in the distance from the sea (beyond 30 km), and the monumental fountain of Piazza De Ferrari, recently restored, out-and-out core of the city's life. Another par excellence tourist destination is the ancient seaside district of Boccadasse, with its picturesque multicolour boats, set as a seal to Corso Italia, the elegant promenade which runs along the Lido d'Albaro, and renowned for its famous ice-creams.
St. Lawrence Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo) is the city's Cathedral, and is built in a Romanesque-Renaissance style. Other important and major churches in Genoa include the Church of San Donato, the Church of Sant'Agostino, the Oratory of San Giacomo della Marina, the Church of Santo Stefano, San Torpete and the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato. Most of these churches and basilicas are built in the Romanesque style, even though the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato is built in a rich and elaborate Baroque style.
Buildings and Palaces
The main features of central Genoa include Piazza De Ferrari, around which are sited the Opera and the Palace of the Doges. There is also a house where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born. Strada Nuova (now Via Garibaldi), in the old city, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. This district was designed in the mid-16th century to accommodate Mannerist palaces of the city's most eminent families, including Palazzo Rosso (now a museum), Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale.
Walls and Fortresses
The city of Genoa during its long history at least since 9th century had been defended by different line of walls. To this day, large portions of these walls remain, and Genoa has more and longer walls than any other city in Italy. The main city walls are known as “Ninth century walls”, "Barbarossa Walls" (12th century ), "Fourteenth century walls", "Sixteenth century walls" and "New Walls" ("Mura Nuove" in Italian), the more imposing, built in the first half of 17th century on the ridge of hills around the city, having a length of almost 20 kilometres.
The Aquarium of Genoa
The Aquarium of Genoa (in Italian: Acquario di Genova) is the largest aquarium in Italy and the second largest in Europe. Built for Genoa Expo '92, the Aquarium of Genoa is an educational, scientific and cultural centre. Its mission is to educate and raise public awareness as regards conservation, management and responsible use of aquatic environments.
Genoa has a rich artistic history, with numerous frescos, paintings, sculptures and other works of art held in the city's abundant museums, palaces, villas, art galleries and piazzas. Genoa is the birthplace and home of the 'Ligurian School', where the key figures were several native and foreign painters, such as Rubens, Van Dyck and Bernardo Strozzi.
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.
The Teatro Carlo Felice, built in 1828 in the city in the Piazza De Ferrari, and named for the monarch of the then Kingdom of Sardinia (which included the present regions of Sardinia, Piedmont and Liguria). The theatre was the centre of music and social life in the 19th century. On various occasions in the history of the theatre, presentations have been conducted by Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Hindemith and Stravinsky.
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