And now, letís talk about Genoa, the picturesque Ligurian capital placed in the Center of the region, heart of a wide metropolitan area.
For more than seven centuries the capital of the namesake Republic, Genoa is also known as la Superba, ("the Superb one") and Dominante dei mari ("the Seas Queen") due to its glorious past.
Overlooking the Ligurian Sea, its history is relative to the art of navigation and the trade. Its Porto Antico (old harbor) is the ancient part of the port of Genoa, which is still nowadays the most important in Italy, and one of the largest in the Mediterranean and in Europe. The Genoese architect Renzo Piano redeveloped the area, restoring the historical buildings (like the Cotton warehouses) and creating new landmarks like the Aquarium, the Bigo and recently the "Bolla" (the Sphere).
The lighthouse, placed near the old harbor, is the symbol of the city and itís also called la Lanterna (the Lantern).
City of heavy industry, especially the nautical one, Genoa in the past was considered part of the so-called industrial triangle.
Today is a famous tourist, scientific and university center, and according to a research of 2000, it turns out to be the fifth city in the country for its economic movement.
Among the most interesting and beautiful areas to visit, you canít forget about the old town centre with its carruggi (little and narrow streets) where it is possible to find many eating houses, small shops, wonderful palaces and buildings and much more.
No visit to Genoa would be complete without marveling at the Palazzo Ducale, historical seat of the Doge, the Teatro dellíOpera Carlo Felice and San Lorenzo Cathedral. In addition, you absolutely must have a look to via Garibaldi, called also Strada Nuova ("New Street"), the princely part of the city, built by the Marine Republic in the golden age, between the 16th and 17th centuries.
Finally, near the harbor, here it is the renowned "Aquarium of Genoa", the biggest in Europe, with 10,000 sq. m. large and 71 pools, which every year welcomes more than a million visitors from every corner of the world.
In 2006, one part of Genoa historic centre was included in the UNESCO World Heritage. In 2004, it was the European Capital of Culture.
And what about the food? Typical delicious specialties of the city include pesto, focaccia, farinata, stoccafisso (stockfish), and salsa di noci (walnut sauce). See you in Genoa! ;-)