Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Alternate uses, see Genoa (disambiguation).
Genua was a city of the ancient Ligurians. Its name is probably Ligurian, meaning "knee" (from Proto-Indo-European *genu 'knee'), i.e. "angle", from its geographical position, thus akin to the name of Geneva. Alternatively, the name has been claimed to derive from Latin Janua ("gate"), the two-headed god Janus, or an ancient word that means "foreigners", as the early settlers were considered foreign by the neighbouring population. The city's origins are dated back to the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. Faithful to Rome while other Ligurian and Celtic peoples of modern Northern Italy stood by Carthaginians in the Second Punic War, Genoa lost its importance as a Roman port city after the rise of Vada Sabatia, near Savona.
Some noteworthy particularities of Genoa are its Etruscan fundations.
During the Middle Ages, Genoa was an independent and powerful republic (one of the so-called Repubbliche Marinare, with Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi) mainly oriented on the sea. Genoa was the most persistent rival of Venice, and like Venice its nominal republic was presided over by a doge (see Doges of Genoa). Genoa fought a series of wars with Venice starting in 1253, the last of which, the War of Chioggia (1378-81), Venice barely survived. The Siege of Chioggia marked the first strategic use of artillery in Italy, and perhaps, Europe.
Crusaders from Genoa brought home a green glass goblet long regarded in Genoa as the Holy Grail itself and thought to be emerald.
The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont. At various times Genoa had several colonies in the Mideast, in the Aegean and the Black Sea, whence the Black Death was imported into Europe from the Genoese trading post at Kaffa (Feodosiya) in the Crimea, in Sicily and Northern Africa. It possessed the islands of Sardinia and disputed Corsica with Corsicans and France until 1768.
The Republic became part of the French Empire until 1815, when the delegates at the Congress of Vienna sanctioned its incorporation into Piedmont (Kingdom of Sardinia). In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi set out from Genoa with a thousand volunteers to unify Italy, which was at the time split in several kingdoms. He succeeded.
- The port of Genoa is the first in Italy. It ranks second in the Mediterranean after neighbouring Marseille, France.
- The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest in Europe.
- Other landmarks of the city are the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), St. Lawrence Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), The Old Harbor (Porto Antico), transformed into a mall by architect Renzo Piano, Via Garibaldi with its superb palaces and the monumental cemetery on Staglieno's hill.
- Genova, European Capital of Culture 2004
- Photos of Genoa
- Visit the town starting from the historical center
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