Genoa (Genova in Italian - Zena in Genoese) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria. The city has a population of 615,686 (31st December 2006 data). Genoa 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. Its port is the most important of Italy for traffic flows and the third one in the Mediterranean Sea.
Enclosed by the hills and sea, the city was once known as the queen of the Mediterranean Sea, before it experienced a long and slow decline until the last century when many efforts were made to renovate it.
In the last decades the city's importance increased significantly. Events like the Colombiadi, celebrating Cristoforo Colombo's discovery of America, the G8, renovation of the Porto Antico (old harbor), new cultural centers and spaces enhanced and revitalized the city's cultural, social and artistic role.
Recently, Genoa has faced the challenge of having been designated European Capital of Culture for the year 2004. A test faced by the town through the choice of redefining its cultural identity as a city with many vocations, where a port, industry, tourist and cultural activities coexist, and at the same time having its attractiveness recognized at every level.
Genoa's efforts to be worldwide known as a city of culture have been strengthened by the 2006 inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List of "Strada Nuova and the Palazzi dei Rolli", the architectural asset of the 17-century Genoa, where the Republic of ship builders, merchants and bankers, since 1576, chose private residences - appearing in lists known as Rolli - and their explosion of frescoed façades and hidden treasures to host important persons visiting Genoa.
Genoa town center
The town is spread between sea and mountains with a comparatively long and narrow coastline stretching from east to west. The urban environment, defined by the topography of the area, shows development mainly in the coastal area sloping down towards the sea. Genoa has a very difficult street layout due to the lack of space and the absence of alternative routes.
In central Genoa (including the old historical centre) the problem of the non-sustainable number of circulating (and pollutant) private cars is faced with a mix of measures regarding both access restrictions and new forms of mobility for people and freights.
Another striking problem is the lack of security in the old historical centre, though recent initiatives by both the local government and the private enterprises have partially reversed the situation, together with the integration of different cultures due to the flows of immigrants in recent years.
Genoa has recently gained (November 2006) for the second time the membership of the Executive Committee of Eurocities, the network of European cities. It is involved in several European and international projects, has city twinnings and cooperation agreements with both European and world cities. It is part of city networks, namely Eurocities, AMRIE (Alliance of Maritime Regional Interest in Europe), REVES (Reseau Européen des Villes et Regions de l'Economie Sociale), AIVS (Association International Villes et Ports), and AICE (International Association of Educational Cities).
Mr Giuseppe Pericu
Mr Gianluca Saba