GENOVA

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History
 

Liguria was the living place of the Celts in the ancient times. Genoa was founded in the 6th century B.C. by Phoenician and Etruscan sailors because it could function as a natural port by because of its good location. It remained a very important port through its history. In 209 B.C. Genoa was destroyed by the Carthagoians, and was rebuilt by the Romans. In the Roman Empire Genoa was exporting leather, wood and honey.



After the downfall of the Roman Empire, Genoa became an independent city. In the 11th century, the alliance of Genoa and Pisa took control over Sicily and Corsica islands. Later, the two cities had a long war against each other for the control of the two islands. In the 12th century, Genovese ships transported knights to the Middle-East, and returned with full of capture. More and more people had commerce conntections with Byzantium because of the increased demand for products of the Middle-East. Finally, in 1284 Genoa defeated Pisa and also Venice in 1299. After this, the merchants governing Genoa had power comparable only to the Pope and the kings of European states.

                                          View of Genoa on a painting from 1482

The expansion of Genoa was not centralized, it was drawn in favour of Genovese citizens. This caused inner wars for the control of the city. Furthermore, in 1380 the Genovese fleet was destroyed by the Venetians, and all these lead to the weakening of Genoa. Genoa lost its far away lands, the latest loss was Corsica against France. The inner wars were dissolved by Andrea Doria in 1528, and Genoa became a ship building port and bank center.



The emblem of the city, the Lanterna was rebuilt in 1543, the yellow light beams to 36 nautic miles in clear weather. Though Genoa was dominated by the nearby countries, like France and Piemont, it kept its independece until 1797. At that time, Bonaparte Napolean organized the Republic of Liguria, which was united to France in 1805. In 1815 Genoa was united to the Kingdom of Sardinia. This country played a very important role in the unification of Italy. In 1861 the king of the Kingdom of Sardinia, Victor Emanuel II. became the king of Italy.

The port of Genoa heavily damaged in the WW II. and the heavy storms of 1954-55, after it the port was rebuilt and modernized. The port of Genoa is currently the biggest Italian port regarding both passanger and cargo, and one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean Sea. The most important products in the port are coal, crude oil and corn. The port exports mostly cotton, silk, olive oil and wine. Genoa is a commercial and industrial center as well, its most important products are: iron and stell, cement, chemicals, fertilizers, oil, planes, ships, railroad trains, road vehicles, paper, sugar and textile. The most important aspects of the industy of the city took form in the beginnig of the 20th century. Since that the service sector gained advantage from the industry, so now Genoa considered a commercial and banking center, and is pushes the industrial sector into the background.
 
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