apital of Liguria, the most important Italian port and a major commercial and industrial centre, Genoa lies along approximately 35 km of coastline on the gulf of the same name.
It was founded by the Ligurians and started to develop as a maritime trading centre in the 5th century BC; it had close relations with the Greeks, Etruscans, Romans and Carthaginians, Conquered during the Greek-Gothic war by Belisarius, it remained under Byzantium for many years, even after the Lombard invasion.
Under the Lombard king Rothari it became the capital of the duchy of Liguria and, later, in Carolingian times was the county seat and then incorporated into the Obertenghi region.
At the end of the 11th century, with partecipation in the Crusades and then the constitution of the compagna communis, a trading consortium, the history of Genoa became that of a state, whose naval power was to last until the 15th century, with the creation of emporiums, ports and colonies from the Aegean to the Black Sea.
After years of rivalry with Pisa, generated for the possession of Corsica, Genoa increased its importance as a naval republic in the 13th century, having defeated Pisa in 1284 at the battle of Meloria.
Having gained control of the Mediterranean – always disputed by Venice – colonial enterprise extended the range of Genoa’s political and trading interests with the Orient and North Africa.
Internal fighting and rivalry with Venice led the government later to contract a political alliance with France, by which it was nonetheless conquered in 1499 and 1502.
In 1528, thanks to the famous admiral Andrea Doria, it won independence, maintained until the times of Napoleon. Doria’s achievement was all the more important beacuse under his rule a new Constitution was adopted – and remained in force until 1797; thanks to his disguised dictatorship Genoa gained financial power that.
The Aquarium of Genoa
The Aquarium of Genoa was built in the Ancient Port especially for the event of Expo ’92 which marked the five hundred-year anniversary of the discovery of the New World.
The exterior of the Aquarium was designed and developed by Genoese architect Renzo Piano, while the interior was the project of American Peter Chermayeff.
The Aquarium opened its doors to the public on October 15, 1993. Thanks to its dimensions of 10,000 square metres and 71 tanks, it is the largest aquarium in Europe and one of the most frequently visited cultural sites in Italy.
The Aquarium of Genoa’s mission is to educate and create public awareness related to marine conservation and sensible management of aquatic environments.
Particular attention is given to educational institutions, with informative and educational activities developed in conjunction with the ministry of education’s programs and made possible by the collaboration of the teachers involved.
The panoramic lift otherwise known as – Big was originally a crane mounted on cargo ships, but was transformed into the architectural symbol of the Antique Port of Genoa by Renzo Piano, so as to offer a breathtaking view of the city. You will feel a 360 degree chill as you climb onto this lift and admire the beauty of Genoa from a height of 40 metres thanks to the rotating glass cabin that mounted onto the lift.