Genoa (Italian:Genova), Italy, the capital of the Liguria region. It is in northwestern Italy on the Italian Riviera and fronts on the Gulf of Genoa, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. The city occupies an amphitheater-like setting in the foothills of the Apennines.

Genoa's economy is dominated by its port, which is the busiest in Italy and one of the busiest in Europe. The city is well served by railways, airlines, and intercity highways. Manufacturing is diverse, ranging from shipbuilding and the making of iron and steel to the manufacturing of textiles, food products, and other consumer goods. Banking and insurance are also important economic activities.

Genoa's old section lies just inland from the port. Located here are narrow, winding streets, open squares, and numerous medieval and Renaissance buildings, especially palaces. Among them are the Ducal (Doge's) Palace, the Royal Palace, and the Doria Tursi Palace, which is now used as the city hall. Also in the old section of Genoa are the cathedral, the stock exchange, the opera house, and a number of museums and art galleries. The University of Genoa dates from 1471. The house where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born is a city landmark.

History

Genoa was settled by Ligurians, an ancient people, as early as the fifth century B.C. and later prospered as a Roman port and trade center. After the fall of Rome in the fifth century A.D. the city declined and was successively ruled by Ostrogoths, Lombards, and other invaders.

By the 11th century Genoa began to emerge as a self-governing, prosperous, maritime city-state. By the 13th century Genoa had colonies and possessions from Spain to the Black Sea. Conflicts with rival trading cities developed. Genoa defeated Pisa in 1284, but was beaten by Venice in 1380. A gradual decline, marked by internal strife, the steady loss of overseas possessions, and foreign intervention in the city's affairs, followed. Genoa, nevertheless, maintained its independence. It rose to renewed but temporary prominence in the 16th century under the leadership of Andrea Doria. .)

The Genoese republic came to an end in 1797, when, after invading Italy, Napoleon made Genoa part of the Ligurian Republic, which was eventually made a part of the French Empire. In 1815, after Napoleon's defeat, Genoa was made part of the Kingdom of Sardinia by the Congress of Vienna. The city was incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

During World War II the port and industrial areas were badly damaged by Allied aerial and naval bombardment. The city was rebuilt rapidly after the war.

Population: 675,659.