italy 9: from genoa to florence, across the tuscan green

Genoa and Christopher Columbus

As I approach the west coast, the Apennine mountains lead directly into the sea, covered in spring flowers with rivers snuggled in its deep crevices. Bridges on huge pillars stand over deep valleys. One of these most spectacular engineering feats bridges over the city of Genoa. Apartment blocks built directly into the face of the rocks seem to jut out from the hills. There is a three to four year waiting period for these homes. Genoa is the largest port in Italy and the centre for its cruising industry. Its population of one million is mainly involved in activities related to the harbour. Once a maritime republic, the city lays claim to one of the most famous captains through time, Christopher Columbus, who after being exiled from Genoa, went to Monaco and found himself a new home there. It was very difficult for Columbus to get funding as no one believed his theory that the earth was round and not flat. Despite numerous obstacles he departed from Barcelona and visited the new world twice. The captain died a complete pauper. Continue reading