Genova is the capital of Liguria and the sixth largest city in Italy with a population of 588 688 within its administrative limits on a land area of 243.6 km2 (94 sq mi). The urban area called Genoa Metropolitan City has an official population of 862,885. Over 1.5 million people live in the Genoa Metropolitan Area. Genoa is one of Europe’s largest cities on the Mediterranean Sea and the largest seaport in Italy.
Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba (“the Proud one”) due to its glorious past and impressive landmarks. Part of the old town of Genoa was inscribed on the World Heritage List (UNESCO) in 2006 (see below). The city’s rich cultural history in notably its art, music and cuisine allowed it to become the 2004 European Capital of Culture. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and Niccolo Paganini.
Genoa, which forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of north-west Italy, is one of the country’s major economic centres. The city has hosted massive shipyards and steelworks since the 19th century, and its solid financial sector dates back to the Middle Ages. The Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world and has played an important role in the city’s prosperity since the middle of the 15th century.