The Quaker City made port there July 14, 1867 and Mark Twain spent two days sight seeing before taking the train to Alessandria and Milan. The ship stayed in port nine days before sailing to Leghorn. Twain also passed through this city en route to Florence, with his family in November of 1903 and sailed from there with his daughters after Livy died the following June.
The city of Genoa (127,986 inb.), justly termed ' la superba', owing to its beautiful situation and its numerous palaces of marble, rises from the sea on the slope of the mountain , like a grand amphitheatre. Genoa was celebrated as a harbour at a very remote age, and as early as the Roman period was the great mart for the products of the coast-districts of the Mediterranean . The city in its present dimensions, however, dates from the middle ages. At the commencement of the 10th cent, a republic, presided over by doges, was constituted here. The citizens participated in the crusades, and acquired valuable possessions in the distant East. Their great rivals were the Pisans and Venetians, with whom they waged fierce and interminable wars.
The Internal History of Genoa consists of a succession of violent, and frequently sanguinary party - struggles , originated chiefly by the Doria and Spinola families (Guelphs) and those of the Grimaldi and Fieschi (Ghi bellines ) to which the Doges , the presidents of the republic belonged . Andrea Doria (p . 92 ) at length restored peace by the establishment of a new constitution . The unsuccessful conspiracy of Fieschi in 1547 is the last instance of an attempt to make the supreme power dependent on un bridled personal ambition . The power of Genoa was, however , already on the wane. The Turks conquered its Oriental possessions one by one, and the city was subjected to severe humiliations by its powerful Italian rivals , as well as by the French (who took Genoa in 1684 ) . In 1736 the ambition of Theodore de Neuhof, a Westphalian nobleman , occasioned great disquietude to the republic . He was created king by the inhabitants of Corsica , who had been subjects of Genoa , but now threw off their yoke. The Genoese pronounced the newly elected king a traitor against the 'majesty of the people ' ( Qual seduttore del popolo , reo di lesa maestà ') , in consequence of which the usurper fled , and , with the aid of the French , the Genoese supremacy over Corsica was re -established . In 1746 new disasters were oaused by the occupation of the city for some time by the Imperial army of Germany. After the battle of Marengo (1800 ) Genoa was taken possession of by the French . In 1805 it was formally annexed to the Empire of France, and in 1815 to the Kingdom of Sardinia . - An old Tuscan saying , the first part of which is not untrue , is very characteristic of the former rivalry between them and the Genoese, whom it pronounces to possess : mare senza pesce, montagne senza alberi, uomini senza fede, e donne senza ver gogna'.
The city possesses a double line of Fortifications. The first of these, about 7 M . in length, encloses the city itself, the other consists of a broad rampart, 20 M . in length , which extends along the hills at some distance from Genoa and at the most elevated points is furnished with small fortified towers and intrenchments, completed in 1632, and recently strengthened.
Genoa is the most important commercial town and seaport in Italy . The average number of sailing-vessels from foreign ports which enter the harbour is 1700 annually, of steamboats 800. In the coast trade 5000 sailing vessels and 1400 steamers touch here annually. The annual imports are valued at 300 million fr., the exports at 120 million. Of the imports about one-third is from England, and a large proportion of the remainder from France and North America. The traffic of Genoa has been doubled within the last twelve or fourteen years.
The former opulence of the city is still evidenced by the numerous and magnificent palaces of bygone ages. All the streets are paved with slabs of marble , but many of them are so narrow, steep, and tortuous as to be inaccessible to carriages.
The great artery of the traffic of Genoa is a line of broad streets, which, like the Boulevards at Paris, encircle the city, commencing at the Railway Station , passing the Monument of Columbus, continued by the Via Balbi, passing S . Annunziata ; then by the Via Nuovissima, Via Nuova, Piasza delle Fontane Morose (or della Posta ), Via and Piazza Carlo Felice, Piazza Nuova, and thence by the Cattedrale 8 . Lorenzo ( Strada Carlo Alberto ) to the Harbour. The principal churches and palaces are situated in this line of streets . Many of them were erected by Galeazzo Alessi ( a pupil of Michael Angelo , born at Perugia 1500, d. 1572), whose example was generally followed in the construction of subsequent palaces. Between these loftily situated streets and piazzas a complete labyrinth of narrow streets and lanes descend to the harbour , those adjacent to which are the most ancient.
The unparalleled beauty of the situation and the interesting reminiscences of its ancient magnificence render a visit to Genoa very attractive. The stranger is recommended to proceed first to the church of * S. Maria di Carignano , situated on one of the highest points at the S . E . extremity of the city. This structure, in the form of a Greek cross, with a lofty dome, designed by the above-mentioned Galeazzo Alessi, is an imitation of the original design of St. Peter's at Rome, and is remarkable for the harmonious symmetry of the interior. The great attraction is the * view from the highest gallery of the dome (ascended by commodious and well lighted staircases, 249 steps in all ), extending over the city, harbour and fortifications, and W . and E . over the well populated coasts (W . the Riviera di Ponente, R . 15 ; E . the Rivièra di Levante , R . 49 ), bounded on the E . by the picturesque promontory of S . Martino d ' Albaro, and stretching to the S . over the vast blue expanse of the Mediterranean. In clear weather even the island of Corsica is said to be visible in the extreme distance (sacristan 25 c ., his attendance for the ascent is unnecessary ). The Ponte Carignano, a bridge 90 ft. in height, by means of which the street crosses a lower quarter of the city , was formerly regarded as a marvel of architectural skill.
The * Harbour ( Porto ) forms a semicircular bay, about 2 1/ 2 M . in diameter, into which two substantial Piers of considerable length project. That on the E . is the Molo Vecchio, with the small, old lighthouse; on the W . the Molo Nuovo, adjoining which is the new lighthouse, or Lanterna, the dazzling reflectors of which are 520 ft. above the sea - level. The summit commands a fine view; the arrangements of the interior may also be inspected ( fee 1/2 fr . ). On the N . E . side is the Royal War Harbour ( Darsena Reale ) with the Arsenal (Arsenule di Marina ), accessible by special permission only . It was here that Gian Luigi de' Fieschi was accidentally drowned in 1547 , when he with the other conspirators against Andrea Doria had taken possession of the harbour. The Dogana is established in the building of the Banco di S. Giorgio , an institution founded in 1346 , but suppressed during the French Revolution. The large hall contains two series of Statues of Genoese celebrities, some of them of the 15th cent.
On the E . side is the Free Harbour ( Porto Franco ), where numerous vessels lie at anchor. The quay is connected by rails with the railway station. A lofty wall with arcades separates the harbour from the houses (most of them six stories in height) of the long Via Carlo Alberto and the Piazza di Scaricamento, in which almost all the hotels are situated . These arcades are the favourite haunt of the red -capped denizens of the harbour, the sailors and boatmen, the porters, valets-de-place , etc. The best point for surveying the scene which here presents itself is the Gran Terruzzo Marmoreo (ascended at the N extremity) , the marble platform of these arcades, 1/3 M . in length and 20 paces in width. This terrace affords a most agreeable *walk in the early morning, but later in the day it is exposed to the sun. The stranger, as he approaches the arcades, is immediately assailed by the boatmen wich offers of their services . The finest view of the city from the harbour is about 3 /4 M . from the coast. - A cannon fired in summer at 9 p . m , is a signal for all the sailors to repair to their vessels.