Genova always feels a bit warmer

Traveling from Milan, Genova always feels a bit warmer, a bit brighter and tinged with the knowledge of new secrets awaiting discovery.
Like every great Italian city, Genova is entirely unique, different and special in its own ways. I find more parallels between the dense urban fabric, hills and the sea with a city like Istanbul than with either Rome, Florence or Milan. It’s easy to see why the Genovese settled on those shores on the side of Mediterranean many centuries ago; it reminded them of home.
Everything in Genova gets tangled together. The city is a living and complex organism that can only function as a whole; each piece interconnected and necessary. The city has collected traces of different eras and reveals them at each unexpected turn. Within a few moments one can walk amongst some of the most magnificent palaces in Europe while in the next get lost within the graffiti marked maze of the ancient center. By day, the city bathes in the reflection of the sunlight on the sea, but by night glows in the chemical buzz of neon lights. Genova is distinctly Genova.
Of course, Genova would not be Genova without the Genovese. Like the inhabitants of all port cities, they are never fully understood by their fellow countrymen. The Genovese are marked by a fierce friendliness and openness, but also a deep pride and passion for their home. This city and its people have welcomed many a visitor before I arrived at their door, as I’m sure they will continue to do for as long as there is a city to be found tucked between the mountains and the sea.
*Zachary Mark Jones
PhD Candidate
Politecnico di Milano

Urban Planning, Design and Policy