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Genoa is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, fitting because much of Genoa's history and dominance were tied to its seaside location. After its inception in the sixth and fifth centuries BC, Genoa became a major trading center frequented by Greek and Etruscan merchants. The city is old and new, as is clear from the images below. For the 500-year anniversary of Columbus' trip to the New World, Genoa redeveloped its port. Through the spars of the modernistic sculpture (below left), you can barely see the white facade of the Palazzo San Giorgio (below right), forming a perfect metaphor of the revitalization of the city. In 1298, Marco Polo, imprisoned in the Palazzo San Giorgio, then a Customs House, dictated his memoirs to a fellow prisoner. This account of his travels later became the book "Il Milione". The building now serves as the headquarters for the Genoa Port Authority.

The admiral Andrea Doria did not become a seafarer until he was fifty years old. His most famous and controversial act was to sign a pact with Charles V in 1528 that is still debated by historians. Though he was not born in Genoa, Andrea Doria settled there and built several buildings around the city for himself and members of his powerful family.

The Andrea Doria family did serve to fortify Genoa's importance and were committed patrons of the arts. In the largest of the Doria homes in Genoa, Palazzo del Principe, the frescoes in the Gallery of Heroes, shown at left, depict the most distinguished members of the family.

The cathedral of San Lorenzo was founded in the ninth century. Its present appearance took shape in the early part of the fourteenth century.

This photo shows just some of the detail inside the church away from the main high altar. On the left side of the photo, you can see the Altar of Apostles Peter and Paul and fine frescoes in the chapel.