By Walter Sanders
They Say Genova. We Say Genoa.
My previous experience in Genoa was in the airport in 1999 to attend a Financial Services Congresso (Conference) in nearby Portofino.
I recall the view from the car window upon leaving the airport as uninspiring: a mixed bag of grungy industrial sites, grim housing, busy highways.
So, upon an 8:15 a.m. arrival at Genoa’s Porto Principe railroad station to meet our guide Filippo Zamparelli [firstname.lastname@example.org] for a walking tour of the city, I am a blank canvas.
Filippo is a delight. Bookish, fine command of English, a sharp sense of humor, a deep and abiding interest in history (his major field of study at the University of Genova) and a lifelong resident of the city.
We get to know each other informally over a caffé. He loves history of all types … including US history. Turns out that he follows the Chicago Cubs who until 2016, share a lovable losing history akin to the Genoa soccer club, which Filippo also closely follows.
From the get-go of the tour, Filippo emphasizes how the city is changing itself. Long a port of global importance, and a major industrial city of Italy, Genoa found itself falling behind other port and industrial cities. The competition was killing the city and it was unable or unwilling to react.