The Republic of Genoa: Wealth and Splendor with Michela Ceccarini

The Republic of Genoa: Wealth and Splendor with Michela Ceccarini


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Still known as Italy's largest port, for 700 years the ancient city of Genoa used to be a wealthy independent state and an outstanding economic power in the Mediterranean and beyond. This conversation will explore one of the most active cities along the Mediterranean - a city that, through its merchant culture and its strategic position, became a crucible of civilizations and a cradle of the arts.

At the time of The First Crusade (1098-99), Genoa began ruling colonies around the Mediterranean and became a city-state. From then on and until the Napoleonic age, Genoa's ruling classes of merchants, seamen, shipbuilders, and bankers ceaselessly worked to establish commercial relationships and made themselves known all over the world. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a long-lasting political friendship with Spain and a political reform gave the local aristocracy the opportunity to establish a luxurious lifestyle: their magnificent mansions and impressive art collections are still an important part of this city's heritage.

Known as “the City of Palaces”, beautiful Genoa boasts over 150 famous Palazzi, 42 of which have been designated as Unesco Heritage Sites. During this conversation, we will learn about illustrious individuals hailing from Genoa such as the explorer Christopher Columbus, Admiral Andrea Doria, and virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini. We will also discuss some of the important artists who worked for the Genoese aristocracy, such as Flemish painters Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck.

Led by a qualified local guide and expert in Genoa's history and arts, Michela Ceccarini, this interactive seminar will highlight the peculiarities of the glorious past and present beauty of Genoa. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased interest in a part of Italy which tends to be, undeservedly, not on the radar of the average tourist to Italy.

Michela Ceccarini has a passion for foreign languages, cultures, and fine arts, but particularly enjoys her job of guide, sharing the wonders of Genoa and the Italian Riviera with visitors from around the world. A Road Scholar group leader and lecturer for over 20 years, Michela is also the founder of Genova Insieme, an association that organizes cultural events in Genoa, educational activities for schools, and excursions to art cities in Italy. She also accompanies Italian groups to Scandinavia. In her free time she likes walking in nature, reading, and enjoying the company of her beloved cats.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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