Genoa (Italy), the city where everything happened in 1971.

When we read a novel, a story, a fairy-tale or any other kind of text we just enter inside a new world.

Every good writer is a bricklayer who builds a story using time, place, descriptions, and details, as if they were his tools.

Even when we read an article, we want to have a clear idea of contexts and places that could give us a right information of what happened.

A place is made of colours, smells and tastes.

They help us, as readers, to understand the facts much better.

Our story is set in a city situated in the north of Italy.

The place is Genoa, the time are the Seventies.

Genoa (Genova in Italian language) is part of the industrial triangle together with the cities Milan and Turin, today it’s one of the most important financial centres for the economy of the country.

It’s a coastal town deeply bounded to its port, which has conquered a prominent position in the European economic market thanks to its favourable place at the commercial junction.

Genoa and its colours

Close your eyes and try to imagine a city with its monuments, its roads, its buildings, the sea and hundreds of shipyards.

Which colour do you choose to represent this city?

I see many shades of blue, from the lightest to the darkest.

The port has always had a great position in the Genoa’s background.

For many decades the city was the Europe’s leading producer of ships.

Costa Crociere, one of the most important shipping company in the world, has its registered office here.

There is another aspect that makes me think of blue. 

When Denim, a solid cotton textile, arrived in Genoa to be exported or used for producing sail bags and tarpaulins, this type of yarn became the first to be used for manufacturing work trousers, the predecessors of blue jeans.

A tale tells that an anonymous Genoese merchant decided to take the denim across the sea, in America, where it was used to produce trousers with solid and large pockets.

His story after that moment is known and appreciated all over the world.

Post Second World War period was dramatic for the Genoese industry, people had lost their jobs and coming back to the normality was hard.

In the Seventies, Genoa became a building yard in the open air, construction sites were everywhere in the city.

In this decade Genoa’s population totalled over 800,000 inhabitants.

A lot of people in Italy moved to Genoa for working, the working-class became the new upper-class.

The society grew and some families became rich doing good business.

 

Smells and tastes

The civilization of a country is reflected in the customs of the place where people put down roots into the ground.

We grow up and live in a place which is considered a container that teaches us how to be a good human being.

Culture is made of little pieces of life.

Every single piece touches a different subject.

What did Genoese young people do in their free time in the Seventies? What were their hobbies?

Genoa was one of the best cultural cities in Italy during the XX century.

Theatres and cinemas were born in every corner.

Very important was the opening of many literary cafés, places where young people meet each other and talk a lot about politics and arts.

We need to remember that in Genoa was born the “School of Italian songwriters”.

In this period, a new generation of young, talented artists started an Italian music revolution.

They wrote innovative lyrics by using words more truthful, which came directly from the artists heart and arrived to touch people souls.

They talked about everyday life, society’s problems, and sang about people with their dreams and their pains.  

During the Seventies, the local press knew a great period of brightness.

The two most important Genoese newspapers were Il Secolo XIX and Il Corriere Mercantile.

A piece of culture is also the one that involves the palate passing through people’s stomach.

A bite of culture that appetizing.

In Genoa there is a strong kitchen tradition.

A timeless dish is the Genoese sauce called pesto, which is known and famous all over the world.

The colour green derived from its ingredients: a mixture of oily seeds, pine nuts, nuts, slightly sour cheese, oil, basil and pecorino.

 

Genoa: attractions and monuments

Even the eye wants its part.

What could we admire in Genoa?

The most important symbol of Genoa is the “Lanterna” (lantern).

It was built in the 14th century, its function never changed through the years.

It still lights up Genoa’s seaside by signalling the position of the port to incoming ships every 20 seconds.

Its silhouette still stands against a backdrop of land, sea and sky; for this reason, Genoa is called “the city in the shadow of the Lantern”.

The city is full of churches, some of the most important and oldest churches are in the old town centre.

Sometimes little churches were built by Genoese rich families because they wanted to prove power and prestige.

The Genoa’s old town joins together the square San Matteo and the road Garibaldi.

This is the city centre, where takes place the story that we want to tell you.

In the Seventies, Genoa was a city of richness and wellbeing.

What’s happened in May 1971?

A tragic event is coming to destroy Genoese’s peace.

A monster is walking down the streets, hidden in the dark, ready to action.

After the 6 May 1971, anything will never be the same.

The night is falling on Genoa.

Are you ready to know the story?


Nicoletta Apolito