I will start this page, dedicated, to the great authors of world literature, with a short quotation of Vicente Blasco Ibanez about Genoa, from Il Paese dell’Arte, El pais de l’arte.
Genoa is a city of contrasts, of great palaces and the poor alleyways … With the exception of half a dozen major roads that, drawn at random, are the backbone of the city, the other streets are called “vicoli” and there are those who are true scales for which we cannot pass without grabbing a rusty iron railing. High on the top of hills, lush gardens, villas marble, true love nests that remind the French voluptuous small hotels of the time of the Regency, at the bottom, near the port, which are real ghetto neighborhoods with narrow streets and underground, where gutters touch and three people cannot walk side by side for the rapid descent of cobbled paving.
In no part of Italy, nor in the world, has been used much up to abuse, this rock [marble], precious and dear in other countries, but here treated with the contempt of abundance so far as to serve many times to cobble the streets […] At night, when the lighting begins to fail, these narrow streets, with their marble walls that date back to the stars that twinkle remind to the passing the disrupted galleries in which the pick drew capriciously profiles and reliefs: in the light of the sun these wounds are marvels of art. The ancient glories of the Republic of Genoa, the power that gave his sailors and traders is revealed in these large buildings were inhabited by the nobles of Liguria, those families with intrigues and conspiracies, were disputing the charges of doge or captain of the Republic … Forty-seven buildings, all splendid in them, and all of marble balustrade from the ground to the last, there are the four streets that make up the backbone of the city.