Genoa is, to the English reading public, the least known major city in Italy. In America, Genoa's principal claim to fame is that the city has given its name to a peculiar salami -- this is a never-ending source of amusement to the Genoese, who readily admit that their region is noted for poor salami. Few Americans know that their favorite pair of jeans owes its name to Gênes, the French word for the city. Blue cotton cloth, a noted Genoese product, was reexported from France in bales marked "Gênes." It is ironic and typical that a mispronounced French word for this city is unwittingly on the lips of millions of people. Everyone knows that Columbus came from Genoa, but people are usually hard pressed to think of a reason for believing that is an important fact about him or Genoa. Students of the violin know that Niccolo Paganini came from Genoa, yet the city's contribution to the arts has never earned it accolades. Fans of republican government know that Giuseppe Mazzini came from Genoa and that if the rest of Italy had listened to him, it would have been spared some terrible episodes in its twentiethcentury history. Since James Boswell brought the plight of the Corsicans, whom the Genoese ruled for more than five centuries, to international notice in 1768, Genoa has been reputed to be a decayed eighteenth
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Publication information: Book title: Genoa & the Genoese, 958-1528. Contributors: Steven A. Epstein - Author. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC. Publication year: 1996. Page number: xiii.
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