I guess that those conscious and courageous schoolchildren who began to read the novel from the very beginning and in a row were a bit dumbfounded. Not only does the novel begin for some reason in French, but it is also a question of some Italian city.
And the heroes of the novel simply discuss the most important geopolitical problems, as they will say now. As at this time - we are in our kitchens. “So famous Anna Pavlovna Scherer, a maid of honor and an approximate empress Maria Feodorovna, said this in July 1805, meeting the important and official Prince Vasily” ... .
And Genoa has always played a big role in international relations.
Genoa - “Proud”, the Mistress of the Sea (Petrarch), the eternal rival of Venice and Pisa - is now not a very big Italian city, with a population of just over 600 thousand people. And once Genoa (as well as Venice, as well as Pisa) thundered around the world. This city-state was also the largest maritime power. And the traces of the naval conquests of this state are spread all over the world. The remains of the Genoese fortresses survived along all the coasts of the Mediterranean and Black Sea: those who have been to Crimea have always remembered the Genoese fortress in Sudak.
And the city began in the depths of millennia: Etruscans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Ostrogoths, Franks. Then - "maritime republic", and what! Covering in its conquests and trade territory up to North Africa. Participated in all the Crusades. The banks of Genoa financed many European monarchs, and the ships plowed all the seas. It is not by chance that the symbol of Genoa (La Lanterna) is a tall old lighthouse.
Genoa has a peculiar beauty, it is not as catchy as, say, in Florence, but still the city is very good, and, of course, part of the old district is on the World Heritage List UNESCO. Genoa sang and Russian ("Everything is bursting Genoa porphyry amphitheater" - Vyacheslav Ivanov or “That was a great Genoa. Her motley belfries, striped churches of white and black marble and the whole multi-tower amphitheater ascended above him in double beauty. ” - Gogol, the unfinished story "Rome").
Of course, Genoa has its heavenly patrons. The main one is John the Baptist. Since this is a “general Christian” saint, most people are well aware of it. In Italian it is called San Giovanni Battista. The relics of the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist are kept in the sarcophagus of the Capella di San Giovanni Battista, back in 1098 they were brought from the crusades and stored as the highest value. Orthodox pilgrims come to bow to them. Days of memory of John in different faiths on June 24, August 20, January 7.
And in the treasury of the Cathedral of St. Lorenzo there is a blue dish (“Sakro Katino”), at which Salome was served the head of the saint (everyone should remember this Old Testament story).
Nearby is another shrine: Once the Genoese decided that they had found and brought the real Holy grail! This bowl was obtained in the city of Caesarea (now a settlement in Israel), brought from a crusade and hoisted with honors into a temple. For many centuries, the Genoese believed that the cup was the same one that the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon and into which they subsequently collected the blood of the crucified Christ. Only under Napoleon it turned out that the cup was made of ordinary green glass, which, however, does not detract from its value - after all, it was brought from the Holy Land and a long time ago. And for a deeply religious person, the degree of authenticity of a religious artifact does not matter ...
Another Orthodox shrine is also preserved in Genoa - the Savior, not made by hands. In honor of this image there is an Orthodox holiday - the Third Savior (August 16 or 29). And this image is kept in the Armenian church in the name of the holy Apostle Bartholomew.
Of course, there are strictly Catholic saints - patrons of the city. it Saint Romulus (Memorial Day on November 6 and December 22. Interestingly, the famous Italian town of San Remo, which hosts song festivals, is also named after him. This saint katerina Genoese (1447 - September 15, 1510, the day of death is a memorable day).
The city is famous for its citizens. Many popes, architects, filmmakers, actors and poets were born and lived in this city. And - Nobel laureateastrophysicist Riccardo Giaconi (born October 6, 1931), Nobel laureate on literature Eugenio Montale (October 12, 1896 - September 12, 1981).
The most famous Genoese - Christopher Columbus. Here and his house (“the house of Columbus”), of course, already restored, but, nevertheless, it was here that he was born, and it was from these hills that he peered into the sea given. Whether he was actually born there (there are several versions) and who was by nationality (Genoese, Spaniard, Jew) - not so for the Genoese and important, this is their compatriot, this is their hero.
Another equally famous Genoese - Niccolo Paganini. Here he was born, lived for a long time, his violin is carefully kept here.
During the Second World War, the British bombed Genoa. But the city was liberated by Italian partisans even before the arrival of the Allies. Among these partisans was and blacksmith from RyazanGuard private. In the Genoese cemetery of Staleno the ashes rest Poletaev Fedor Andrianovich (May 14, 1909 - February 2, 1945), born in the village of Katino, Ryazan Region, is a hero of the Soviet Union.
He was captured at the very beginning of the war, he went through camps in Poland and Italy, fled and joined the Nino-Franchi battalion of the Pinan Chikero guerrilla division. He also received his partisan pseudonym - Poetan. F. A. Poletayev died the death of the brave in a battle with the German fascists near Genoa. He was awarded posthumously the highest military award of Italy - the Gold Medal for Military Valor, and this is an infrequent reward even for Italians.
The twin cities of Genoa are also pretty: in Russia - St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Tambov, in Ukraine - Odessa.