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Genoa Sister City of Odessa


The Italian port city has an official twinning agreement with Odessa since 1972.


Genoa is the main commercial port of Italy and, before the unification of Italy, it was an independent and powerful maritime republic, which dominated the Black Sea for two centuries. In 1453, at the siege of Constantinople, the Genoese military force was the most significant one defending the capital of Eastern Roman Empire against the Ottoman Turks. One century after, at the battle of Lepanto, its vessels represented the second fleet of the Catholic league, after the one of Venice.

Its long-standing history has bequeathed the largest medieval historical center in Europe and a long list of Unesco World Heritage sites, as well as its unique “vicoli” (alleyways), its churches, “Palazzi dei Rolli” (noble palaces), gardens and historical artisan workshops.

(foto Studio Leoni)

Cradled between mountains and sea, Genoa is located in the middle of the Ligurian coast and flanked by the gorgeous and easily reachable villages of “Riviera di Ponente” and “Riviera di Levante,” such as Portofino, Sanremo, and Camogli. Thanks to its excellent (and under continuous improvements) air, rail and road connections, it is indeed the doorway to and from the Mediterranean Sea. Its mild weather makes Genoa a fantastic place to visit, live, and work. Its temperate climate allows to save energy and have a better quality of life, two factors not to be ignored.

These favourable conditions help to attract talents, stimulating creativity, and generate business ideas. Its millennial history and culture make Genoa more attractive from a natural, naturalistic, and artistic viewpoint than other major cities. In the last 20 years, the number of tourists has doubled and is still increasing.

Among the various suppositions on the origin of the name “Genoa”, the most fascinating is its origin from the Latin word “Janua” (= door), which confirms the role always played by the City as a great trading port. Thanks to its strategic position, Genoa is one of the Italian leading ports both in passenger and freight traffic.

(Photo © Xedum)

The development of the city will leverage major infrastructural works that will be soon completed. The new rail tunnel (“Terzo Valico”) will enable high-speed trains to connect Genoa and Milan in only 45 minutes, while the new highway junction (“Gronda”) will relieve the urban road congestion. The improvement of high-speed connections is expected to contribute to an increase in real estate values.

The regional economy has also kept its industrial identity that today is focused on R&D and innovation. The Genoa-based IIT (Italian Institute of Technology) is one of the leading research centers at the forefront of high-tech development industry on robotics, new materials and energy.

Special attention has been paid by the City administration to innovative start-ups and companies setting up new production facilities or expanding the existing ones and increasing the jobs. Genoa welcomes and embraces investment opportunities as one of the prime movers for the development of our city.

(Photo © Carolina Fanni)
The ancient port (Porto Antico)

The ancient port is an area of the port of Genoa, currently used as a residential area, tourist, cultural and service center. Its total restoration was completed in 1992 on a project by the famous architect Renzo Piano, on the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by the Genoese navigator Cristoforo Colombo. In recent years, the Porto Antico area has been the site of numerous musical, cultural and sporting events.

Genoese gastronomy

Genoa is the city that invented the “Pesto sauce”, made by basil, pine nuts, olive oil and parmigiano cheese, which is very popular also in Odessa’s gastronomy. Traditionally, Genoese people eat it with the typical local pasta “trenette”.

Moreover, the pride of Genoese food is also the “focaccia col formaggio” (flat bread with cheese), which is the ancestor of the famous Georgian dish “Khachapuri” (the root “khacha” derives from the Italian “cacio” = cheese), a boat-shaped flat bread with cheese with the addition of an egg yolk.

Genoa International Yachting Exhibition (Salone nautico di Genova)

The Genoa Yachting Show is the largest in the Mediterranean and is the most representative event of Made in Italy excellence in yacht design. It welcomes industry operators and ship lovers every year for six days with over 200,000 square meters of land and water available. It shows the newest luxurious yacht models by the main world producers.

(Foto Stefano Goldberg Publifoto)

Twinning between Genoa and Odessa

First contacts between the cities were set in 1957. The first Twinning Agreement between Odessa and Genoa was signed on the 29th of October, 1972, by V. Shurko, President of the Executive Committee of the Soviet of People’s Deputies of Odessa and G. Piombino, Mayor of Genoa.

The Agreement was confirmed on the 3rd of July, 1979, by A. Malykhin (President of the Executive Committee of the Soviet of People’s Deputies of Odessa) and F. Cerofolini ( Mayor of Genoa). The contents of the collaboration were in the spheres of culture and medicine.

Main activities of the twinning:

An agreement on development of twinning relations between the sister cities Odessa and Genoa was concluded on September 3rd, 2006. From the Odessa side it was signed by the Mayor Eduard Gurvits and on behalf of Genoa by the Deputy Mayor Mario Margini. With the new agreement, the contents for active multisided cooperation were extended.

  • One of the Odessa’s streets is named “Genoese” (Genuezskaya str.), as well as in Genoa there is an Odessa street (Via Odessa).
  • January 2006: a Honorary Consulate of Ukraine was established in Genoa.
  • March 14-18, 2007: a delegation from Odessa visited Genoa and a new Sister Cities’ Cooperation Program was signed.
  • May 6th 2019: a delegation headed by the Mayor G. Trukhanov with the representatives of Odessa’s culture, port, tourism and University, visited the Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci.

This article was written in cooperation with the Municipality of Genoa, Department of Territorial Marketing and Promotion of the City.