The most famous native of Genoa is, of course, Christopher Columbus, but not everything is so simple here.
There is no exact evidence of this, in connection with which several cities in Spain and Italy dispute among themselves the title of “Birthplace of Christopher Columbus”.
How it all began
He managed to visit England, Greece, Ireland and even Iceland. Upon returning from a trip to the North Sea and the British Isles, he married Felippa Moniz de Palestrello (Filipa Moniz Perestrello), in 1481 his son Diego was born.
After the wedding, Columbus lived first in Porto Santo, and later in Madeira, where he was engaged in trade, but did not succeed in this. Then he, together with his brother Bartolomeo, began to consider the possibility of a short way to India. He read a lot of the writings of other travelers and collected other information that could help. Having found confirmation of his hypothesis, Columbus began to look for funds for the implementation of this enterprise.
The itinerary of Christopher Columbus
In 1483, he appealed to King João II of Portugal, but after much thought and consultation, the king decided to refuse him. In 1485, Columbus’s wife dies, after which he and his son went to Castile, and then to Seville, hoping to find someone who could finance his trip.
With great difficulty, Christopher managed to meet with Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella, but even there, after long meetings, he was refused.
Over time, Columbus almost completely ran out of money, as a result of which he had to sell his books and start drawing maps. But despite this, he did not lose hope for the implementation of his project. He writes letters to everyone who can be somehow interested in this expedition.
The second meeting with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella did not help either. They recognized the plan as quite interesting, but the financial costs were too high and completely unbearable for a kingdom weakened by the war. As a result, Columbus was again left with nothing.
Columbus monument in Genoa
However, already in 1492 the war ended with the capture of Granada. Upon learning this news, Columbus again went to the king with great enthusiasm, but overestimating the interest of the king, he greatly overestimated the reward due to him if the enterprise was successfully completed. As a result, he was again left with nothing and fell into despair.
Thoughts began to visit him and leave Spain altogether, but soon Queen Isabella of Castile decided to still assist in organizing the expedition.
She promised to fulfill all the requirements of Columbus in the matter of rewards, but Columbus himself, who by that time was completely without funds, was forced to finance the enterprises. Then the shipping magnate Martin Alonso Pinson came to his aid, who financed the entire expedition. Throughout his life, Columbus made four expeditions to the New World and remained in the memory of his descendants as one of the most outstanding travelers.
House of Christopher Columbus
He died on May 20, 1506 in the city of Valladolid, but later the coffin with the body was transferred first to Seville, and then to the island of Haiti. After the transfer of the island to the French, the coffin was transported to Havana, and in 1898 the remains were returned to Seville.
Despite the great work done, recognition came to Columbus in full only after his death and when gold and silver flowed from the territories discovered by him.
He is also remembered in Genoa. Columbus in the city is considered their most prominent son. At the Piazza Principe railway station there is a large monument to the navigator, but the most interesting monument dedicated to Columbus is the house in which he was born.
Of course, it is not original, but restored in the same place with the highest accuracy possible. Inside the house there is a museum that recreates the atmosphere that could have been during the life of Christopher Columbus.