Jonathan Keates

Escaping the Vicoli

Genoa, ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower

By Nicholas Walton

Hurst & Company 218pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Genoa is the Italian city everyone forgets. A goodly number of Italians are on hand to claim that, awkwardly stuck as it is in their nation’s top-left corner, it does not really belong in Italy at all. Such negativity tends to define the place more broadly. Although van Dyck learned his craft as a portrait painter there and Rubens wrote a book about its splendid palaces, it is not an art city in the league of Florence or Rome. Its history as a maritime republic appears generally tedious, unlike that of Venice, its triumphant, romantic competitor, and it has nurtured no distinguished poets, novelists or musicians. Even the wizard violinist Niccolò Paganini, son of a Genoese shipping clerk, preferred Parma, Nice and Paris to his home town.

Donmar Warehouse


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Interesting thread by Aki there on inclusivity in publishing. (Read her tweets for full thread.),
    • RT : A conference about inclusivity in publishing is a fantastic idea, but doesn't £200 seem a short-sighted undermining of, well, inclusivity?,
    • Calling all friends of bulbous salutations & the elfin grot: lots of entries to have already come in, but my door’s still open...,
    • 'Why the hell don’t they have more fun with their money?' Patrick Leigh Fermor skewers the super-rich ,
    • When Lenin went interrailing: Catherine Merridale charts his journey in her new book ,
    • Deadline today to win a pair of tickets to The Entertainer starring Kenneth Branagh. To enter, email marketing[at] .,