• 2023.08.31
  • San Giovanni and Amerigo Vespucci
Each and every Summer, Genoese people celebrate San Giovanni (Saint John).
It is one of the most heartfelt celebrations in Genoa: the city in fact celebrates the patron saint San Giovanni Battista, recalling the tradition, the history and the close bond of the city that has been linked to Battista for over nine hundred years. The program of events is rich of devotion, folklore, guided tours and music in a magical atmosphere in the streets of the historic center of the city.
Another occasion that is to discover Genoa’s thousand faces.

The events in honor of San Giovanni normally start at the Diocesan Museum with an exhibition organized by the Council for Cultural Heritage of the Ligurian Ecclesiastical Region which aims at explaining the tradition to the new generations and the passers-by through a rich collection of painted tablets, models, liturgical objects, statues and parchments, direct testimony of the danger run at sea and of its overcoming thanks to the intercession of divine intervention and the offer of thanks.
The celebration then continues in the Cathedral where the chorus performs in the Chapel of the Cathedral with some pieces.
The city also organizes a stage in the caruggi (alleyways) of the old town with a show which combines cabaret and storytelling theater telling illustrious characters of the city of Genoa and the particularity is that the show is entirely in ‘Zenéize’ (the Genoese dialect).
An ongoing show which started with the San Giovanni Battista tradition is a ghost tour of the old town, an intriguing and mysterious journey to discover old and new legends among the treasures of the ancient center of Genoa. Participation is free and you are given maps that will be used to find the squares where the ‘phantom performances’ will take place. Thanks to the use of a map, the visitors have to orient themselves in the tangle of Genoese carruggi, find different locations and attend the amusing performances carried out in a historical, theatrical, musical and dance key.
The procession of the Saint towards the Old Port takes place with the carrying of the silver Ark of the Ashes of the Saint and the participation of historical and religious groups, such as the clergy and the military authorities of the city. The Genoese Philharmonic accompanies the procession with music to the Old Port, where the Archbishop traditionally blesses the sea with the Ashes of the Baptist.

This Summer another important event animated the city much.
The Amerigo Vespucci sailing ship (which I had mentioned in my previous blog) departed from Genoa to go on a tour around the world.
The ceremony began with the national anthem and it set sail to the tune of “Con te partirò,” by Pavarotti while the Frecce Tricolori planes did an airshow in the sky to celebrate the departure of the jewel of the Italian Navy which will touch 28 countries and 31 ports to bring Italy to the world.
For the Italian Navy, the Amerigo Vespucci is now a symbol of our naval history. The school ship par excellence is recognized by all as the most beautiful ship in the world.
It takes its name in honor of Amerigo Vespucci the Italian explorer who lived between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
She entered service in 1931 and sailed the seas with few interruptions only for the World War and for restoration work.
Legend says it was the American US army to name it ‘the most beautiful ship in the world’ and so the definition remained.
The Italian Navy is very proud to use this ship as a symbol of Italian excellence in the world and Genoa is proud to host such ship whenever it visits our country.


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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