(September 21, 2004)
On September 17-20 the Metastasis Research Society was having a meeting in Genoa and Hynda, who is on the Board of Directors, was going to attend and chair a session. On Friday, we took the train to Genoa. It was a 5 ½ hour train trip that goes along the west coast of Italy. Genoa is located in the Northwest part of Italy. Of all the meetings I have attended with Hynda, I think that this group of scientists seems to be more like a `scientific family' than any other. This is the third or fourth time I have been with Hynda to the meetings of this group.
Genoa as a city has a spectacular setting. It is located on what is called the Italian Riviera. At one time it was one of the most important of the city-states and had the busiest and most important port in the world. One of its citizens was responsible for its early demise as an important port. When Christopher Columbus discovered America the role of Genoa as a port diminished since the important ports were now on the Atlantic. In 1992, as part of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, Genoa tried to make the port area, which had become very rundown, a major tourist attraction. Lots of new shops were opened up and a new aquarium was built.
Genoa's second most famous personality: Andrea Doria. Most of us of a certain age associate the name with the ship that sunk in 1956 after colliding with another ship off the coast of Massachusetts. The real Andrea Doria was a memeber of one of the richest families in Italy. He was the ruler of Genoa for 30 years until his death in 1569. Most of his life was spent in the military and he was constantly winning naval battles and changing sides. He made a lot of money in the used ship business!!!
The following are some photos of Genoa. This is the entrance to the old city. Genoa has the largest historic center in Europe. It occupies about 1 1/2 square miles and has 40,000 inhabitants.
From the mid-1500s to the mid-1600s Genoa was one of the richest cities in the world. Many rich families lived there and they developed an elite neighborhood where they all built these huge homes. This is a picture of Via Garibaldi where these homes were located. The street had another name in the 1500s since Girabaldi had not been born yet. Today these homes are either museums or office buildings. They are all enormous and it is hard to believe they were built for one family.
This is the inner courtyard to one of the palaces. This is a government office building and I saw about 5 weddings one morning.
This is a picture of the harbor with the 'Lanterna', which was rebuilt in 1543. The light from the lighthouse can be seen 33 miles away.
In the 17th century Genoa built a 'Great Wall' around the city as part of its defense. The wall was built on the mountains which surround the city and today they are part of a 6 mile long park. To get to the top you take a 'funiculare'. This is a picture of Hynda with some of the people who work in her lab who attended the meeting (Shari, Jennifer and Jean). They also built a fort about every six miles. That is one fort in the background.
This is the group in the train on the way down. Hynda and Jennifer went running on the paths at the top and Hynda fell. You can see the wound on her shoulder.
This is Hynda and I at the station at the bottom. Although the climb is very steep you are always sitting horizontally.
This is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. The black and white facade is just like those found in churches in other parts of Italy. The original church at this location was built in the 12th century and then restored in the 13th century.
There is a synagogue in Italy and when I visited it on a Saturday morning services were just ending so it is being used. The Jewish community of Genoa numbers only a few hundred.
In my wanderings I did find one square named after Rabbi Ricardo Pacifici who wrote about the Jewish communities of Rhodes and Genoa. In November, 1943 Rabbi Ricardo Pacifici of Genoa, 200 members of his congregation, and 100 Jewish refugees from northern Europe who found shelter in Genoa, were deported and gassed at Auschwitz.
Metastisis Meeting in Genoa
This is the fountain that is in front of the building where the meeting took place.
The meeting took place in the Palazzo Ducale. This palace was for 600 years the headquarters of the Genovese government. Remember - until 1870 when Italy was unified as a country the area was made up of all these city-states - Genoa being one.
These are some photos from a dinner that was held at the new aquarium. That is Adriana on the left. She put the whole meeting together and lives in Genoa. She used to work in Hynda's lab. The fellow to the left of Hynda is Israel from Israel and the person all the way to the right is Ugo and is from Milan.
This is Adriana and her husband Doug with Hynda
That is Adriana with the Kleinchiks.
The night before the dinner at the aquarium we had dinner with some scientists who are all old friends of Hynda.