"an incredibly detailed, charming, and intriguing work that’s part travel diary, and part thoughtfully researched history book about a captivating city that remains woefully underrated. If you were looking for a reason to visit Genoa, Walton just gave you a thousand in under 220 pages"

The Medievalist

"a swashbuckling ride... crammed full of anecdotes. Genoa 'La Superba' is a romantic letter to the people of a city who need to look beyond its shores again and rediscover who they once were"

Delicious Italy

"a passionate, idiosyncratic history of the Genoan city-state, glorying in the medieval piratical enterprise that brought it both fame and notoriety... One of Walton’s strengths is his depiction of the city itself, with its narrow alleyways and jumbled mixture of centuries of building, and like the local architecture, he slides easily from past to present and back again. This book is an unashamed celebration of Genoa, warts and all."

Publishers' Weekly

Genoa has an incredible story to tell. It rose from an obscurity imposed by its harsh geography to become a merchant-pirate superpower that helped create the medieval world. It fought bitter battles with its great rival Venice and imprisoned Marco Polo, as the feuding city states connected Europe to the glories of the East. It introduced the Black Death to Europe, led the fight against the Barbary Corsairs, bankrolled Imperial Spain, and gave the world Christopher Columbus and a host of fearless explorers. Genoa and Liguria provided the brains and the heroism behind the Risorgimento, and was the last place emigrants saw before building new lives across the Atlantic. It played host to writers and Grand Tourists, gave football to the Italians, and helped build modern Italy. Today, along with the glorious Riviera coast of Liguria, Genoa provides some of the finest places on earth to sip wine, eat pesto and enjoy spectacular views. This book brings the past alive and paints a portrait of a modern port city and region that is only now coming to terms with a past that is as bloody, fascinating and influential as any in Europe.

‘This one caught my eye... Walton’s description of the city’s past and present may convince readers, as it convinced me, to put Genoa on the itinerary of a future visit to Italy’
— Foreign Policy magazine
‘At last! An approachable and informative book about Genoa, one of the world’s great cities, but sadly underrated and still one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Read, explore, enjoy!’
— Andrew Graham-Dixon, art critic and broadcaster
‘Part lively history, part personal travelogue, Nicholas Walton writes with gusto of this quirkiest, least known and most authentic of Italian cities. He vividly conjures an extraordinary past populated by pirates, adventurers and eccentrics, its landscapes, its buildings, inhabitants, food and culture. This book is an invitation to go there straight away.’
— Roger Crowley, author of City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire
‘A spirited evocation of Genoa medieval and modern, a city of agile businessmen, talented navigators and citizens with their eyes open to the world, but also a port with its fair share of pirates, pimps and profiteers. Genoa, La Superba is not just a very pleasurable read it also uncovers a city of beguiling beauty and genuine importance in the history of Europe, the Mediterranean and the world whose role has far too long been overshadowed by that of its great rival, Venice.’
— David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History, University of Cambridge
‘The Genoese will get it done, find a way, make it work, and might just take your lunch money if you’re not careful. As Walton shows, they always have. His terrific history suggests they always will. Read the book!’
— New Books Network