Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Italians are incredibly proud of Genoa's favorite son, Christopher Columbus. But a DNA test could blow all that pride out of the water. Martin Dugard, the author of "The Last Voyage of Columbus, writes about it in the Los Angeles Times: Was Columbus really Italian?

Here's a snippet: "It's commonly held that the explorer was an Italian who moved to Portugal and then Spain. But many experts suggest he was instead a Catalan nobleman who hid his true identity, or the illegitimate son of a Majorcan prince, or even a Jew who spent his life masking his true identity. Birth records indicate he was born in Genoa sometime during the fall of 1451. Skeptics, however, believe those records were fabricated by zealous city fathers."


"When [the findings are released], we will know just a little bit more about one of the Americas' greatest immigrants. Let that be an occasion to reflect on the life of a charismatic and passionate man who chose to live boldly rather than settle for mediocrity — as well as those new explorers who, via plywood rafts, tattered shoes slapping Arizona sands or dark freight containers, follow in his footsteps."

And of course, the Genovese think all this talk of him being Spanish is utter nonsense!!

Meantime, here in Genoa you can visit Chris' house. I hear most Genovese think of it as a tourist trap, but it does generate a steady stream of tourist traffic. It won't include me. There's too much else to enjoy in this wonderful city, which I am loving more and more with each passing hour.

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