If you are in Genoa between Oct. 3 and Nov. 3, there is an exhibition you absolutely must not miss: it is called “Bon voyage – Sea captains, ships and travelers between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”, is free and is at the Liguria Hall of the Ducal Palace (Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A real treat if you want to expand your knowledge of navigational history.
The sea voyage has always been a metaphor for existence itself, of life and knowledge, offering itself to different interpretations depending on how many and what the protagonists were: the sea captains, the shipping companies, the ships that made history, and not least the ordinary traveler.
Beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the advent of the last phase of the industrial revolution and the consequent evolution of means of transportation, sea travel underwent major modifications, changing in purpose, mode and accessibility. From sail to steam, from medium-sized vessels to large ocean liners.
Later, during the twentieth century, ships became more and more luxurious, comforts increased even for the economic classes, and the refined design of ocean liners actually became one of the main spokesmen for Italian taste and made in Italy abroad.
Finally, in the 1960s, the successful model dedicated to genuine tourism and entertainment that we know as “cruising” became established. Majestic ships are produced in Genoese shipyards, the city’s harbor comes alive periodically thanks to the arrivals and departures of these magnificent floating hotels.
Along the exhibition route, visitors will be able to admire some beautiful models, numerous original documents, logbooks, objects, drawings, photos and period films, divided into four sections having respectively as their theme From sailing to steam engines – the first steamships; Italian shipping companies between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; State-controlled shipping – the Finmare and the four companies of Prominent National Interest; A new way of traveling – Costa cruises.