Port of Genoa

Glyndwr
11th July 2008, 15:34
Found this really quaint view of the Port of Genoa with the famous "lanterna" clearly visible and still standing today.

I bet a lot of you have some good memories of this place. It was really bustling with cargo ships on "double headers" in the 1960's and 1970's.

Would love to hear any stories

Glyn Lewis

sailingday
11th July 2008, 16:05
My only visit to Genoa was in June 1952, wonderful times ashore got taken in tow by a hooker with a heart of gold, gave me more experiences in a few days, than some would get in a lifetime, I was up and down the Italian coast for most of 1952 but never made Genoa again

Ken Potts
11th July 2008, 16:25
Joined the British Signal in Genoa in '61. It was her maiden voyage and I was told at the time that she was the biggest ship to transit the Suez Canal. Next time I was in Genoa , I remember it clearly because President Kennedy was assassinated and there was an American warship in dock.
Had many a good time down the Dirty Mile and the Black Cat bar!

John_F
11th July 2008, 19:30
Joined the British Signal in Genoa in '61. It was her maiden voyage and I was told at the time that she was the biggest ship to transit the Suez Canal. Next time I was in Genoa , I remember it clearly because President Kennedy was assassinated and there was an American warship in dock.
Had many a good time down the Dirty Mile and the Black Cat bar!

Ken,
I had a spell in Genoa on the Beacon in 1959 after her maiden voyage, to repair everything that had gone wrong (& there was a lot to repair!).
The Beacon, same size as the Signal in terms of gross tonnage, first passed through the Canal on January 18th, 1960, preceding the Signal by at least a year. However, larger tankers from BP than either the Beacon or the Sgnal (the 42,000 dwt class Duchess, Ambassador, etc.) had been transiting the Canal long before the Beacon or Signal, albeit not fully loaded.
I too had a great time in Genoa - seem to remember a bar called the Zanzibar was very popular. However, as a 2nd trip apprentice, having just joined the Beacon after my first leave, I had no money but my eyes were well & truly opened to "la Dolce Vita."
Kind regards,
John.

K urgess
11th July 2008, 19:42
Paid off CP Ships Lord Mount Stephen in Genoa. Had to spend the night there before flying home. Don't remember much but those hotels down that whatchemacallit street weren't very quiet were they. (==D)
Some years later spent quite a while there in drydock but had my wife with me so had to behave and plead ignorance of such places. Even when the second engineer pleaded a need after a run ashore and my wife kept his wallet and watch for safe keeping while he went off to relieve the pressures of rank. [=P]

Glyndwr
11th July 2008, 20:05
The streets you mention are called "Vicoli" and the famous one is Via Pre' (full of red spots). The Zanzibar is closed now but it did have a reputation. Did you all know that Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa. His house is there and can be visited even today.

Glyn

K urgess
11th July 2008, 20:09
Last time I was there the corners in that area still had the white painted sign "Out of Bounds to US Service Personnel".

Glyndwr
11th July 2008, 20:16
Sahib

Genoa has changed and is more of a passenger terminal. Very few American ships come here anymore. They tend to go to Pisa where there is a big USA base. The signs are still there though

Next time I am there I will take a photo and post it on the site for you.

Glyn

K urgess
11th July 2008, 20:26
The ones I saw were in the old quarter and were very faded in 1977 so they probably dated from 1944, Glyn.
Cheers
Kris

notnila
12th July 2008, 00:07
I've never been,but every time I hear the name Genoa,I remember a couple of Barra men I sailed with on a Baron Boat.
They had paid off their previous ship,a BP tanker,in Genoa,and were flown home(a not to common practice at that time)."Have you ever been in an aeroplane?"asked Iain,"No" says I.Then he said"Neil will tell you if I'm telling a lie,after the aeroplane gets into the air,the conductress comes round and gives you whiskey!"I couldn't wait!!!

holland25
12th July 2008, 00:56
I joined the Blue Flue Ulysses in Genoa in January 1960. The relieving 2nd Mate and I were sent by by train. We met up at Waterloo in London and crossed the channel and joined the Rome Express in Paris. In our compartment on the way to Paris were two elderly ladies who were very seasoned travellers. I think we arrived at the Gare du Nord and these two ladies made a big fuss about catching taxis and dashing across Paris to catch up with their next connection. The 2nd Mate and I stayed put and the carriage we were in was shunted all over Paris until we ended up in the Gare de Lyon and became attached to the Rome Express. Down the platform came the two ladies who were most surprised to see us.Mind you it was ignorance and good fortune on our part.

We arrived in Genoa the following morning and were met by the agent. He had to carry out some financial transaction with gentlemen in sunglasses and overcoats over their shoulders before our luggage could be released. He then took us to a hotel and made arrangements for us to have breakfast and be allowed to sit in the lobby for a while. Eventually he collected us and took us to the ship which had just arrived. We sailed shortly after. We did call in Genoa later in the year when it was summer and stayed for a couple of days. A junior engineer and I rented two motor scooters and nearly killed ourselves, falling out with drivers on the wrong side of the road. I seem to remember that the exchange rate was very favourable and we got an awful lot of lira. Happy memories.

gde
19th July 2008, 21:50
I was down by Genoa a few years ago visiting my sister who lives in Vallegia,just up from Genova and Savona.Lovely part of Italy to stay,but so expensive.Strange my brother-in-law also worked for Ansaldo (Luciano Marbotto) and from time to time still does some private work for them.

Gavin

Lookout
19th July 2008, 22:33
Aahh - Genoa

For a time in the early 1960's I considered it my spiritual home. I went there aged 16 on my very first trip on the John Bruce Medi Trader 'Alhama' and for the next 18 months or so I was back there every seven weeks. Later I was on the same run on Ellerman and Papayanni's 'Maltasian'. I have some great memories but I dare not, even after all this time, reveal the adventures I had in Genoa.

I remember the Mission, the United Services Club, the Atlantic Bar, the Zanzibar and the Black Cat. I remember the club-swinging US Navy Shore Patrols combing the bars and back streets of the "Dirty Half Mile". I remember coming back to the 'Alhama' at Ponte Ethopia in a taxi in the small hours and my companion, a drunk Skyeman who couldn't recall the name of our ship trying to describe it to the driver as "de barco wid de rosa fonnell".

Those were the days!

John N MacDonald
25th July 2008, 13:12
A drunk Skyeman! I don't believe a word of it!
I was having a coversation with an officer on the Marfret Provence when Genoa was mentioned by the captain. I've never seen a face as red as that of that officer. I wonder what happened to him there?:D

WilliamH
25th July 2008, 14:25
I remember the Seamans Mission in Genoa, in 1966 I was on an ED's ship,
the mission pardre took a bunch of us sking in the Maritime Alps and another weekend "mountain climbing". His name was Mario, he was football mad and suported the Scots football team, and even used to go to Scotland for his holidays, he was Italian

NoMoss
25th July 2008, 14:38
Aahh - Genoa

For a time in the early 1960's I considered it my spiritual home. I went there aged 16 on my very first trip on the John Bruce Medi Trader 'Alhama' and for the next 18 months or so I was back there every seven weeks. Later I was on the same run on Ellerman and Papayanni's 'Maltasian'. I have some great memories but I dare not, even after all this time, reveal the adventures I had in Genoa.

I remember the Mission, the United Services Club, the Atlantic Bar, the Zanzibar and the Black Cat. I remember the club-swinging US Navy Shore Patrols combing the bars and back streets of the "Dirty Half Mile". I remember coming back to the 'Alhama' at Ponte Ethopia in a taxi in the small hours and my companion, a drunk Skyeman who couldn't recall the name of our ship trying to describe it to the driver as "de barco wid de rosa fonnell".

Those were the days!



My first experience at the tender age of 18 was in Genoa on the John Bruce Alpera in 1956. We went there every six weeks or so plus Livorno, Naples and several other ports around that part of the Med on the Europe and African sides.
I remember well all the above mentioned bars - a carton of cigarettes went a long way in 56. Even bars of soap were recognised currency.
I went back about 8 years later on the Union-Castle Kenya Castle but this time I was engaged to one of the Purserettes. A very different type of 'shopping' was undertaken!

notnila
25th July 2008, 22:05
I remember the Seamans Mission in Genoa, in 1966 I was on an ED's ship,
the mission pardre took a bunch of us sking in the Maritime Alps and another weekend "mountain climbing". His name was Mario, he was football mad and suported the Scots football team, and even used to go to Scotland for his holidays, he was Italian

Did his Dad have an ice cream shop in Ayr?(Jester)

Lookout
27th July 2008, 23:48
I remember the Seamans Mission in Genoa, in 1966 I was on an ED's ship,
the mission pardre took a bunch of us sking in the Maritime Alps and another weekend "mountain climbing". His name was Mario, he was football mad and suported the Scots football team, and even used to go to Scotland for his holidays, he was Italian

Mario was at the mission when I first went there in 1960. He was a friendly and helpful fellow. I seem to recall that he sometimes visited the Isle of Barra on holiday. The mission in Genoa was the only place I ever found Calum Kennedy records on a jukebox.

daveaustin44
7th March 2009, 11:34
Anyone remember the night the London Valour hit the breakwater in the late
60's or early 70's. A storm blew up quickly and they had the engine in bits, she drifted on to the breakwater and was smashed against them. They tried to rescue the crew with a crane from the breakwater but several crewmen ended up in the water. The word went round the port for blood donors to go to the local hospital to give blood. local police cars raced with us up to the hospital. The outcome was that only one of our crew could donate, the rest had been infected with well known socialy infection. I will not give the name of the vessel I was on at the time for obvious reasons. We all went to give blood so our hearts were in the right place.

AncientBrit
7th March 2009, 13:55
Was there in 1957 or 58 during the Asian Flu epidemic, was on HMS LAGOS due to visit Rapallo but a couple of crew got flu and they wouldnt allow us ashore, the only port that would accept vessels with Asian Flu aboard, was the Port of Genoa. Port was wall to wall ships of all sorts side by each, tied up stern to the dock. Of the entire crew only about a dozen of us never got the flu. For the 10 days we were there, was too busy to go ashore LOL.
Regards Bob

Allan James
8th March 2009, 08:36
Genoa, first port on the European coast returning from the far east on the Glenfalloch. Drank far too much red wine and was dragged back to the ship by an engineer cadet, seem to remember hanging out of the taxi with my mate holding onto my legs whilst I was calling for "Hughie!" That cost a fair bit extra! Then fell out of the gangway and was put to my bunk. (I've now got to that time in life that a mug of cocoa is more appropriate!)

Still managed to turn too at 0600 to start working cargo-we were discharging latex into an old submarine.......that was one way to cure an immense hangover.

Does anyone remember that sub hulk? any idea of its history?

Binnacle
8th March 2009, 11:14
Posted this in a thread (Flogging stuff) a couple years ago -

[Discharging oil in Genoa shortly after the war, moored stern on to the quay. The bosun was busily engaged in lowering an 8" mooring rope into a small boat lying under the stern. Unfortunately for the bosun, the agent's launch with the captain on board suddenly appeared on the scene. The captain continued ashore, shortly afterwards a military launch appeared and the bosun was taken aboard. The bosun was under the infuence or he would have had more sense than to attempt to flog a 120 fm mooring rope in broad daylight. As the launch passed us laden with the bosun and a detachment of Carabinieri taking him to some fortress prison he laughingly shouted across to us "I've got a bigger bodyguard than Mussolini".]

That happened in 1946. The bosun was not the only villain aboard as a few of us had been flogging soap, removed from the steward's dry store in the centre castle (unsecurely fitted hasp). Genoa was a great place for Jack ashore especially as we had had had our fill of too many Persian Gulf ports. Soap, cigarettes etc went a long way on the black market. Good music in all the bars, many of the musicians, we thought, were ex army bandsmen made redundant by the Eighth Army. Marconi Sahib's post reminds me that the painted signs on many street corners "Out of Bounds to Allied Troops" stood us in good stead in the absence of tourist guide books and you could be sure that there were no language or other problems. Happy times.

Nick Balls
8th March 2009, 11:35
Anyone remember the night the London Valour hit the breakwater in the late
60's or early 70's. A storm blew up quickly and they had the engine in bits, she drifted on to the breakwater and was smashed against them. They tried to rescue the crew with a crane from the breakwater but several crewmen ended up in the water. The word went round the port for blood donors to go to the local hospital to give blood. local police cars raced with us up to the hospital. The outcome was that only one of our crew could donate, the rest had been infected with well known socialy infection. I will not give the name of the vessel I was on at the time for obvious reasons. We all went to give blood so our hearts were in the right place.

This was indeed a very sad event with tragic loss of life.
Working for LOF after this event meant that Anchor watch was treated with the greatest care with a full watch on both the Bridge and in the Engine room being maintained at all times.
In more recent times I was once horrified when at anchor off the North Coast of Scotland ,when the young second mate seemed unconcerned when the vessel had dragged half a mile towards a lee shore . I see in Last months Telegraph that concern is growing at the increasing number of such events.
Off the east coast of East Anglia it is now common to have several fully loaded VLCC's waiting at anchor to go into Rotterdam. There close proximity to our beaches should be of grave concern!

Binnacle
8th March 2009, 12:53
I was advised by a Genoa harbour pilot that there is no safe anchorage at Genoa. The holding ground was poor he reckoned.

tom roberts
8th March 2009, 13:28
Visited Genoa few trips when s.o.s. on the Anglian summer 1956 we used to call it the Mucky Mile some great bars I was enamoured with a six foot swiss girl in one of the bars she made my day and nights when she took me to her flat,but it was an odd sight as I was only 5ft 6ins and when I had a little too much she used to pick me up and carry me over her shoulder but we were both the same size in the feather bed but I had to make sure she didnt roll over and smother me, but on those bosums I went to heaven

sailor63
10th March 2009, 21:32
only went there once but for quite some time cos we had to offload a full cargo then reload another full cargo and go back out the way we had just been. i.e. the whole of africa from west to east lol. we already done east to west and thought we were going home to london but ended up in Genoa instead. That was on the old Kenilworth Castle,shortly before she was scrapped.june 66 to april 67!. apart from all the usual treats i remember very cheap leather goods, shoes and jackets etc. and my first ever pizza, made as i waited in a tiny corner pizza Parlour. That was years before the whole world started eating them. Cheers, Colin. K. (Wave)

Ron Stringer
11th March 2009, 00:04
I posted this a couple of years back but it seems to have been archived and I thought it relates to the recent postings on this thread.

In 1961 I spent some time in Genoa aboard Joe Constantine's "Lochwood" on a coasting trip from the UK, around the Western Mediterranean. Someone made a dreadful mistake with her because she measured out at 1,689 grt - only 90 tons above the limit where the ship would not have had to carry a radio officer. As the R/O, having little to do at sea (little or no radio traffic) and with nothing to do in port unless I wanted to earn some extra cash doing cargo watching, this suited me fine. Although small, she always stayed several days in each port. Every night in Genoa we were ashore up the "Barbary Coast", drinking in most of the bars there, including the "Black Cat".

A favourite was the New York Bar, where we became almost regulars. For the price of her drinks Elisabeta, one of the young ladies there, used to entertain us with tales of her exploits with other customers. All good things come to an end and after a few days, we left for Livorno and ports south. A month or so later I left the ship in the UK - I had only been relieving for the regular R/O.

About 4 years later we docked in Genoa for 24 hours on the "City of Lucknow", discharging wool from Newcastle NSW, on the way back to the UK after an abbreviated MANZ run. The Mate had his wife aboard and that evening we took a cab ashore for a meal and afterwards elected to walk back down the hill to the docks. On the way we passed the end of the "Barbary Coast" and the Mate's wife said, "That looks exciting, let's go down there." The Mate looked at me and shook his head so I took his lead and said that wasn't the sort of place that we would go.

"Nonsense" she said, "it looks just like those streets full of low bars, like you see in the movies, where all the mates and engineers go to pick up women and get drunk. I'm sure that you all do that when your wives are not with you."

Dismissing the Mate's protestations with a shrug she walked off. Down past the Black Cat and other less salubrious bars. "Come on" she shouted back to her husband, "don't try to flannel me, I'm sure you'd spend your all your time down here if I wasn't with you."

"Never," he said "only the rougher members of the crew would come up here, never the officers, isn't that right Sparks?" "You're dead right, we wouldn't be seen dead in such places" was my reply.

"You mean that you've never been in one of these bars Sparks?" she asked me. "Well now is your chance" and she turned and marched into the New York Bar. The Mate and I followed. She sat on a stool at the bar and we joined her and ordered some drinks from the bartender.

Then a beaded curtain at the back of the bar swung aside and a woman wearing a very short skirt entered the bar. She let out a loud screech and shouted "Hey, Sparky, you come back!!" Red faces all round; only the Mate's wife and Elisabeta found it funny.

Cutsplice
11th March 2009, 00:53
I visited Genoa a few times when I was on the Vives (McAndrews) in the early sixties. One nifgt when walking along the Dirty Half Mile I met one of the ABs, (he shall remain unamed) he was negotiating with what appeared to be 2 females. I stopped and became a little suspicious as to their gender, I naformed the AB about my suspicion and said forget about them and come back to the vessel.
Suddenly one of these females/hemales suddenly decided to hitch up her skirt, I thought she was about to flash her womanhood to prove she was a she, I looked down in anticipation. Next thing I knew I was buckling at the knees and nearly hit the deck, she had landed a punch squarely on my jaw.
Last I seen of them was as they were running down this narrow entry holding their skirts up above their knees.
I can safely say my suspicions were correct based solely on the strength of the punch.

masthead
11th March 2009, 16:03
I remember the Seamans Mission in Genoa, in 1966 I was on an ED's ship,
the mission pardre took a bunch of us sking in the Maritime Alps and another weekend "mountain climbing". His name was Mario, he was football mad and suported the Scots football team, and even used to go to Scotland for his holidays, he was Italian

FUNNY YOU MENTIONING THE ABOVE WE DID THE SAME ( sking) and i bought some lovely venetian green glass from the mission for my mother. this was all when i was a good boy. rgds terry

daveaustin44
12th March 2009, 03:58
I was advised by a Genoa harbour pilot that there is no safe anchorage at Genoa. The holding ground was poor he reckoned.

Binnacle how come the fisheries flag