Columbus' House, Porta Soprana City Gate and St. Andrew Cloister
Close to one of the central areas of the modern city centre, near Piazza Dante, there is a medieval island of particular charm. Going up the short brick ascent of the historic straight road of Ponticello involves crossing a space full of monuments, a sort of short walk through the history of Genoa. Of course, the urban developments that followed one another in the area during the first decades of the last century have radically altered its appearance, but what is left is a kind of highly evocative "condensed" space in which we find the Middle Ages and the discovery of the Americas, one can almost touch one of the most fruitful and fascinating periods of the city's history and art.
Going up, on the right, there is the house in which Christopher Columbus lived as a child, from the time that he was four to the age of nine: it is a small but dense memorial dedicated to history's most important explorer. It is possible to visit the interior of the house.
Immediately after, there is the medieval cloister of the monastic church of Sant’Andrea, which was located where the Bank of Italy building now stands and was rebuilt here after the demolition of the medieval church and monastery of which it is the only remaining testimony.
At the top of the climb stands the rather severe Porta Soprana, access gate to the medieval city from the east built between 1155 and 1158, to defend the city from an attack (which did not happen) by the troops of Federico Barbarossa. For this reason the walls of which it constituted the main passage are called "del Barbarossa". It has a number of commemorative plaques celebrating the glories of Genoa.