Genoa, Genova, 'Zena'!!!! prodly Zeneise!
The war-cry of our soldiers boarding the enemy galleys was: 'Pe Zena e pe San Zorzu!!' (For Genoa and for Saint George!), yes I can understand the Genoese (it's a language more ancient than Italian) and I can speak it.
We let Venice survive in Her small Adriatic business! Why losing precious money when they couldn't even dream to send a galley in the Tyrrhenian sea?
Two different atmospheres, two different worlds, two different seas, two different Languages, two different mindsets: Venice is more Germanic and Eastern minded, while here in Genoa, France is the reference, ancient rivalry......anyway here nobody cried when the great Napoleon sold Venice to Austria for money!!! While the 'Serenissima Repubblica di Genova' was a sister Republic, allied with France from the beginning of the Revolution.
About Generals, here in Genoa they came always from the various aristocratic factions and families: Embriaci (First Crusade), Adorno, De Negri, De Mari, Fieschi, Doria (Andrea Doria the most famus), Spinola (Ambrogio Spinola led the Imperial Army during the 30YW), Brignole-Sale, Balbi...and many others.
This is a great poet and singer, Fabrizio De Andrè, singing in Genoese (Zeneise) a wonderful song, also for Italians it's necessary the translation, so if you are interested listen only the sounds of these ancient Romance Language, they are an intriguing mix between Provençal, Catalan, and Sardinian sounds, the sounds are all what remain of the ancient Ligurian Language, forever destroied by Rome, spoken in a large arc of lands between Catalonia and the today's Liguria till La Spezia: