There are actually three "ports":
It began as a port and remains an important port on the Mediterranean Sea, with related industries such as ship repair still adjacent to the city.
The centro storico or historic center is, by some accounts, the largest intact and active medieval quarter in Europe. It is a dense labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys called caruggi populated by Italians and not-Italians, residents and migrants, with small shops and restaurants of every sort and some of the finest palaces and most squalid residences within close proximity to one another. It offers multiple, overlapping views of an Italian city that lives simultaneously with its past, its present and its emerging future.
The modern urban expansion of Genoa was laid out in the 19th century outside the dense medieval quarter with the establishment of Piazza de Ferrari and the monumentalizing of Via XX Settembre to make it the main street of the city. As well as the "old" Palazzo Ducale, around Piazza de Ferrari there are the "new" Teatro Carlo Felice and its companion Galleria Mazzini, the Academy of Fine Arts, and the New Stock Exchange, signs of the changing social structure of the new nation.
There is another aspect of the city and its people: the industrial city, the city of labor. Genoa played a major role in the industrialization of Italy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and along with Turin and Milan formed the "Golden Triangle". With the expansion of the port and the rise of heavy industries such as Ansaldo along the Ponente, the population of Genoa grew to over a million during the "Economic Miracle" of the 1960s, when Italy became one of the biggest industrial economies in the world and eventually a member of the G8.
After the period of the Economic Miracle came the downturn, with the decline of heavy industry and loss of jobs causing Genoa to lose a third of its population, now at slightly more than 600,000. With many of its factories closed, Genoa is developing new components of a post-industrial economy (light industries, technology and research, tourism), while it seeks to keep its port and port-related industries competitive.
In the fall of 2011 Urban Lab and the city of Genoa mounted an exposition of projected transformations for the next ten years: