A new light rail system began operations in Genoa, Italy’s sixth largest city (nicknamed “The Proud One” for its storied past and historic landmarks). The debut of the first section of the single-line Genoa Metro coincided with the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament; that year’s competition was sponsored by Italy, with several of the matches being played at a stadium in Genoa. The system, which now has eight stations altogether and an annual ridership of approximately 11 million, is managed by the public transport company Azienda Mobilità e Trasporti.
The initial segment of the Genoa Metro spanned 1.6 miles (2.6-km) between the Brin station, which is along Via Benedetto Brin in the suburban area of Rivarolo Ligure on Genoa’s northwestern outskirts; and the Dienegro station, which is under the portion of Via Milano adjacent to the Piazza Dinegro and just east of the San Benigno business district in the city.
Both stations were designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, who was born in Genoa in 1937. The design and construction of the Brin and Dinegro stations took place during a time when Piano and his firm were performing extensive work to revitalize his hometown’s rundown port, transforming it from a run-down industrial area to a major cultural center and tourist attraction. Piano’s other transportation-oriented accomplishments have included designing the main terminal for Kansai International Airport in Japan.