Christopher Columbus (Italian: Cristoforo Colombo; Spanish: Cristóbal Colón; Portuguese: Cristóvão Colombo; before 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World.
In the context of emerging western imperialism and economic competition between European kingdoms seeking wealth through the establishment of trade routes and colonies, Columbus's speculative proposal, to reach the East Indies by sailing westward, eventually received the support of the Spanish crown, which saw in it a promise, however remote, of gaining the upper hand over rival powers in the contest for the lucrative spice trade with Asia. During his first voyage in 1492, instead of reaching Japan as he had intended, Columbus landed in the Bahamas archipelago, at a locale he named San Salvador. Over the course of three more voyages, Columbus visited the Greater and Lesser Antilles, as well as the Caribbean coast of Venezuela and Central America, claiming them for the Spanish Empire.
Genoa (// Italian: Genova [ˈdʒɛːnova] ( listen); Genoese and Ligurian Zena [ˈzeːna]; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is the capital of Liguria and the sixth largest city in Italy, with a population of 608,676 within its administrative limits on a land area of 243.6 km2 (94 sq mi). The urban zone of Genoa extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 718,896. The urban area of Genoa has a population of 800,709. In the metropolitan area live over 1.5 million people. Genoa is one of Europe's largest cities on the Mediterranean Sea and the largest seaport in Italy.