Genoa, Italy

Columbus Sister City Since 1955

Our Sister City


On October 12, 1955 (Columbus Day), the City of Genoa became Columbus’ first Sister City. This was celebrated through the gifting of the Christopher Columbus Statue that sits outside of Columbus City Hall today, an event that more than 100,000 people attended.

For over 60 years we have worked with Genoa to provide both of our cities with a greater sense of cultural enrichment through events like the bi-annual Pesto Championship, and art projects like the award winning Thousand People of Genoa.

Did You Know?

Genoa is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and is also the home of the world’s first bank, the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which dates back to the 12th century.

Genoa is the Capital of the state of Liguria, which is located on the coast of the Gulf of Genoa.
Current Mayor
Marco Bucci
Official Language
Sister City Volunteer Committee

Kelly Lombardo Matthews

Kelly Lombardo Matthews is a product of Ohio schools: Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, the University of Dayton, and The Ohio State University, where she did her M.A. in Italian Studies.

Much of Kelly’s professional career has been dedicated to the promotion of intercultural competency and the importance of global citizenship. She spent many years teaching Italian to high school and college students and adult learners in Columbus, and she has led numerous language immersion trips to Italy. Kelly is also the co-founder of what is now the Italian Dream Academy in Columbus, and she has worked closely with the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Italian Festival for several years to promote culturally relevant and educational activities for the Columbus community.

Kelly has taken important steps to connect the Columbus community of Italophiles with the Italian community at large. In partnership with the Italian Consulate of Detroit and the N.O.I. Foundation, she brought enriching resources to Columbus schools. In 2017, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Consulate of Detroit awarded her a grant to place a young professional from Milan in service of two Columbus high schools to assist with their growing Italian language programs. Also in 2017, she was awarded the Midwest Award for Leadership in the Teaching of Italian Language and Culture by the Italian Consulate in Chicago.

In 2022, Kelly became an inaugural member of the Greater Columbus Sister Cities CIRCLE Program. When her cohort traveled to Genoa, Italy, on an official delegation from the city of Columbus with GCSCI, they built on the already historic relationship between the two cities. Kelly is excited to work together with GCSCI and Genoa to continue to build a greater sense of community and cultural enrichment through events and award-winning programming.

Kelly currently works as a copywriter for EASE Logistics, and lives in Columbus with her family.

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