From June 1805 to April 1814 Genoa was annexed to the Napoleonic Empire and underwent a process of modernization, intense but effective in the long run. Unlike other important Italian cities subjected to the French domination, this phase of the Genoese history has never been extensively researched. The related body of literature is extremely small and fragmented and an updated compendium does not exist. Drawing on the few available studies and some primary sources, the author aims at providing a preliminary outline of the actual effectiveness in the most important sectors (i.e. institutions, élite composition, economy and infrastructures, education and others) and of the impact on the different social segments of the modernization the Napoleonic regime brought about.
Keywords: Genoa in the nineteenth century, Napoleonic Empire, modernization, institutions and élite, economy, culture.