Small Italy


Territories on which the modern Crimean city Sudak has spread, have long seemed to the Genoese to be a tasty morsel. They were able to strengthen themselves in these parts in the second half of the XIV century: in 1365 Soldaya - as the city was called at that time - became part of the extensive Genoese possessions.

Genoese fortress in Sudak, photo 1920

Unlike many cities that the Genoese turned into major ports, Soldayu was waiting for another fate. It was decided to make it an agricultural colony, as well as an important strategic point in the system of the Black Sea coastal fortifications. In this case, the merchant ships were ordered the way to Soldaya - they simply were not allowed to moor here.

Over time, the population of the city is thinned - all the locals who earned a living by trade, moved to other places. The Genoese engaged in the cultivation of grapes, wine production, gardening and arable farming in Solday. In modern Sudak and now you can see the fortress built by the Genoese; also in the city preserved fragments of water supply, which was used for irrigation of vineyards.

Fragments of the Genoese fortress in Feodosia

The main Genoese city in the Crimea was Kaffa - modern Theodosius. She became the main trading port of the Genoese in these areas, and they managed to make it a city of extremely prosperous - by the middle of the XV century, Kaffa exceeded Constantinople in size.


Colonies of the Genoese appeared in the territory of modern Abkhazia. For example, where Gagra, Pitsunda and New Athos are now, there were, respectively, Kakari, Pesonka and Nikopsia. The main local city, the center of commerce for the colonists from Genoa, was Sebastopolis - modern Sukhum.

Genoese tower in New Athos. At the end of the 19th century, a hotel was built in, where A. P. Chekhov stayed.

The first mention of the Genoese in these places refers to 1280, and in 1318 the Pope ordered to establish a bishopric in Sebastopolis. Although the Genoese lived side by side with the indigenous people, there was practically no ethnographic bias - basically all communication between the colonists and the aborigines was limited to trade contacts.

Krasnodar region

Also, the Genoese colonies existed on the territory of the modern Krasnodar Territory. These included Mapa (Anapa), Bata (Novorossiysk), Casto (Khosta), Mavrolako (Gelendzhik) and many others. By the way, one of the colonies was even the famous Lermontov village of Taman - under the Genoese it was called Matrega.

Formally, the khans of the Golden Horde were the masters of these territories, but the Genoese managed to establish diplomatic ties with them and even to some extent obtain patronage. However, this did not always save from the Tatar raids of the colony.

Ruins of Godlik fortress in the vicinity of Sochi, used by the Genoese

In addition to trade in leather, furs, spices and food in the Genoese colonies, there was an active trade in slaves. Turks and Tatars were not averse to selling the captive Russians, Alans and Adygs into slavery.

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