There was a time in which houses didn’t have a number, but just a name.
It could have been the name of the owners, the one of a close place or the name of a plant or a tree nearby…
Can you imagine how hard postmen’s work was? But times change and, with them, needs change too! Later on indeed house numbering was introduced.
However, at the beginning it was a progressive numbering that involved the entire neighborhood, so the numbers reached really high figures! Nowadays this numbering method has been kept by Venezia, but the Genoese abandoned it in 1855.
Genoa has always wanted to shine and distinguish itself, indeed Geneose introduced the black and red house numbering. A black house number indicates a private house, while the red one points out the presence of a commercial activity. Firenze also reproduced this system in 1938… such a copycat!
Nevertheless, even though the ancient progressive numbering has been completely eliminated, in Genoa remains a unique example of it!
I’m talking about the number “400” in the so-called Sestiere del Molo, on top of which stand out the more modern “9” of Piazza della Lepre.
The new numbering system isn’t only more functional, but also low-cost!