Who is Susanna Fontanarossa?
Susanna of Fontanarossa was probably the mother of Cristoforo Colombo, a Genoese wool weaver commonly believed to have been Christopher Columbus, a navigator and explorer who is generally credited as a discoverer of the Americas.
Almost nothing is known about her before her marriage to Domenico Colombo in 1445 except that she was born in the hillside village of Monticellu on the then Genoese island of Corsica. She bore 5 children to Domenico: Cristoforo, Bartolomeo, Giovanni, Giacomo, and a daughter named Bianchinetta.
A notarised document of sale in the Genoa state archive contains the Latinate text «Sozana, de Jacobi de Fontana Rubea, uxor Dominici de Columbo de Ianua ac Christophorus et Pelegrinus filii eorum», which can be translated as "Susanna was of Giacomo from Fontanarossa of the Bisagno, wife of Domenico Columbus from Genoa, their sons are Cristoforo and Pellegrino." The Val Bisagno was a significant inland district in the ancient Republic of Genoa including the valley of the river Bisagno. Thus she was described as 'Susanna from Fontanarossa' within the Val Bisagno, rather than Suzanna Fontarossa.
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