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Silvia Ghiani - Hamburg Representative

Hamburg, my home from home 

A shimmering waterway, dark brick buildings, bridges, intense light: “This is the city of Hamburg, way up in the North, where light and water are crystal clear and icy cold” - that’s what we little Italian kids were told by the kindergarten teacher at the German School in Genoa, the city where I grew up.

With this image still in the back of my mind, I set off to discover the magic of the North, taking up German language studies in Hamburg and quickly realising that the Far North wasn’t so cold and unwelcoming at all!

By the time I had completed my studies, the bustle of Hamburg had definitely erased that silent image from my childhood: after visiting the latest exhibitions or the theatre, we spent our weekends in the sublime Eppendorfer artist scene, sauntering past the intoxicating lights of Sankt Pauli in nights that only ended as we watched the morning light illuminate the fish market, nestled between fishing vessels and fishermen.

Even today, after getting to know cities in most of the countries in the world through my extensive experience in tourism, Hamburg still surprises me with its extraordinary blend of tradition, vitality, water, urbanity, style, elegance and generosity. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg continues to be impressively cosmopolitan. 

While the docks remain the economic motor of the city, Hamburg’s tradition also includes theatre, ballet and big musical productions, but tourism has only really started to develop strongly in Hamburg over recent years. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of beds available to tourists increased by around 67%, thanks to new hotels with a maritime atmosphere in the expanding HafenCity quarter, and other new ventures reflecting Hamburg’s illustrious past.  

I am very grateful for the opportunity to use my many years of experience in tourism to help create comprehensive and exciting programmes for i‑contravel in Hamburg.

Moin moin, Hamburg!