Odesa is the 5th largest city in Ukraine and the most important city of trade. Odesa is the largest city along the entire Black Sea. Odesa looks more like a city located on the Mediterranean, having been heavily influenced by French and Italian styles.
Odesa has always had a spirit of freedom, probably endowed to her by her location and by her ability to accept many different peoples.
Today Odesa is a city of 1.1 million people surrounded by a metro area of over 2.5 million people.
The city's industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, chemicals, metal-working and food processing. Odesa is also the home of a Ukrainian naval base and fishing fleets. Odesa is situated on terraced hills overlooking a small harbour.
The climate in Odessa is mild and dry with average temperatures in January of 2 °C (29 °F), and July of 22 °C (73 °F). Odesa averages only 35 cm (14 in) of precipitation annually. Odesa has many therapeutic resorts.
Odesa is an important cultural and educational centre. Odesa University was founded in 1865. There are numerous institutions of higher education.
The city is a diversity of people including Ukrainian, Russian, Moldavian, Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Caucasian, Jewish, Turkish, Vietnamese and so forth.
There are many very interesting museums and theatres in Odesa, including-the famous Opera and Ballet Theatre, built in 1809.
Odesa is well-known as the capital of humour, probably due to the great variety of people and her southern location on the Black Sea. Today, Odesa is referred to as the "Pearl of the Black Sea", "Odessa Mama" and "Southern Palmira" by many.