She was a European princess that was under Stefano's control. She was a talented artist that Stef used to help him steal a few pricy artworks.
Yup, Princess Gina Looked like Hope, maybe because she was Hope in another lifetime? And Yes, P Gina is dead. She got herself shot. Hope was locked in some French Castle with Stefano at Gina's doing, no less. Gina locked Stefano there because she was sick of being used by him. Hope was trapped there because Gina wanted revenge on Hope impersonating her all these years, and so Gina figured turn around would be fair play. Gina locked up Hope and took over Hope's life. Almost had it. But one the day/night that Bo was to marry Hope -Gina as Hope- there was some kind of a struggle. Shawn wasn't buying that this is his mom, and so Gina was going to get rid of him. She held a gun on Shawn D and had him on a ledge, as though he was going to jump off. That didn't work out, a stuggle ensued and Gina was shot.
Most of Salem thought it was Hope. There was one difference btw Gina and Hope. Gina had some kind of a surgery, that Hope never had. I remember hearing it said that the surgery scar on Gina was the BANE of her existance. That was the ONE way that could differentiate Gina and Hope. IT worked at the lst minute. Gina was close to being cremated as Hope untill the Cremator made that comment to Doug and Julie. To which DOug and Julie said something along the lines that Hope never had that done.
PHEW! I think that pretty much sums it up.