7 food experiences which make Genoa Italy’s most delicious city

updated 10/16/2021
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Genoa is often overlooked. Or it's under-appreciated. The medieval centre is Europe's largest. It has 42 World Heritage Palazzi. And Genovese food is outstanding. Discover seven top Genoa foodie experiences. Revealed by Natasha Foges. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy your essential guide for visiting Italy.

Eat your way round historic Genoa Italy © Shutterstock

1. Eat pesto in its hometown

Genoa likes vegetables. No pizza pounds here.

Try local pesto alla Genovese. It's extra green, herby and tasty. And uses only Prà basil..

Serious about Pesto? Visit Palazzo Ducale. It's site of many pesto-making world championships. The frescoes are lovely too.

Want more pesto lore? Take a traditional food tour round Genoa.

Try pesto alla Genovese in Genoa © Nelli Syrotynska/Shutterstock

2. Make space for Genoa focaccia

Focaccia tempts everywhere in Genoa.

Visit the medieval old town. Look for hole-in-the-wall Focaccerie.

Need a boost? Try mid-morning focaccia. Chased with bianchetta wine.

Want focaccio sandwiches? Head to Il Gran Ristoro. Order focaccio with swordfish. It's famous. And it's a bargain.

Stay in medieval Genoa. Book Genova Suite Art in the historic quarter.

3. Have lunch at a sciamadda

Try farinata. It's a chickpea flour pancake. Best eaten at a sciamadda: Ligurian inns with wood burning ovens.

Head to Sa Pesta sciamadda. They make traditional farinata. And it's a local haunt.

Pick up new skills. Take a private home cooking class in Genoa.

4. Walk off lunch in Genoa old town

Genoa’s old town is Europe's largest. Go exploring. But beware. Henry James called it, “most winding and incoherent.'

Wander twisting alleys. Spot faded frescoes. Spy ruined columns and arches.

Feeling hungry? Time for local snack. Sample strips of tripe. They come in little card cones. And they're oily and salty.

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Genoa medieval old town is the largest in Europe © Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

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5. Shop for sweets at Italy's oldest confectioner

Where is Genoa sweetest? In the old town.

Look for quaint chocolaterie. Or seek out bijou chocolate factories. Some are over 150 years old.

Visit Romanengo, Italy's oldest confectioner. Shop for candied fruit. Buy sugared almonds. Or just browse.

Choose historic hotels in Genoa. Romantic Palazzo Grilli is in the old town.

Shop Genoa old town for Baci di Genova biscuits © giovanni boscherino/Shutterstock

6. Take in the sights and sounds of the market

Don't miss Genoa’s Mercato Orientale. It's set in a former monastery.

You'll see fresh fished anchovies. They're called “bread of the sea”. Look for Prà basil. Hunt tomatoes and peppers. And try local mountain chestnuts.

Buy tasty gifts here too. From herbs and spices to Pandolce Genovese.

Shop like a local. Take a traditional market tour in Genoa.

7. Join the locals at aperitivo hour

Join locals at sundown. That's aperitivo time. Sip basil mojitos on pretty piazza. Snack on free focaccia. And people watch.

Want authentic atmosphere? Head for Piazza Lavagna. And Piazza delle Erbe's best for lively aperitivo.

Ready to travel to Italy? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from The Rough Guide to Italy and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

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updated 10/16/2021
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