Specialities of Genoa

The northern coastal city of Genoa offers so much to delight prospective visitors – not least the selection of renowned (and lesser-known) food and drinks that hail from this area. Here are a few local specialities to try…

Photos by Jon Palmer

Seafood Genoa















Basil pesto is enjoyed the world over, but Genoa is where it comes from, specifically Prà, to the west of the city. If you go to Pesto do Prà you can see how it is made and buy some to take home. And yes, you can bring it home on the plane. There are special dispensations these days.

Asinello in Genoa


The rise of the Spritz has reached even to this proud corner of Italy, but if you want the true taste of Old Genoa, ask for an Asinello. It’s a bit of an old man’s drink, but as a tourist (particularly a British one) you’ll get away with it.


Focaccia, again, is a foodstuff you can buy anywhere, but it’s never quite the same if it hasn’t been baked in the city of its origin. It varies according to which side of the city you buy it from, and which is best depends on who you ask.


Cappon Magro
A seafood salad with vegetables, ideal to take for a picnic in the Parco della Mure. Vegetables have historically always been in short supply in Genoa, due to the lack of farmland, and are considered precious.


Ice Cream
This is Italy and there are lots of artisan ice-cream parlours in Genoa. The best is supposed to be Gelateria Profumo. I can tell you that it’s very good. Whether or not it’s the best, however, would require considerable further research.



Fish and ChipsGenoa fish and chips
Yes, fish and chips. Well, they’ve got lots of fish, and if it weren’t for Christopher Columbus none of us would have any chips.


Vegan food
You’ll find it in Rome, and perhaps in other major cities, but the concept of veganism is still alien to most Italians. Restricting yourself to a plant-based diet in Genoa, however, will not make you appear strange.

For more about the city of Genoa, click here