Sightseeing Tours of Genoa food

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Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto - Pesto Sauce
Pesto - Linguine with PestoPesto - IngredientsPesto - Handmade Pesto Sauce

The Pesto Genovese is probably one of the most famous Italian sauces!

The word pesto means literally to crush, from the Italian pestare. The name reflect the way pesto sauce is traditionally made: all the ingredients are in fact ground together in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. 

The recipe derived form the roman Moretum, a sauce very popular at the time. However among the ingredients of the original recipe there were mixed herbs instead of the basil used today. The reason was that basil wasn’t yet cultivated in Europe. When it was imported from India many farmers started to grow it especially in the Liguria region.

When the Ligurian began to cultivated the basil they adapted the roman recipe and create the today world famous pesto alla genovese. They combined basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Pecorino cheese and EVOO.

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Who still follow the original recipe put in the marble mortar first pine nuts and garlic, that are ground with a circular motion until they became a paste, then the basil is added with a pinch of sea salt; when the mixture become smooth again the cheeses and EVOO are added.

However during the centuries every genovese family have developed its own pesto recipe!

Many add string beans and potatoes cooked together with the pasta.

The Pesto Genovese is traditionally used on trofie or linguine.

Farinata di Ceci

Farinata di Ceci
Farinata di Ceci - Street FoodOlive OilFarinata di ceci - Chickpea

The Farinata di ceci is a kind of unleavened very thin cake made with chickpea flour.

The original recipe come from Genova; however during the centuries it became so famous among the populations that many other Italian and French regions adopted it!

The word farinata in Italian means made of flour. It is a very simple dish yet very tasty and nutritious.

In order to make the farinata and stay true to the original recipe it is necessary to add water and EVOO to the chickpea flour and stir until the mixture become homogeneous. Then the farinata is cooked into an open oven. At the end it is possible to season the dish with sea salt, black pepper and/or rosemary. When ready it is cut into triangular shapes and served without any additional toppings or dippings. Usually you will find the farinata in bakeries and pizzerias all around town.

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In Genova it is possible to taste few variations of the original recipe. Very popular since the beginning is the one with whitebait; unfortunately today due to strict fishing regulations it is not very simple to find it! However you can easily enjoy the farinata with added onions or artichokes!

Old Port – Genoa

Genoa - Porto Antico - Night View
Genoa - Porto Antico - View from the seaGenoa - Porto Antico - Magazzini del CotoneGenoa - Porto Antico - Galeone NeptuneGenoa - Porto Antico - BollaGenoa - Porto Antico - BoatsGenoa - Porto Antico - View

The Porto Antico (Old Port) is the oldest part of the Genoa’s harbor.

The old pier was built during the 15th century close to Porta Siberia (Siberia Gate), the gate that regulated the access to the city. During the 20th century the dock was remodeled in order to be more modern; the Genoa’s Port was already the biggest one in Italy. Many buildings were erected and the landscape of the port changed dramatically.

Genoa’s most illustrious citizen is probably the great explorer Cristoforo Colombo. The city of Genoa has always celebrated the renowned traveler; for this reason in 1992 for the Columbus celebration the famous architect Renzo Piano remodeled the oldest areas of the Port. The idea was to give back to the genoesi an area neglected for too many years! Today the space offers many different attractions such as an aquarium, various museums and venues for events. Famous is the Bolla a glass sphere that houses an incredible miniature rainforest.

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Today the area is considered one of the most beautiful in Genoa, both inhabitants and visitors enjoy long walks along the sea or just sit and relax in one of the many bars and restaurants located in the area.


Caruggi – Genoa

Genoa - Caruggi
Genoa - Caruggi - StreetGenoa - Caruggi - Salita Superiore San RocchinoGenoa - Caruggi - Roofs

Caruggi is the popular name given to the characteristic small streets of Genoa. The word means alley, many roads in the old city are called Vico from Vicoli (lane).

Most of the caruggi names derive from the activity that was practiced in the area. Typically the name are related to artisanal activities like Via Orefici (Goldsmiths Street) and Piazza di Pellicceria (Furriery Square). Today a lot have changed but the caruggi still attract many tourists thanks to the numerous little shops (botteghe) that still offer artisanal products.

It is believed that the old Genoa was built with this little alleys in order to protect itself against the pirates’ attacks; it was easier to defend the city. Eventually Genoa was fortified too.

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The most famous Genoa’s Caruggio is called Via di Pre’.

Visitors can’t lose the opportunity to stroll around in this unique area; walking and getting lost in these characteristic alleyways is an inimitable experience. It seems that the time stopped long ago thanks to the authentic little stores and workshops. Every time that a caruggio turns is hard to know what you will find around the corner!