A perfect day in Genoa

Stroll through gorgeous museums and stunning churches to get a feel for the centuries of history. Enjoy the flavors of focaccia, pesto, and gelato. Then stroll along the sea, watch the catch come in at day’s end, and head up to the ancient towers of the Barbarossa walls—or to Castelletto at sunset for a beautiful view of the lights coming on over the harbor.

Campetto, 8, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Cocktails are not a huge part of the Italian culture, especially not those involving tequila. But at Bar Les Rouges, the three brothers who own the bar mix up one amazing margarita (They even come to your table asking you to sample which salt you want on the rim. Go for the smoked one, it’s perfection!). Housed in a dimly lit and slightly crumbling 16th-century palace, this is one of the most romantic spots in town—a perfect date night out.
Vico Superiore del Ferro, 14, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Hidden down the Vico Superiore del Ferro, this tiny shop is a secret gem. While most gelaterias keep their colorful products out in plain view, luring children in from the street with their mounds of chocolate and mango and black cherry, Gelateria Profumo prefers to hide theirs in shiny frozen silver canisters. And yet tucked inside those containers are some of the most delicious, interesting flavors in town - and hands down, the creamiest.
56r, Via di Canneto Il Curto, 54, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Turn down the little Via di Canneto, and you can’t miss this focacceria on your left. The line will literally always be out the door, especially in the morning hours. But the wait is worth every minute (and the amazingly kind women working inside move fast!). While Focaccia e Dintorni makes a fantastic traditional focaccia alla Genovese, their extra-thin version smeared with pesto and dotted with oozy formaggio di crescenza is something else all together. Ask for a crispy edge piece (or un pezzo ben cotto in Italian)—the crunch is a great treat!
Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 84R, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Take your morning coffee in the sunshine, shaded by the the Palazzo Ducale. With quite a few tables, Douce does a busy morning cappuccino/focaccia business, so you can also come later in the afternoon (when it’s slightly warmer) to make sure you get an alfresco seat. Just make sure you don’t order a cappuccino after 10am—the Genovese are likely to laugh at you. It’s espresso or nothing at that point!
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