• 2019.10.02
  • Genoa: sea, drinks and aperitif food.
In one of my first blogs I talked about the aperitivo and how this is important in our Italian culture.
It is more than just an after-work drink and a pre-dinner snack, it is a moment of gathering and relaxation which is essential for our well-being and for social interaction, especially during the warm Summer months.
It is one of our many rituals and the original Italian aperitif has three musts: good drinks, good food and an amazing location!
In Genoa, virtually every café, pub and bar offers an aperitif time, however, there are some specific spots where the sunsets seem brighter and the wind fresher, exactly what makes this area perfect for aperitifs.

But aperitifs change from region to region in Italy and get local flavors.
The typical aperitif drink in Genoa is the Corochinato, a white wine flavored with spices and aromas, one above all the china calissaia. To make it one needs sixteen herbs and spices mixed together, among which also absinthe, gentian, cardoon, thyme, oregano and cinnamon.
It has a straw yellow color, characterized by light golden reflections. The scent is delicate but intense and persistent. It’s not particularly strong and it’s very pleasant and easy to drink. Genoese focaccia is a perfect match for this drink and it’s a staple food for a Ligurian aperitif together with pesto dip, fritters and chickpea panissa of course.

Some bars are unique

Regarding the location, the best place to admire Genoa is certainly from the sea. And, one could add, the best way to admire the city is with a glass of local wine in your hand looking at the lights of the sunset coloring the coastline.
In the port of Genoa there is the opportunity to savor the experience of an aperitif at sea taking a boat tour with drinks and aperitif food onboard a small vessel which normally sails during the hottest months and takes a panoramic route to enjoy breathtaking sunsets with the background of Genoa’s main attractions (at least the ones that can be admired from the sea).
Among panoramic locations, my favorite place is undoubtedly the Nessun Dorma bar in Manarola, an amazing spot, overlooking the village and the bay.
Besides the breathtaking view, there are two wines that are specially produced only for this bar, from two wineries in Cinque Terre.
It is the perfect place where to have a nice wine tasting right before dinner, after a day at or by the sea.

Aperitif with a view

But also, in the city center there are plenty of places where to enjoy a drink.
After walking around Spianata Castelletto and descending into the meanders of the old town, moving towards the sea and passing through the medieval alleys of Genoa, you arrive in the area of the Old Port - now turned into a large area for children and adult entertainment – you can visit the 518 Cocktail & Restaurant bar that will welcome you to a modern lounge with its large terrace. The Bossa Nova music played in the background will relax you while you taste some cocktails, masterfully prepared by the barmen of the restaurant. If you prefer to relax at sunset just a “few centimeters” from the water, the Banana Tsunami is the place for you. Also located in the area of the Old Port, this bar - now an institution of the Genoese Summer nights – is located on a barge at sea, connected to the mainland by a footbridge.
If you prefer a less urban environment, while remaining just a few kilometers from the center, you can visit the classic seaside village of Boccadasse. this small fishing village, reachable in a few minutes by bus or taxi from the city center, takes us back in time. Enter the uphill crêuze (paved road) of Boccadasse. Once you have reached a marvelous viewpoint, continue the climb between some of the most luxurious houses in all of Genoa. You are now in Capo Santa Chiara, among the villas and apartments overlooking the sea. Here you can find the Santa Chiara bar located alongside the cliffs which offers an unforgettable aperitif, always accompanied by a refreshing sea breeze.


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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