Architect Renzo Piano sees his home town, Boccadasse, as a “secret, inward-looking kasbah city”. But the one-time secluded fishing village is now part of Genoa, and comes alive on summer evenings. For locals, pastel-coloured Boccadasse encapsulates the romance of the city – a ragged charm that’s scuffed round the
edges. The nightlife is low-key, with a cluster of popular bars and ice-cream parlours well-positioned along the tiny pebbled beach, and the sea lapping against the rocks. Come for cocktails and street food such as focaccia, and stay for a seafood feast or late-night drinks. But for more privacy, avoid summer weekends.