Top view of woman toasting with aperol spritz cocktails on the wooden table

Where to find the best seaside aperitivo in Genoa

Bars with breathtaking views, from the old town to the rest of the province

Each year, as spring arrives, you find yourself dreaming of summer, its fun-filled, lazy days, and all those places just waiting for you to visit. You start thinking about where to go on holiday, and the winner this year is Liguria. Summer comes around, you pack your bags, and you hop on a plane to Genoa. You throw yourself into exploring the little alleyways, known as vicoli, the amazing architecture, the city’s lengthy history and its unique features.

There are beaches, museums, restaurants and music. But there’s something missing…The perfect place for an aperitivo by the sea! So here’s a short list of some of the best bars for you to enjoy in Genoa and its surrounding area in summer. Let’s start in the city centre. After strolling through the Spianata Castelletto and descending into the twists and turns of the old town, head through the medieval alleyways and downhill towards the sea. Once you reach the Porto Antico – the city’s old port that now hosts an activities and entertainment space – make your way over to the Galata Museo del Mare.

The museum was built in 2004 when Genoa was the European Capital of Culture, and has recently been renovated. It’s well worth a visit, after which you can quench your thirst at 518 Cocktail & Restaurant, a new, modern lounge bar with an enormous terrace on the quay below. Relax to the beat of the bossa nova while you sample the long list of cocktails skilfully mixed up by the bar staff. Or if you’d prefer to unwind at sunset just inches from the water, Banano Tsunami is right up your street. The bar – something of an institution for summer nights in Genoa – is on a barge moored in the Porto Antico and linked to terra firma by a gangway. Cocktails, the setting sun and great music: leisure is served.

Heading East, you get to what’s known in Genoa as the Riviera di Levante. If you’d rather explore some less urban areas without venturing too far from Piazza De Ferrari, the traditional fishing village of Boccadasse is a good starting point. Try typing “Genoa” into Google. One of the first photos you see will almost certainly be this small seaside town, just a few minutes’ bus or taxi ride from the centre, that is like stepping back in time. Boccadasse’s beach is home to a small bar called La Strambata. A stretch of pebbles, the sound of the waves lapping the shore and an unmistakeable seafaring atmosphere provide the backdrop to your aperitif!

Finding the beach too busy? Then venture along Boccadasse’s crêuze, the little lanes leading the way uphill. You’ll eventually reach a great viewpoint, above which you’ll pass some of the most exclusive houses in Genoa. You’re now on Capo Santa Chiara, between the villas and apartments overlooking the sea. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll spot the street that leads down to the Bagni Santa Chiara. Perched on stilts next to the cliffs, the “Santa Chiara” is the place for an unforgettable aperitif while you fill your lungs with the fresh sea air.

If you’ve come to Genoa by car, or if you’ve hired one, there are all sorts of little Mediterranean cliff-side villages along the Riviera that you can get to by simply heading away from the city. There’s Bogliasco, Pieve Ligure, Sori and, last but by no means least, the Cinque Terre. The Via Aurelia – the road that hugs the coast – will take you to Camogli, another fascinating town. Once you reach the top of the hill, before making your way down to the bright lights of Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, you’ll see San Rocco di Camogli on your right. The walk from the clearing in front of the church to the start of the promenade, which takes you to the Punta Chiappa, is sure to put San Rocco di Camogli in your top 5 of favourite seaside locations. This is where you’ll find Dai Muagetti, right at the start of the path that runs around the Portofino headland. Pull up a seat, breathe in the sea air and lose yourself in the beauty of the gulf!

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