Today I propose you to visit the historical shops of Genoa (in Italian botteghe storiche). Nowadays remain 32 official, old shops in Genoa. They sell everything: food, clothes, glass, timbres, cork or spices. But the most incredible is that they give a possibility to taste an atmosphere of the past. Let’ s know them!
Take with you a map of Genoa’s old town! It is very easy to get lost in its narrow streets (carruggio). What is more, very often there is no mobile phone signal so even your phone can’t help you.
Here below I link the first 10 of the historical shops:
Address: Vico dei Caprettarri 14r
9.30 am-1.00 pm 2.00 pm-6.30 pm
It is a tiny barbershop. It was founded in 1908 by Emanuele Giacolone. It is situated very close to the Genoa’s harbour and in that period was used especially by the dock workers („camalli” in Ligurian dialect) and the sailors. In 1922 Italo (the son of Emanuele) renovated the shop in the liberty style. All glass used for the decorations were made by Vetreria Bottaro, another historical shop I describe below. After the death of Italo, the barber shop became the property of FAI (the Italian organization that saves the Italian heritage). If you like to cut your bear you can book it on: +39 340 347 7055.
Address: Piazza delle Scuole Pie 3a
8.00 am-12.00pm 2.oopm-6.00pm
This is a glassmaker shop. The original one was founded in 1901 by Eduardo Bottaro. The current one was opened in 1937. After the death of Eduardo, the shop was inherited by his son Ermanno and now is run by his descendants. Inside you can see numerous and strange tools that are still used by the artisans. The owners are very nice. You can even stay inside and watch them working. Very fascinating.
Drogheria M. Torielli
Address: Via di San Bernardo 32r
9.00am -12.30pm ; 3.30pm -7.00pm
This is a grocer’s shop that was founded in 1930 by Matilde Torielli. The current owners of the shop, Antonella and Rosanna are the granddaughters of Mrs Matilde. Here you can find about 250 types of spices! All types of tea, coffee, honey, candies and much more. The shop is very small and always crowded. But when you enter inside you will fall in love with it immediately. Really incredible place.
Address: Vico Casana 3r
8.30 am-12.30 pm 4.00pm-7.00pm
This is the last tripe shop of Genoa (in the past there were more than 200 triperies here!). The shop was founded in 1890 by family Cavagnaro (but the first documents about the tripery in that place comes from 1811!). In 1984 it became a property of family Colombo. The shop is located in the heart of the old town in Genoa. The place is quite small, with a huge fireplace where the tripes are prepared and the four marble tables. You can buy here many different types of tripe (made from different parts of the stomach). You can also choose a precooked tripe that is already ready to eat.
Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano
Via Soziglia 74r
The first Romanengo shop was opened in 1790 in via delle Maddalene. It was founded by Antonio Maria Romanengo. At the beginning, it was a grocer’s shop. Then the two sons of Antonio opened another two shops. One of them was the shop you can admire nowadays in via Soziglia. It was opened in 1814 and it became a pastry shop. Its ceiling is decorated with the frescos and the walls are decorated with the wooden furniture. One of the typical sweets of this place is violet candies – the candies made of the real violet flowers! The famous customers of the shop were Duchess of Parma and Savoia and composer Giuseppe Verdi.
Luigi Busellato timbri, targhe e incisioni
Address: Via Al Ponte Reale 3r
This is a stamps and plaque shop. It was founded in 1896 by Bernardo Luigi Busellato. Nowadays it is still run by the same family. In the past, it was the most important shop that produced the timbres in Genoa.
Address: Via di Sottoripa 61r
That is a clothes shop located in the old town of Genoa. It was opened in 1920 in the front of the Genoa’s harbour. The bestsellers of the shop are striped t-shirts and black turtleneck jumpers. Everything is made in Liguria (the clothes are produced in Sestri Levante close to Genoa). The owner is really nice.
Antica Friggitoria Carego
Address: Via di Sottoripa 113r
This is a fried food shop. It was founded in 1942 in via Sottoripa in the front of the Genoa’s harbour. This is a fantastic street food. Here are fried all types of fish, vegetables and seafood. They are all delicious and very cheap! You can eat in or you can take away.
Aresu Antica Polleria
Address: Vico Inferiore del Ferro 1r
8.00 am-1.00pm 4.00 pm-7.00 pm
It is a shop that sells chickens, ducks and eggs. It was founded in 1910 by Angela Bajardo. Then the shop was inherited by her nephew and nowadays is still run by the same family. The interiors were made at the beginning of XX century. You can admire a long, white counter made from marble and two ice-houses from the beginning of XX century (still functioning !) The owners Matteo and Silvia are very nice. They explain what kind of meat you can buy and they can prepare you one of their special chicken recipes (f.e. „Sabrina” the chicken breast rolled with sausage and bacon … delicious!)
Address: Via Petrarca 14r
8.30am -1.30pm 3.30pm -7.30pm
It is a pharmacy that is located close to the Piazza de Ferrari. It was founded in 1906 in via Giulia (nowadays via XX Settembre) by Mr Torta. Then the shop was transferred in via Petrarca and in 1944 was bought by family Alvigni that still runs it. All wooden, original decorations from the old drugstore were moved to the current locale. It was the first pharmacy in Genoa that was specialized in natural remedies.