Coffee and focaccia – Breakfast in Genoa

In Italy, coffee is delicious, quick, and to the point.

You arrive, you order, you drink, you go. Now, your day can start or your afternoon can continue.

Your barrista probably knows your name, the name of first born child, where you live and, most importantly, what kind of coffee you want and how you want it.

Small and quick, the morning coffee fix

Your coffee will be served velocemente…. you will stand at the bar, you will chat about the weather, your vacation, your work, your kids, your partner, your pet ….

You might have a pezzo di foccaccia, a cornetto or a brioche. You will be given water for which you will be charged. You will be in and out within a matter of minutes. You will leave your spot to the next fast coffee drinker.

How do YOU get your morning coffee fix?

Cappuccino and fresh baked donuts in Genoa
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Written by Erica Berman for the Hip Paris Blog. All photos taken by Erica Berman. For our amazing rentals in Paris, Provence & Tuscany check out our website Haven in Paris.

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Erica Berman

Erica Berman grew up in Lexington, Mass. After graduating from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism and an intensive summer at Middlebury College (Vermont), Erica went to Paris with hopes of submerging herself in French culture and perfecting her French — and she stayed 20 years. Erica is the founder of the HiP Paris Blog and Haven In her former company. She now splits her time between Paris (Montmartre) and Maine (Midcoast). She recently started a non-profit growing organic produce for the food insecure in Maine called Veggies to Table. In her all-too-rare free time, Erica likes to travel off the beaten track, explore Paris and Maine, read, take photos, cook, kayak, hike and enjoy long Sunday brunches with her friends.


  1. I DO adore your photos, and i DO adore italy, cuisine, different regions, people, little towns/villages just as i LOVE and ADORE France, but when it comes to enjoying my latte macchiato with some home made biscotti/scones/cookies with sea salt… or perfect made croissants then i just could not do it like you described!

    Latte macchiato, sweets, good company and at least 1-2 hours of talking and drinking ONE latte macchiato and enjoying every single sip of it and bite of my scones.
    That’s something that i value the most.

  2. Hi Kiki. Thanks for sharing your experience. I realized that I did once get a “dai dai” in a small beach town called Albenga in Liguria. I thought that the guy was just being nice and giving me a treat. It WAS delicious. And I do love the way they remember you, so unlike the Parisian experience where they forget you on purpose!

  3. I think this post has a charm that explains the character of Italians and their enjoyment of their coffee. I like the extra touches that come automatically, as well as the cheery conversation.

  4. Erica; I had my coffee in Italy EXACTLY the way you described it – quick, short, hot, standing at the bar, in and out (after a quick chat as of the 2nd day of staying) in less than 5 minutes – and MOLTO BUONO, BUONISSIMO!!
    When I stayed 3 wks in Florence for a language course, the barristo asked me the 1st day if I wanted (surely!) an Americano – I looked deeply into his dark eyes, told him in Italian to have a good look at me and if he would ask the same question again tomorrow we would look for another bar – I wanted the real, only one, black, short, hot, strong coffee and no nonsense…. (sorry to ‘insult’ the Americans) – He laughed loudly and hey presto, every morning my friend and I went in, and he was ready with two freshly pressed orange juices, an espresso and a cappuccino for my friend, one glass of water for myself and then we picked some dolce – and were set to handle another few hours of learning parlare Italiano come loro. Wonderful times – and a lovely post.
    Mille grazie, baci, Kiki

    PS: We also got tiny black chocs at some places we have been staying – but the dai dai is new to me too…

  5. Your wonderful images make me want to be there! I am having my coffee right now with vanilla soy milk!

    Love to also meet friends at Dean & Deluca or The Roasterie.


    Art by Karena

  6. In Genoa and Liguria they always give you bottled water. And charge you (a very small amount). They seem to think the, perfectly drinkable, tap water is not ok. If you ask for tap water they they you are really really strange!

  7. Great post: you’ve captured the real essence of the caffè espresso (in all senses) for us in Italy!! I would add that sometimes they serve you also a small dark choccolate or (very rarely) the “dai dai” which is a small icecream…great taste when it is mixed with coffee!

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