Your usual Italian breakfast consists of a caffè, cappuccino, or caffèlatte, accompanied by something sweet to eat such as a croissant-like pastry called a brioche (aka cornetto), or a piece of cake or some cookies.
However, when you enter any self-respecting Bar (cafe’) in Genoa to have breakfast, you’ll notice an extra option. Alongside the standard brioche there are also slices of focaccia. In the morning, most Genoese like to dunk their piece of focaccia, either the classic variety with just olive oil, or the one topped with onions, in their cappuccino!
If all this seems strange, you need to understand the Genoesi’s relation to focaccia (“fugassa” in the local dialect). It is eaten at all times of the day, not only in the morning.
To enjoy a piece of focaccia at any other time of the day besides breakfast, you have to go to a focacceria (similar to a bakery); but remember, the best piece of focaccia must be golden and crispy, smothered in olive oil, and as thick as your finger. Its deliciousness derives from the slow leavening of the dough (the slower the better!) and from the Ligurian olive oil. And that’s at any time of day.
Breakfast of champions indeed!