You know the moment. The clouds part, a ray of light beams, a choir of angels sings and you are happy to your very soul. That’s how we felt when we took our first bite of focaccia at Batti Batti in Vernazza. (It’s also how we felt when we took our second bite, and our third, and the next day when we went back for more.)
You see, at Batti Batti, focaccia isn’t some bastardized half-hearted pizza wannabe. It’s a fluffy, chewy (yet somehow crispy) canvas for showcasing the best Italian flavors on the planet. The shop is tiny, but has several different varieties of focaccia at any time from plain to pizza. Our favorite was the tricolore; a mozzarella-pesto-tomato mashup par excellence. As a matter of fact, Cinque Terre is located in the heart of Liguria, the region of Italy that invented and perfected pesto, and we recommend choosing the pesto option whenever you can at any restaurant in this area—you won’t be sorry!
Each slab of pesto is substantial, one is perfect for a mid-hike snack if you’re stopping in Vernazza while hiking the trail, or grab two or three and head to the quay to eat lunch or dinner. (Stop at the wine store next door for a bottle of Cinque Terre wine, they’ll be happy to open and recork it for you if you don’t have a corkscrew handy). We stayed in Vernazza on our last trip to Cinque Terre, and brought our focaccia up to our private balcony for a delicious and scenic picnic dinner.
Want to learn more about Cinque Terre? The proprietors have lived in Vernazza all their life and are extremely friendly. If the store isn’t super busy, their happy to chat and tell you all about the history of the city. The restaurant itself survived the flooding of 2011, and you can take a look at the photo album they’ve put together about the devastation in the area. Happily, today the town has recovered and business is booming.
The shop is located on the right hand side of the street facing the bay and is carry out. Grab your focaccia and sit on the charming quay. Don’t miss their sister restaurant Batti Batti Friggitoria.
This tiny shop only does one thing, but it does it extraordinarily well. We ate there every day!