The best-known speciality of Ligurian cuisine is probably pesto genovese. The best olive oil, the small-leafed Ligurian basil, best harvested during the flowering season and chopped in a mortar, not with a blender: that is the secret of the green seasoning paste and the rules of the game for the world championship that takes place every two years.
The venue is the Palazzo Ducale in the time-honoured port city of Genoa: once the centre of power of the city state, today a cultural and conference centre.
Professionals and amateur chefs alike can take part in the competition - and they come not only from Liguria and the neighbouring regions, but from all over the world.
US-Americans, Japanese or Lebanese: The 100-strong field of participants in 2016 was made up of around 23 countries: The youngest participant was 18, the oldest 85 years old.
The 30-member jury is also international and brings together chefs, food journalists and food critics from all over the world.
In addition to the actual competition, there is also a children's pesto-making championship and the city's restaurants offer various traditional dishes during the event.
An exhibition in the Palazzo Ducal displays historic pestles and a pesto party and Pesto Talk - a round table discussion on pesto and traditional Ligurian cuisine - are other highlights of the event.
Incidentally, the V Pesto World Championship was won by Alfonsina Trucco from Montoggio near Genoa.
The 85-year-old, who has been to all five world championships, won with her family recipe and a mortar that she used to help her mother make pesto when she was 6 years old. Her prize: an olive wood pestle with gold trim worth 2,000 euros.
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- Location: Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Liguria
- Date: Every two years in March, April
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