Meet Il Pesto di Pra'

For nearly two hundred years, the Bruzzone and Ferrari families of Il Pesto di Pra' have been passionately devoted to cultivating basil. And not just any basil, but some of the best in the world: il basilico di Pra'!

l basilico di Pra', also known as Genovese basil, is a unique species of basil native to the coast of Liguria. It’s considered the best basil for making traditional Genovese pesto. What makes these little leaves so special? The answer is terroir. Il Basilico di Pra' grows exclusively in a town called Pra', located a few miles west of Genova. The air, soil, and water of this microclimate all have an important effect on the flavor and properties of the basil: medium to small curved green leaves with a delicate and intense flavor that’s incredibly different from other basil species!

Another important contributing factor to this basil’s quality? The farmers of Il Pesto di Pra' are experts at growing it! Since 1827, the family has passionately devoted itself to growing and harvesting the highest-quality basil, passing down their agricultural knowledge from one generation to the next.

Today, the basil is grown in greenhouses, allowing the basil to grow year-round and be protected from the cold and potential pests. When this technique was first introduced to Italy in the early 19th century, the greenhouses were called stuffe, or “ovens” in Genovese dialect in reference to the heat that’s activated inside them.

While Il Pesto di Pra' is known for its classic traditional Genovese pesto (which comes packaged in a mortar-like jar), the pesto-loving family also produces other types of authentic, fresh sauces: garlic-free pesto and salsa di noci (walnut sauce).