Genovese Basil is perhaps the most famous sweet basil variety in the world. Known for its use in pesto, the best Genovese Basil is said to be grown in western Genoa, Italy. So, why is Genovese Basil so special? Its round leaves are dark green and appear more matte than those of its shinier cousin, Common Basil. The taste is also more ‘matte’, if that makes sense – the basil flavour is more concentrated and is somehow less sweet.