While in Tellaro for a stroll and photo-taking, we stopped for lunch at a trattoria specializing in fish. Of course, this being in the province of Liguria, focaccia was also on the table and darn good it was. I stopped in the kitchen at the end of the meal to compliment the baker, who was in the midst of preparing another round of the ubiquitous slab of bread. He held out the dough for me to touch. It was soft as slik and punchier than a marshmallow. The "secret" to a great focaccia? Let the dough rise for 5-6 hours, punch it down, and give another 5-6 hours. Even more if you like.
I asked the server at the convent where we were staying about their own foccacia. Same deal. Apparently no one in his right mind in Liguria goes by the standard instructions of a 1.5 hour rising time. They prepare it the day before baking it in a very hot oven, usually in the morning.
I can handle that. It's something worth the wait.