Italy's Cutting Edge

FULVIO MAGURNO

When it comes to wielding a pair of scissors — as tailors or barbers — Italians rank among the world's finest.

And there's no more elegant setting for a haircut than Genoa's Barbieria Giacalone, a tiny, three-chair gem squeezed into the city's oldest quarter near St. Lorenzo cathedral. Its eponymous founder, Archimede Giacalone, established his 10-sq-m premises in 1882 to serve sailors traveling through the city's busy port.

The key to the shop's longevity — apart from its quality trims — was the decision by Giacalone's son, Italo, in 1922 to refit his dad's shop in glorious...

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