A taste of paradise
Camogli, Santa Margherita, Portofino: the pearls of the Ligurian Riviera.
The first town on this itinerary is Bogliasco. In the main piazza, which overlooks the black sandy beach, stop to take a peek inside the 18th century Church of the Natività di Maria before making your way up to the castle, built to protect the town from constant raids from the sea.
Pieve Ligure and Recco
Just a little further down the coast, lies the town of Pieve Ligure and the Oratory of St. Anthony Abbot.
Home to a triptych by Pier Francesco Sacchi and baroque processional crosses by Anton Maria Maragliano the Oratory of St Anthony Abbot now provides a unique venue for modern concerts
From Pieve Ligure, the Aurelia continues to Recco. Severely damaged by 2nd world war bombing, Recco is now one of the newest-looking towns in Liguria. From the fashionable "Boulevard Italia" you can admire the luxury yachts moored in the harbor.
Known as Liguria's "gastronomic capital", Recco is famous for its foccacia filled with cheese. There is even a foccacia festival held here.
Another unusual festuval is held in neighboring Camogli. During Camogli's Sagra del Pesce, fish is cooked in huge pans and distributed amongst the onlookers. The town is bound to the sea and, until the relatively recent arrival of tourism, its inhabitants depended entirely on fishing and boat building for their living. This ancient bond is celebrated in town's Maritime Museum.
Camogli must sees: the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the Castle, and the San Prospero Monastery, famous for the healing ointment which the resident monks continue to make to this very day
From Camogli, the only way to reach the 8th century Abbey of San Fruttuoso is on foot or by sea.
Continuing down the coast along the beautiful Gulf of Tigullio, leave the Aurelia to visit Santa Margherita, one of Liguria's most elegant seaside resorts, famous for its tree lined boulevards, luxury hotels and picturesque harbor.
In 1560, Galeazzo Alessi built an imposing villa on the hill above the town. The villa now houses an important art collection.
Cervara Abbey and Parragi
The Cervara Abbey lies just off your route to Portofino. Built in 1361, the abbey was later transformed in to a stronghold. Many prominent people stayed here as guests - or prisoners!
Today the abbey, which has been decreed National Monument, is privately owned. Prestigious celebrations, conferences, exhibitions and concerts are held here.
Just outside Portofino, the tiny fishing village of Parragi nestles in a beautiful little bay, the crystal clear waters of which make it ideal for diving
And finally, to finish, two contrasting Italys: the glamorous seaside resort of Portofino, the exclusive playground of the rich and famous, and the Monte di Portofino Nature Park, home to 700 different species of plant, as well as red squirrels, foxes, and porcupines.
Hotels in the area
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S. Margherita Ligure
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Santa Margherita Ligure
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