Hidden Pieces of Heaven in Liguria

July 3, 2017


Most Italophiles have heard of Cinque Terre (The Five Lands) near La Spezia. For most American travelers, they do not even realize that Cinque Terre is simply the portal of entry into one of the most beautiful and unknown regions of Italy. It is Liguria, the place I now call home. Liguria is the smallest region in Italy, hugging the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea like a snake. It spans an area that to the east begins near La Spezia and ends at San Remo to the west near the French border.

There are so many places I have yet to explore. Those I have visited, such as Cinque Terre,







And my home of Chiavari,

We have been exploring on previous blogs.  I want you to experience as many of these locales while they are still in their more natural state. Once discovered by more tourists, the actual ambience changes. Let me share my experiences in a few more of these lovely seaside hideaways.


Portofino is quite well known by the well-heeled world travelers. Grandiose yachts owned by the rich and famous rest in the little cove of this gorgeous town.

Here you see travelers alongside a smaller yacht. Above the Yacht on the hilltop perches Castello Brown, a 16th century castle now used as a museum.

This is more of the size of the yachts you see here in Portofino. But the true beauty is composed of the local fishermen’s boats in the cove and the colorful architecture of Portofino.

You can reach Portofino by Ferry from many towns along the water. There are even water taxis. I take the ferry over for the day. But you can stay in a hotel and people watch right here. Plan to splurge if you lay your head here. Also, food and beverages are excellent. But expect to pay more than most other places along the Ligurian Coast.


Rapallo is only an 8-minute train ride from my home in Chiavari. It can also be reached by ferry and, next time I will try that. This visit I spent the weekend to explore more than a day trip can allow. Rapallo has over 30,000 residents and many Italian travelers who visit for the seaside atmosphere. The promenade pictured above is wider than the one I frequent in Chiavari. Everyone, locals and visitors, walk along the sea throughout the day or sit on benches shaded by tree branches. All types of eateries are across the street from the walkway. And at the end of it stands Il Castello sul Mare, The Castle on the Sea.

The Castle’s history is covered on the plaque pictured below.

Today, the castle is used for Exhibitions and private functions. It’s exterior graces the swimming area of Rapallo. The shallow side is where most of the children play and build stone castles of their own.

The locals and travelers alike swim in the deep waters on the other side of the castle.

Restaurants surround the watering hole of Rapallo and all sorts of people, including me, enjoyed an aperitivo while enjoying people and boat watching.

Look at all the boats.

As usual, I spent most of my time by the sea. However, there is a funiculare, a cable car, to take you up one of the hills surrounding the water to the Sanctuary of Montallegro. The views are spectacular. You can also hike a path to Portofino. Many other people visit Portofino by day and sleep in the hotels of Rapallo by night. Hotels are less costly as are restaurants and bars. On its own, Rapallo is a great find for those who want to step off the tourist road and rub shoulders with the locals.


Camogli, a quiet town of enchantment, is just around the bend from Portofino. My friend and I arrived by train but there are ferries arriving during the day from many ports in Liguria. This picturesque fishing village is a place where you can escape for several days of Italian tranquility after hectic, big city visits. The tall and colorful homes along winding, climbing streets are perfect for explorations

and photo shots

plus exercise too.

There is also a small, seaside castle called


It Hangs over the edge of the cliff by the sea.

I see dragons. Do you?

And every street on the way back up to the train station had its own charm.

I love the pino, Umbrella tree..

I would like to spend a week there on the beach and walking the streets to explore it all.

If you go there, I highly recommend the Miramare Ristorante. Sit on the balcony overlooking the sea and try the pansotti while people and boat watching.

Let me know when you want assistance planning escapades in Liguria. I am here to help you. In the meantime, I will keep exploring my neighborhood. Let’s see, there is Nervi, Zoagli, Santa Margherita, Sori, GENOA (La Superba), Imperia, Savona, Albenga, San Remo, and so many, many more places to explore.

A dopo! (See you later!)


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