In the Italian Riviera? Don’t skip Camogli!

with 14 Comments

One visit to Camogli leaves you eager to return for more.

Even these two Americans, who are notorious for dining early, took our leisurely time dining at Bagni Lido seaside restaurant in Camogli on the Ligurian coast north of Portofino. We had elaborate dinners, starting with raw swordfish cut onion-skin thin, melting in our mouths.

Camogli, Liguria, Italy
Camogli – lovely coastal city in Liguria, Italy

Camogli is a place that invites you to arrive with breathtaking views and asks you to linger with scrumptious meals and fine wines.

Although Camogli may claim to be a fishing port rather than a tourist destination, you could have fooled us. While the number of fishing boats in the Golfo Paradiso shows that there is still a great deal of fishing taking place, the swarms of people enjoying a hot May day sea side attests to it as a tourist destination. Only a half hour drive from Genoa, and not far by train from Milan, folks residing there wisely choose this spot for glorious beach respite.

One of the meanings of Camogli is, “houses close together” and what a lovely description. At under 6,000 people, it looks like all the villages of the Cinque Terre smushed together to form this charming, equally as colorful town. The buildings rise up from the coastline in a maze of winding streets and corridors. The gentle hills and steep stairs help you roam through the various shops and restaurants, enabling you to find whatever hits your fancy. In this store, it could be a comically rounded ceramic fish-shaped dish cast in sea-foam green. In that coffee shop, it could be indulging in an after lunch Macchiato that you’ll never find stateside.

We missed the annual fish fry by two weekends and what a sight that would be to see. The Italians, with their frequently humorous approach to life, take a massive frying pan (12 feet across) and whip up a “blessing of the fish” dinner. What fun!

Camogli Frying Pan for May's festival
Camogli Frying Pan

 

The promenade is astounding whether you are strolling along, basking in the summer sunlight, or sitting on a rock wall watching the bathers frolic in the cool water and step their way expertly across the stone beaches.

Dining on the coast gives you the opportunity to watch the setting sun cast multiple shadows in the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta. If you’re particularly lucky, you’ll look up at the right moment to see the warm glow reflect in the glass of a tower window, evoking thoughts of medieval fireplaces and warm mead.

Which, a few hundred years ago, you probably drank in the dining room of the Castel Dragone on the nearby cliff. It has a ragged history of being torn down and rebuilt, but lucky for the visitor, has remained whole since the 14th century.

Castel Dragone, Camogli, Liguria
Castel Dragone, Camogli

 

Camogli’s Harbor attests to the fishing history of the city with boats of many colors and sizes bobbing in sync with the ever-moving waters. It’s hard not to spend an hour simply photographing them from various angles.

It’s easy to arrive in Camogli by regional train from Rapallo or Santa Margherita, by car as long as you know parking is limited, or you can opt for the ferry. Every view into the town, from the shore, from the hill at the train station or on foot from a car park, invites you to be delighted and entranced by the colors, the people, and the stone streets.

Next: A Notable and Truly Steep Hike in Rapallo, Italy

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


Also published on Medium.

14 Responses

  1. Erica M
    | Reply

    I love how you go into all of these smaller towns. I’ve only been overseas once in my life. But if I get there again, I’m definitely going to take you as inspiration and look in the nooks and crannies as opposed to just seeing the major attractions. I love all the nighttime pictures with the church. The architecture is just beautiful.

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Erica, I can’t wait to hear that you’ve booked a trip to Europe and where you’re bound to end up. Love to inspire–means I’m doing a good job!

  2. Doreen Pendgracs
    | Reply

    Hello Rose! I never get tired of reading about Italy! It is one of my fav destinations. Great scenery, food, and wine … I’m in! 🙂
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..what I learned at the Hershey GardensMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Glad that you are still loving the Italy blogs, Doreen. It’s such a glorious country to spend time in–for the reasons you list!

  3. Rose Mary Griffith
    | Reply

    William, I know you would very much enjoy Italy–with your love of history and all connected with it. It is a glorious country on every level.

  4. William Rusho
    | Reply

    By reading your posts, it seems I have been traveling with you through Italy.
    The history, weather, and beauty of the area is beyond breathtaking. Thank you so much in giving us this opportunity to read about it.

  5. Phoenicia
    | Reply

    What a beautiful setting- breathtaking. This looks like my kind of resort; authentic, slow paced and opportunities for sight seeing.

    I am yet to visit Italy and have heard lots of wonderful stories about it – namely the food and culture. Why on earth it has taken me so long I do not know.
    Phoenicia recently posted..Are you a ‘night owl’ or an ‘early to bed’?My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Phoenicia, I think you would love the relaxing atmosphere of this part of Liguria. It is quiet and things to do both walking within the towns and out. Pop on over!

  6. Rosary
    | Reply

    I’ve never been to Italy before but it’s certainly on my bucket list! Camogli looks like a beautiful little village, and very peaceful too if there are less than 6000 people in it. Would love to visit if I ever get the chance to. Thanks for sharing Rosemary, wonderful photos!

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Rosary. I hope you get to Italy, too. It’s wonderful!

  7. Marquita Herald
    | Reply

    What a wonderful looking town! I really hope to get back to Italy one day because I’ve only seen Rome and the surrounding countryside and there are just so many wonderful places to explore in that country. Thanks for sharing RoseMary!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Making Healthy Self-Talk Work For YouMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      There certainly are, Marquita. And I wouldn’t miss seeing this slice of the Ligurian coast. Wow–repeated often.

  8. Rose Mary Griffith
    | Reply

    Ken, it would be worth planning your next Italy trip for next May…and let me know how it goes?

  9. Ken Dowell
    | Reply

    Looks like such a beautiful place. And I would have loved to see that giant frying pan in action.
    Ken Dowell recently posted..Slithering Through the Reptile HouseMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge