The palm lined harbour town of Santa Margherita Ligure is very close
to Portofino, on the north west coast of Italy.
was well known in the early 1900's as a fashionable retreat
for the rich and glamorous, but these days is a peaceful, pretty
relaxing town, better known now for the food festivals, one being
the Festa di Primavera, which happens in February, amongst other
things, fritters are prepared barbeque style on the beach and served
to you around huge bonfires. Santa Margherita is also famous for
its lobsters, caught daily by the fleet of fishing ships.
Being small, Santa Margherita is easy to get around.
There is a train station on the hill above the sea front with steps
down to the main town. Hourly ferries take you to Portofino and
Rapallo, or there is a truly beautiful bus ride along the coast
road to Portofino.
The Piazza Martiri della Liberta, and Piazza Vittorio
Veneto are two seaside squares to sit in, either to watch the activities
of the fishing boats, or to recover from a mornings exertions offered
by the various watersports. There is sailing, waterskiing and canoeing
to be enjoyed. Just off the seafront is the Basilica di Santa Margherita,
which is worth visiting just to see the glorious gilded and lavish
Restaurants are varied, there is a choice to suit
all palettes and pockets, as are the hotels. The most famous hotel
being the Gran Hotel Miramare, which was the first grand hotel,
built on this coast. Having been a huge villa, it was converted
in the town's hey day to a proper grand hotel. Guests can
stroll peacefully to Portofino, along the headland, drinking in
the stunning views on the way.