Posts tagged Liguria
A Budget Guide to Portofino

Portofino is the jewel of the Italian Riviera. The town has long since abandoned all pretences of being a fishing village and affluent tourists have flocked to its picture perfect shores since the mid 1800s. Synonymous with style and infinite glamour, it’s where Richard Burton first proposed to Elizabeth Taylor. Today, it’s a hot spot for the wealthy and glamorous; the town is dominated by luxury boutiques, high-end hotels and well heeled yachtsman. 

Whilst it might reek of refined luxury, it is still possible for those on even a shoe-string budget to enjoy the sights. Here’s my guide on how: 

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Things you need to see and do in Chiavari

You might not have heard of this Medieval Ligurian City. Perched between the promontory of Portofino and Mongelia, in the heart of the Gulf of Tigullio, this busy town is regularly skipped from guide books and hasn't really made a dent on Instagram.

It’s not as pretty as neighboring fishing villages like Camogli, it doesn't have enough galleries and museums to warrant a day trip for most tour groups and, (to date) it is one of the least aesthetically pleasing beaches I have ever seen. Great swathes of grey gravel in front of a busy road does not a dream seaside resort make. 

Yet, there’s something very charming and quintessentially Italian about this underrated town. 

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Camogli: the prettiest place on the Italian Riviera

Camogli is astonishingly charming. It is almost as if the entire town was constructed under the watchful eye of a small Italian woman roaring ‘paint all the houses in varying shades of pastel, make sure every building has a sea view and dear god make sure it has a robust culinary culture!’ Glorious grey pebble beaches, sea-front osteria and pizzeria, artisan shops and sunset aperativos - it’s the perfect Italian seaside destination and the best place to base yourself for a trip to the Italian Riviera.

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Sagra del Pesce & Festa di San Fortunato

Every year, on the second weekend of May, thousands of visitors flock to the small fishing village of Camogli in Liguria, for the annual two day celebration of ‘Sagra del Pesce’ and 'Festa di San Fortunato'. 

It’s one of Camogli’s busiest weekends; incorporating spectacular fireworks, two huge bonfires, the racing of a life-size Saint up the steps of the Basilica, and culminating in the distribution of thousands of plates of fried fish from the world’s largest frying pan on the Sunday. It's bonkers. 

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Visit Genoa: What to see and what to do

So you’ve booked a break to the Italian Riviera. Perhaps you’re en-route to a picturesque fishing village like Portofino or Camogli, or in for a hike across the Cinque Terre. You’re due to land in Genoa, a place you haven't heard all that much about, and you’re unsure whether to stick around for a day or two. 

Do. 

There’s no doubt about it, Genoa is a working city. It’s grubbier than Venice and Florence, but its a city with a pulse - lively, incoherent and messy. It’s crammed full of narrow carrugi, old markets, small museums and huge palaces, with a plethora of art, antiquities and delicious food. 

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