Paris in Four Months

Italy Guide: Liguria

ITALY GUIDE: LIGURIA

For my first ever time in this region we visited a couple of beautiful places along the coast. There is still SO much to see (that we just didn’t make it to) but a few of the places we were lucky enough to visit during our time I’ve listed below. We were supposed to rent a car during our stay but luckily this didn’t work out, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The easiest way to get around this region would be by train, boat or by foot as it’s incredibly hard to find parking for your car. I still haven’t made it to Cinque Terre (next time!) but even there it’s recommended to go by train, and not with your own car.

Portofino_Carin_Olsson

SANTA MARGHERITA

During our stay in this region of Italy, we spent most of our time in Santa Margherita, which turned out to be absolutely perfect for us. It was definitely bigger than Portofino (= more options when it comes to hotels, beaches, restaurants and bars) but still a little town with that Italian charm. I have to admit that the food we had during our stay – in general – was not as good as the food I’ve had in many other regions of Italy unfortunately. But this was sort of made up for by how incredibly beautiful this part of the coast is. Don’t miss the beautiful walk from Santa Margherita to Portofino! The taxis are ridiculously expensive for the short drive (about 5-10 min) and it’s a shame to miss the wonderful views while walking (takes about 40 min - 1h). You can also catch the ferry!

HOTEL BLU DI TE 🏠

This was one of the best hotel experiences of my life. It is absolutely adorable with the most charming and tasteful decoration (I wanted to take both the sofa and the mirrors with me back home), reasonable prices, wonderful service, delicious drinks and dinner and the most incredible breakfast I’ve ever had at a hotel in this price range. You can really feel how much these people care about the hotel and that comes across in so many ways. During 2019 I also heard rumours that a rooftop and a pool might be opening… Via Favale 30, Santa Margherita.

PANIFICIO 🥖

This region is famous for their focaccia and here we found some of the best examples of this! Via Jacopo Ruffini 26, Santa Margherita.

LA CESARINA 🍴

Simple pasta dishes, including a delicious pesto lasagna (which you’ll find at many restaurants around town) and a typical Italian atmosphere. Via Goffredo Mameli 2, Santa Margherita.

TRATTORIA DA PEZZI 🍴

As simple as it gets but traditional pasta dishes along with fish, seafood and some meat options. Don’t expect anything fancy pants here (or even close to that), but that’s exactly what you need sometimes. Especially when the lasagna is around 5€! Via Cavour 21, Santa Margherita.

VINERIA F.LLI MACCHIAVELLO 🍴

A little place perfect for an aperitivo and a glass of wine or two. Via Cavour 17, Santa Margherita.

PORTOFINO GOURMET ITALY 🍴

This place offers a bunch of different Italian specialties that you can either choose to enjoy there or take away. Perfect for a little picnic or for a day at the beach! Via A. Gramsci 15, Santa Margherita.

OSTERIA NUMERO 7 🍴

Another super simple restaurant with very affordable prices. It’s again, nothing special, but serves traditional pasta dishes and other options. Via Jacopo Ruffini 36, Santa Margherita.

PORTOFINO

Since we didn’t stay in Portofino during our time, I don’t have many recommendations for this adorable little town. It’s very very small – and you can probably see the whole thing in one hour or so. That doesn’t mean that you can’t stay longer of course! If you have the budget (because yes, it’s pretty pricey) and the longing to stay in Portofino, this could be a wonderful experience. From Portofino there are also different ferries you can take to visit the surroundings. You can also rent your own little taxi boat and go wherever your heart desires! I can only imagine how packed this little place gets during high season and personally I would maybe prefer to stay a little bit outside to not get trampled by tourists.

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San Fruttuoso

SAN FRUTTUOSO

One day during our trip we decided to take the ferry from Portofino to go to San Fruttuoso. The ferry takes about 20 min and is relatively easy to take (even for someone suffering from motion sickness!) or you can rent your own little taxi boat. An older taxi boat takes about 30-35min from Portofino and is a lot pricier but if you don’t mind boats, this is a very charming option.

We visited in October, and did not realise that no restaurants are open during the evenings in this little bay. People mostly make little day trips to this beautiful spot and there are not a lot of options to stay the night here… After doing some research we found about 2 B&Bs and very few options via Airbnb. We opted for a B&B but since we didn’t know about the no-restaurants-are-open-in-the-evenings-issue it was a bit sad to have take-out pasta for dinner that we had to heat up in the microwave. If we would have known about this we would have definitely bought food in another town before hopping on the boat to get here (since there are no shops in this little beach town either). Even during summer time the five (around five I guess…) restaurants can close before dinner-time so if you plan on staying the night, I would recommend to come prepared.

The B&B we stayed at while here was called Locanda del Parco and even though the rooms were ok the experience (service, price, facilities and upkeep) as a whole was something I was very disappointed with unfortunately. For lunch we managed to get a table at the restaurant Da Giorgio, with the most beautiful view over the beach, and really enjoyed our meal. I would love to come back here if I ever visit this little gem of a place again.

Despite the little dinner-hiccup and the (awful) “breakfast” served at the B&B we stayed at, we had the most wonderful time. After the last ferry left (around 4:30pm) and before the first ferry came in with tourists in the morning (around 10am) we were almost completely alone and it was absolutely magical.