The palm lined harbor town of Santa Margherita Ligure is very close to Portofino. It was well known in the early 1900`s as a fashionable retreat for the rich and glamorous; today it is a peaceful, pretty town, better known now for the food festivals. Santa Margherita is also famous for its lobsters, caught daily by the fleet of fishing ships. It has a picture-perfect seaside promenade, where elegant hotels with Liberty facades overlook million-dollar yachts with bars, cafes, gelaterie and restaurants spread along the seafront the main quay. This is a pleasant, convenient base and ideally situated for day trips, such as Portofino, the picturesque San Fruttuoso monastery, the resorts of Camogli and Rapallo, Genoa and the Cinque Terre (around an hour by train, or an all-day boat excursion).
At least 2 nights
Basilica di Santa Margherita (Baroque designs, lavish gold leaf and crystal chandeliers); Shopping (a shopper`s haven, paintings by Massimo Meda; designer home furnishings, original Lacoste shirts, and designer clothes from brand-name shops); Piazza Martiri della Liberta, and Piazza Vittorio Veneto (two seaside squares to sit and watch the activities of the fishing boats); The low hill dominating the waterfront is an interesting place to explore. Behind the small Castello and the severely striped Chiesa dei Frati Cappuccini are intriguing overgrown passageways prowled by semi-wild cats.