The ferry from Santa Margherita
disgorged about 150 of us onto the quay.
Another ferry was close behind.
At the top end of the tiny town, buses were unloading 50 tourists at a
time. We were not alone in making a day
Over a century ago, in the days when it was an unspoiled fishing village, rich and famous people built gorgeous villas above the town.
New generations of the rich and famous discovered this rich man’s hideaway. They bought up or rented the villas and moored their gigantic yachts in the little harbour.
And so, the day-trippers, me,
included come to see this celebrity enclave.
The town has developed to welcome us.
Restaurants line the streets and their tables surge out onto the town
square and the quay. In between there are smart shops; I spotted Dior and
Balenciaga. A few local clothes
boutiques offer classy summer wear at a price. Then there are cheap pizza
takeaways and tacky souvenir shops for the rest of us. There is still money on show. In the restaurants were high maintenance
people who would not look out of place at
In the harbour were three
suspiciously picturesque fishing boats.
They would be entirely inadequate to supply the industrial quantities of
seafood consumed in
Finally, no visitor to
One good reason for visiting
Camogli is a small town with a
small harbour. While not exactly off the tourist trail, it has a character of
its own, feels properly Italian and we spent a very good day there. There is a descent from the railway station
to this small town. If you take the steps,
you will find yourself at Camogli’s intriguing
It doesn’t take long to walk to the harbour and the main street of the town. The street is lined with cafes and gelateria. The harbour itself has the shape of a crab’s claw. The outer curved wall makes for a nice walk and there are two whale tails made of blue metal netting that make for a dramatic view.
In the town, there is a church that is worth visiting. It was closed the day we were there.
I also noticed a bookbinding and bookshop. It is closed on Thursday. That probably saved me money as, peering through the window, I could see beautifully bound notebooks and journals.
If I have given the impression of a rather closed sort of place, that is wrong. The town is quiet and unassuming but it is charming in a non-touristy way.
By the inner wall of the harbour is the ticket office for boat trips to San Fruttuoso. I did not have time to make the trip that day though with a bit of forward planning, I could have done. Camogli is a better place to embark on your trip to the Abbey.
It was time for lunch. At the very end of the inner wall of the harbour, we found a small café called I tre merli, the three blackbirds. We sat outside enjoying bruschetti and then it seemed necessary to have gelati and then coffee and limoncello. An hour or so passed as we watched the comings and goings in the harbour. A perfect interlude. I tre merli looked and felt like a small family run place. They also offered a locanda or rooms to let. But no ordinary rooms to let; the brochure shows that each room has a sensational view of the harbour and there is a spa, whose delights have been translated into English as “cuddle yourself in the SPA” and why not indeed?
There was a surprise on their
business card that came with a very modest bill. I tre
merli establishments can also be found in Genova and there are four in
The gloss of