21 May: Camogli – what a gem!

Author: Mr A

Location: Camogli and San Rocco, Italy

Every so often when you’re exploring new ground, you come across a place that you know will be etched into your memory for ever. The little port of Camogli ticked that box in spades.

We planned a stop over between Genoa and the Cinque Terre coast at a car park that was described by one reviewer as having “a nice view”. What an understatement! This unassuming bit of tarmac overlooked a chunk of coast that took our breath away.

Our view from our sosta – not bad for a free night!

Our first view of the small fishing town of Camogli on the Italian Riviera, about an hour’s drive east from Genoa on the E80, a road that we had been on and off for a few days.

As an aside, what a spectacular feat of engineering the European route E80 is. We didn’t realise until we did a bit of research that in fact it travels through 10 countries as the ‘Trans European Motorway’ from Portugal to the border with Iran. It then joins the Asian highway which continues all the way to Japan! We looked at this freeway in a new light. Living on a rather big island for so many years it really made us think what is possible in Europe.

So this car park was on the outskirts of a small settlement called San Rocco, with a path that led down to the sea, as well as many others which criss-cross their way over the peninsular to Portofino on the eastern side.

The views keep on coming
Blown away by the beauty of the scenery
Looking west from the peninsular – better known Portofino is on the eastern side

Loving where our little Truffy is bringing us….but the bikes weren’t right for this location

Firstly, we cycled as far as we could on the bikes before encountering steps, then packed away the bikes and donned walking shoes.

Feeling happy here…can we move in?
Our wooded walk was accompanied by the sound of water

San Nicolò di Capodimonte, a church along our walk – it officially dates back to 1141, but legend has it there has been a church here since the year 345
A well constructed pathway down to the wharf – quite steep with many steps

Wish we could share the scent of these roses….Devine!
Warmed up in the afternoon sunshine
Spying the ferry we run to the wharf

Without much of plan, we headed off down along this fabulous coastal path, then as we got to sea level noticed a ferry coming in. We both looked at each other and went “why not” so we jumped and were carried around to the harbour of Camogli in style.

Twelve euros later we have bagged ourselves a couple of spots on a boat trip
Portofino Promontory in the background
Love a good boat trip!
Coming into Camogli harbour

The moment we saw this place from the water we loved it. It had a genteel calm, without tour buses, and with a real authentic air of still being a working town. Some guys were just heading off to fish as we landed. I’m amazed there’s any left to catch!

We strolled around and immediately decided this is somewhere we could happily spend as week relaxing in. When I started to write this blog and read about the town, so many people described it as “undiscovered”, well by non-Italians anyway. It sure felt that way.

Exploring the town
Castle della Dragonara, built in the early 13th century, a fabulous entry to the harbour
Looking back out towards our home for the night – the clouds looking like they are descending

Feeling such an affinity with this village
Bagni Lido – the public beach

Reluctantly we headed back up to our car park, via 896 steps…we were ready for dinner by the time we climbed that lot.

A noisy Bean Goose shouting in the stream through town
Up and up the path went…

Fat pheasant in amongst the olive groves on our climb up
May I have some treats?
Yes…Mr A does carry cat treats in his bag!
We discovered Italian cats know the universal sound of cat treat bags…

Camogli, thankyou for giving us such a great memory to take away. I hope you don’t change too much too quickly.

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