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Camogli, Italy

Camogli is a small fishing village and a prime tourist destination in Genoa, Italy. Located on the west side of Portofino peninsula (Map of Camogli), this town has a population of 5,600 people. The distance from Monterosso is 75 km (around 1h and 10 mins with car and 55 mins with train).

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The town is delightfully unspoiled with an authentic Ligurian fishing port and tall pastel coloured houses around the beach. The name “Casa delleMogli” means “house of wives”. This was named because the town was run by women because the man had to go into the sea for years together.

The town is part of the Riviera di Levante coast, which means “Shore of the Rising Sun”. The other three towns are Santa MargheritaLigure, Rapallo and little Portofino. The coast is ruggedly more scenic than the Riviera Ponete.

Camogli was a seaport in the late middle Ages, and the fleet had hundreds of Camoglis Tall Ships. I was also referred as the “city of a thousand white sails”. The city had a considerable contingent of Napoleon’s fleet that was beaten by Admiral Nelson in the Egyptian water of the Nile.

The Setting:

As a popular tourist resort, the beach is lined with colourful houses in a Trompe L’Oeil setting. The houses are covered with fake windows and balustrades. The walls are too think to have real windows in place, and the fake windows add to the 3D effect. The bright colours are used to help the fishermen find their way back to the port. The first division, RN Camogli is known for winning several Italian club water polo championships.

The charming fishing village is located on a rocky outcrop and has modern bathing establishments and swimming pools. The harbour houses restaurants, shops and other retailers. There is also a big square for kids to play and a carousel.

Tourist Info:

This picturesque port in Liguria is often visited by artists and photographers for its atmospheric enchantment. The main promenade offers a hallucinating view with a tottering cliff and a vast wooded cape. At the hallway point, a domed church dominates with its height. In the other side, Camogli’s own church is situated above a stony beach on a short peninsula, backed by a ruined fortification.

The oldest part of Camogli lets you to the harbour at a little point, which was once an island. The ancient houses are located near the little CastelloDragone, which is closed to the public currently. There is also the 12th century Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta with a baroque interior. This is open from 7:30 AM to noon and 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM every day.

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From the seaside promenade, you can reach the pebbly beach and take a swim. There are many beach stations around if you want to rent a lounge or have a drink.The tourist office is located near the train station at Via XX Settembre 33 and open from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM to 7 PM every day except Sundays. On Sunday the office is open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Camogli can be reached by ferry from Genova and also has a train station. A frequent bus service is available from Rapallo and Santa Margherita. Another isolated fishing village, San Fruttuoso can be reached from Camogli by sea or a 3-hour hike trip.

As a prime tourist hill-station, there are more than a hundred rentals, and two boutique hotels available in the area. Near Camogli there is also a National Park and other beautiful pieces of nature.

Around Camogli, Genoa can be reached by a short train-ride. The railway follows the coastline and covers the other seaside resorts such as Rapallo, Santa MargheritaLiqure, and Portofino. The tourists usually explore Portofino monastery by foot.

If you want to travel by car, the best route is the Autostrada A12 from Genoa, which take about half an hour. Exit at Recoo to reach Camogli. Another way is the Route S1 which is not as fast but is more scenic.

If you are a couple, the most romantic way to reach Camogli is by boat. Make sure you make plans to also visit during the second week of February for Valentine’s Day. For groups and other visitors, summer is the best time to visit. Apart from the festivals, the town is quite empty and peaceful the rest of the year. Said to be a haven for artists, poets and nature enthusiasts, Camogli has something special to offer for everybody, apart from the delicious food.

Camogli hosts a huge fish festival in May, called the SagradelPesce. Fish is fried in a large diameter (3.8 meters) frying pan. The trend began in 1952 when fishermen wanted to attract tourists by donating fried fish. It was called the feast of St. Fortunato which means the patron of fishermen. The fest was made internationally popular by New York Herald Tribune, King Baldovino of Belgium and a telecast by Eurovision in 1955.

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The Festadella Stella Maris is hosted during the first Sunday of August. This is a procession of boats that sail to Punta Chiappa, which is about 1 mile down the coast. The procession would release 10,000 burning candles there, while the same number of candles are set afloat from the Camogli beach itself. Depending on the currents, the burning candles might join together in the sea, which would signify a year of unity, for the couple who get a chance to watch the spectacle.

In the second week of February, the San Valentino festival is held, where people along with poets take part in the “Fall in Love with Poetry” cultural project, in which ‘poetic installations’ are set up in the street and piazza. The collections that are exhibited or read, are published later. Couples can enjoy the special prices that are offered in many restaurants, along with exclusive sweets and cakes. Another similar project is the “Lovers’ Tiles” where the messages of love that are written by couples are chosen by panel of journalists and artists, to be published in a book.

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