Planning to spend a few nights in the Italian (Ligurian) Riviera next summer after visiting Florence. Portofino is where we plan to stay, but looking for feedback from those that have visited - is this the best option or would you recommend another city? Basically just looking to relax, take in the scenery, eat, and drink for a couple days.

It’s really small, but outside of Portofino are some great towns to explore: Santa Margherita, Camogli, Rapallo to name a few.

We stayed a night in Portofino and had dinner there. Walked around the town and hills, took lots of pictures … that was enough. It’s really a small dot along an amazing coast.

We spent the first week of our honeymoon in Camogli. A small fishing village with great focaccia Not much else to do there, but I love it. We rented a house on another trip in Sta Margherita, a much larger town nearby. Portofino is lovely and the Hotel Slendido is a wonderful property, but quite expensive. All of the towns are close enough to each other to make touring easy, an you can even tak a day or two exploring La Spezia and the Cinque Terre - all very rewarding

Hi David- we stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure as well and I’d recommend it. We did a day trip to Portofino but it’s quite small. We took the ferry from SML and hiked, had lunch and went for a swim. SML is centrally located so you can navigate the coast a bit better and it’s bigger. You can visit Portifino, Rapello, Camolgi, Cinque Terre etc. I list several restaurant recommendations on my thread from 2 years ago
https://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=163401&hilit=italy Zi nella was a highlight for sure. Also the focaccia in Camolgi is fantastic. Plenty of spots to have a snack and sit by the sea.

I left one out and that was the place we had lunch in Rapello. I think it was top 3 in Trip Advisor for the town. Outstanding seafood place and would go back in a heartbeat. I’ll look it up.

We’re actually in Italy right now and did Positano and the Amalfi coast to kick off our trip. We loved it but not sure I liked it better than the Ligurian coast. I found the north easier to navigate and less crowded. It might not quite be as visually stunning but it was a great place to visit and not as expensive. I’m sure we’ll be back in the future. One mistake I made was not picking a hotel on the water. There are some really good options that we’ll use in the future.

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I agree with the focaccia in Camogli. My wife and I each had a piece in a small shop coming down from the mountains. We went back in for a second piece and the owner said “no more today, see you tomorrow.” So buy it when it comes out of the oven because they sell out.

I personally would pass on the Cinque Terre. We thought it was super touristy and not worth the effort in getting there. The towns felt kind of junky in comparison to some of the places on the Amalfi coast like Ravello.

Great feedback, thank you. Will definitely take a closer took at SML and Rapello. Cinque Terre, while beautifully picturesque, doesn’t seem to get my wife and I as excited as Portofino. And while we’ve always wanted to do Amalfi coast, we’ll be starting the trip in Florence so staying on the northern Riviera this trip

We stayed in Santa Margherita for part of our honeymoon and loved it. It’s a perfect base station for the area. It’s trivially easy to get to Portofino and also gives easy access to Cinque Terre. And of course, Santa Margherita is a lovely spot in its own right, with more favorable pricing and a less overtly touristy feel than Portofino or the Cinque Terre towns. We stayed at the Continental, which has excellent views and a stunning location, albeit not as refined of rooms or experience as the truly luxe places.

With respect to Cinque Terre, my advice is not to skip it. Touristy, yes. And I wouldn’t just hit the towns, although a lunch in one of them is a must. But doing the hike start to finish was among my more memorable travel experiences. Some of the views you get on the hike are breathtaking, and I didn’t find it too overrun (caveat that this was back in '07).

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Stayed at Cenobio dei dogi in camogli in 2016 and will be returning in 2022 (goddamn hope). we were there for 6 nights…days spent on their private beach, having breakfast overlooking the sea, eating focaccia at revello on the boardwalk, taking the ferry to san fruttouso and then having aperitivo up in the hills of san rocco at Bar Dai Muagetti followed by trofie al pesto and rabbit at la cucina di nonna nina.

we didnt step a foot in portfofino…not sure if it would be our thing.

very happy with our trip. i recommend you look into it too. after camogli, we drove back to milano for 3 nights and flew home.


That where we spend the first week of our honeymoon in 1993. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty nice. Need to return for the Sagra de Pesce in May

i have a pic of me standing next to the world’s largest frying pan if you care for me to upload.

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We have a couple ourselves [thumbs-up.gif]

Thanks, will take a closer look. At first glance, it looks exceptional. We are currently booked at Grand Hotel Miramare in SML, but open to other suggestions

depends on your expectations (and bank account) but cenobio dei dogi was amazing for us. it’s 4 stars but some of the rooms could use a bit of a remodeling (at least since we were last there in 2016). it’s not a modern hotel. but the private beach was key for us. they have their own parking lot too. private beach with parasols are basically 30 eur a day…plus an amazing buffet breakfast overlooking the sea (basically 20-25 eur a day) meant that the place was very reasonably priced. we also looked into some small hip villa up the hill but glad we stayed by the water.

if you do go, the beaches are hella rocky…bring swim shoes.

Try to get a room on the water if you can. The Doges lived well

for people who stayed in Santa Margherita: do you fly into Florence or into Genoa?

It was the easiest flight for us from Denver.

Santa Margherita

We did Milan

How did you get up in the hills? Taxi?

We had a car. I’m sure you can get a cab from wherever you stay. It’s basically an 8 min drive up the hill from the beach/seaside

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