Are you thinking of visiting Liguria? I bet everybody told you not to miss Cinque Terre.
Well, they are right. Cinque Terre, the five lands, is actually one of the most beautiful areas in my lovely region – and in Italy in general, actually – but it might not be the perfect location for a holiday in Liguria, if you plan on spending some time in the region.
The area of the Cinque Terre, that amazing stretch of land where five little villages perched on a hill overlook the sea, has become very popular, as of late. Those five villages totally deserve such popularity because they take your breath away. The scenery is incredible and the villages are unique.
The thing is that they are really tiny, basically a bunch of houses and a few narrow alleys. In peak season, huge crowds of people visit them every day, making it quite impossible to walk and enjoy your time there. I am quite allergic to big crowds, therefore I always recommend people to stay at Cinque Terre in winter or, if they can only be there in summer, to go there for a day trip and then leave.
But what is a good place to stay in Liguria for a few days?
Well, I have the answer and it’s a great one. In my opinion, the perfect location for a holiday in Liguria is Camogli, a lovely little village by the sea not far from Cinque Terre. Camogli is one of my favorite places in the region and I am sure you will love it as much as I do (it happens to all the people I bring there!). But let’s see why you should stay there.
The church of Camogli, right by the sea
First of all, it is incredibly beautiful. Every time I get to the station, walk the stairs down to the seaside and finally see the colorful houses all lined up facing the sea and the church in the distance, my heart stops a bit. I am not exaggerating, it happens every time. The seaside view is lovely, the narrow alleys are equally enchanting and the little, hidden harbor is a gem.
Camogli is somehow a summary of Liguria, having all its most interesting features. It is perched on the hill and you have to walk down a bit to get to the sea, as in most Ligurian villages. The houses are colorful and the harbor is filled with cute little boats, but if you turn your eyes up you will see green hills full of plants and flowers. The incredible combination of the sea and the overlooking hills that is so typical of Liguria is at its best here.
Colorful houses lined by the seaside
So Camogli is beautiful, no doubts about it, as beautiful as many other nearby locations.
Luckily, it is less popular and therefore less crowded than her fellow Ligurian locations, like Portofino, Portovenere or Cinque Terre. It is occasionally crowded on Sundays – especially in spring and summer – but it is generally pretty quiet. Moreover, most tourists are from Italy, so if you spend time there you’ll be really immersed in the Italian culture.
If you stay there for a few days, you’ll get to live as the Italians do, having breakfast at a bar, sipping an aperitivo while watching the sunset, or buying groceries at the local market – or fish from the fishermen at the harbor – immersed in a stunning scenery. The plus is that Camogli is perfectly located, lots of interesting places are within reach and there’s a lot to do in the area.
Sunset on the sea
From Camogli, you can get to Cinque Terre in one hour by train and, in just half an hour, you can get to Genova and enjoy its monuments, historical points of interests and, why not, its food spots. But, if you don’t feel like traveling that much, you don’t need to go so far from Camogli to find interesting and unique places.
Camogli is right near the Parco di Portofino, which is a heaven if you are a lover of hiking and nature. There are hundreds of paths to try and endless amazing spots where you can enjoy the scenery. But if walking up and down dusty roads is not your thing, you can hop on a boat and visit the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, a Medieval abbey nestled in a secluded bay.
A view of Camogli from up above
And then, last but not least, a very important thing: food!
In Camogli, you can taste a super yummy focaccia al formaggio, a very thin flatbread filled with cheese. If you walk by the seashore, you’ll surely find a couple of bakeries selling focaccia al formaggio by the slice: grab a couple of slices, find a nice spot on the pebbled beach and enjoy it with a glass of white wine. That’s the true meaning of la bella vita, believe me!