Day 17 – Friday 24 June 1994 – Santa Margherita Ligure!

Very noisy last night.  Very loud TV in the next room.  Mark had to get the occupant to turn it down.  They turned it off.  This was about 12.00.

Traffic roared past.  Cars started tooting their horns up and down the road.  Probably because the World Cup game had finished.  After TV went off, I miraculously fell asleep all night.  Woke up to more traffic this morning.

Had breakfast at the bar.  Help yourself to a croissant.  They turned out to have apricot jam in the middle.  Glass of OJ and lukewarm, small cappuccino.

Headed off for Geove.  Turned off torturous coastal road and traffic jams at Savona.  Italian Riveria so far is disgusting.

Autostrade to Genova was a dream.  Cost 3500L.  Well worth it.  Genova was the indescribably hike U gave ever come across.  Couldn’t find the city centre.  Got lost and lost.  Car parks were full.  Shops all shuttered and closed.  Probably for lunch.  Drove for nearly an hour trying to find a park or get out.  Set in a cliff I think.  Ended up from bottom to top and down again.  Finally left without seeing it.  headed for La Spezia.  Saw an old man knocked off his motor scooter by an ambulance!

Towns finally got nicer.  Lots of lovely examples of Tromp d’oeil on the houses.  Pretty coloured houses.  Soft pinks etc with painted on architecture.

Stopped at Recco to find some lunch.  Nearly everything shut again.  Finally found some coffee and some pizza.  Coffee 2500L and barely a mouthful.  They are getting smaller!

Scenery is getting nicer and nicer.  Then we drove into Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.  Superb!  A tropical paradise!  Houses are from a fairy tale.  Streets are winding.  Harbour is a picture with cruise ships and yachts.  Too pretty for words!

Santa Margherita Ligure, trompe l’oeil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. A typical trompe-l’œil mural might depict a window, door, or hallway, intended to suggest a larger room.
Santa Margherita Ligure, trompe l’oeil
Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Marguerita Ligure

Climbed to the lighthouse at Portofino through lush, cool gardens.  View was superb.  There was a tiny Gelateria a the top which sold the best capuzzino for 2000L in a decent size cup.  They were 5000L down in the bay.  It would have to be one of the most beautiful paradises on earth.  Unfortunately the other half of the world thinks so too.  Not too crowded at the lighthouse.

Drove back to Santa Margherita and managed to find accommodation in a hotel/pensione (Hotel Nuova Riviera) a couple of blocks from the centre.  Has a little balcony and is ont he 2nd floor of a building separate to the one that reception in in (that was full).  There are about 4 or 5 rooms that all open out onto a little foyer where there is a nice bathroom and toilet.  75000L per night without facilitates in the room but very nice and owner was very friendly.

Santa Margherita Ligure, Hotel Nuova Riviera
Santa Margherita Ligure, Hotel Nuova Riviera

Walked around Santa Margherita then went out to dinner.

Tracked down a lovely little Ristorante using Lets Go book.  Difficult to get accommodation.  Lots full because of the weekend.

Meals were nice but not fantastic.  Position and setting of restaurant was good.  Wine was ordinary. 32 000L.

Santa Margherita Ligure, Ristorante Begudda

Walked around and had a gelato afterwards.  About 25 deg C at 10.00pm.  Just nice.

Albenga, Italy to Santa Margherita Ligure from original map in atlas
Albenga, Italy to Santa Margherita Ligure Google maps 2017

Day 18 – Saturday 25 June 1994 – Lucca!