The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Touring Liguria and Falling in Love with San Rocco di Camogli

Posted on | October 22, 2014 | Written by David Bertot | No Comments

image_3My wife and I just returned from our first trip to Italy, and we were overwhelmed with just how beautiful and magical this country is. Having been lucky to learn about Italian culture and wine from my time at IWM, I have been ecstatically awaiting a visit to Liguria for over four years. I had heard all these stories about how delicious the seafood is, how elegant and wholesome the people are, how impossibly beautiful the scenery is. As you can tell in these pictures, Liguria over-delivered and the four days we spent in this region was a was a very special time in our Italian road trip.

image_5Let’s start with the charming little town of San Rocco di Camogli. We were blown away by how perfectly intact all the traditions and the buildings were. This gorgeous little village is perched on top of Monte di Portofino overlooking the Ligurian Sea and the fishing village of Camogli. Sergio Esposito kindly pointed us in the right direction and recommended we stay at a quaint, family-run bed and breakfast called La Rosa Bianca di Portofino. You park your car and walk about 15 minutes through a 2-meter-wide paved trail, 200 meters above the Mediterranean, through a national park to get to La Rosa. Technically, it is a 15-minute hike, but it always took longer with stops at the bakery, an aperitivo, and several pauses for a gaze into the blue. Along the way you pass a beautiful little church, a mouth-watering bakery with superb goods, charming houses with incredible views, and a handful of warm, polite locals. It was surreal to wake up in a place like this.

image_4We were very blessed with weather and we had two entire beach days. We hiked down the mountain about 40 minutes to a place called Punta Chiappa, where we caught a ferry to a medieval abbey built by the Benedictines of Monte Cassino. We had a lovely beach day, inclusive of a platter of tasty fried seafood served with local Vermentino. The last thing I thought I was going to do was swim in Northern Italy in October; I am so glad I brought my swim trunks. It was a little chilly, but the water was crystal clear blue that I’d never even imagined.

The over-stimulation of the senses, the culture, and the whole of the Italian Rivera’s physical presence make this region an unforgettable place. It is very simple to fall in love with this part of the world. I am very much looking forward to the next trip!

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