The birth place of Christopher Columbus, although there is a belief that he was brought up in Santa Margherita; his mother was a weaver and his father a fisherman.

Genoa is a city of architectural and cultural treasures and a city alive with people of all ages, backgrounds and social status.  It is Italy’s major seaport and has for centuries attracted people to its many narrow alleyways (carruggi), its churches, castles, monuments and art galleries and museums

Great family day out, you can visit the Largest aquarium in Europe at the new cultural centres in the renovated dockyards, it is a part of 3 large complexes connected by foot (5 mins) or small train.

The Aquarium
The largest in Europe – spectacular environments, over 12000 animals and 70 re-created environments. There is a Hummingbird forest, sharks, penguins a tactile tank housing friendly rays. A wonderful few hours can be spent here. There are advanced bookings only available for ‘behind the scenes’ tours plus guided toursacquariodigenova
Telephone: 0039 10 234 5666 Email:

The Museo Del Mare
A large maritime museum – 17 exhibition halls tracing the history of mans relationship with the sea above and below the surface from old galley ships to ocean liners
Website: Telephone: 0039 10 2345655

The City for the Children
11 theme islands – 90 playing structures – an interactive educational playground combining the secrets of science and technology – for ages 2 – 14
Website: Telephone 0039 10 2475702

How to get there:
Genoa Railway station then Underground – to SAN GIORGIO. Bus no 12 and 13 will take you straight there.


A nice walk around the coast road or a fifteen minute boat ride or bus ride from Santa Margherita – Portofino is a world famous resort, known for attracting Hollywood stars and the international jet-set. It is a small fishing village with a pretty painted harbour.

As well as expensive boutiques, there are cheaper souvenir shops and also food shops where you could put together a picnic if you’re planning on a walk. Via Roma leads upwards from the harbour, and is the busiest street, with a range of shops. The pretty Piazzetta by the harbour is lined with cafe and restaurant tables; a lovely place to relax with a drink and watch the boats go in and out.


Camogli is known as the place of a ‘Thousand White Sailing Ships’.
It has a long maritime history; the village is surrounded by tall cliffs with lovely white beaches. There are lots of nice restaurants, and cafes where you can sample great Ligurian food and look over the very pretty harbour with lots of different coloured boats.  The lovely, tall  multicoloured painted houses are a feature which was started to enable the fishermen and seamen, who are a large part of the community, to find their way back to the port when the visibility was bad.

At the beginning of May there is a fantastic  fish festival (Sagra del Pesce)  – the local community fry fish in giant frying pans all along the seafront for anyone to eat free – this is a thank you to the ocean and a welcoming to the next season.


Legend has it that ‘focaccia’ was born in Recco in the 15th century when the region was under constant attack from bandits; the men had to defend their lands and the women had to leave with the children and older members. When they reached somewhere safe, they kneaded the wheat with river-water and mixed salt and oil with cheese. The older family members would collect wood to light the fire and used slate stone to cook the mixture on. This became foccaccia.

There is a Focaccia” Cooking Festival that takes place on the 4th Sunday of May. Every type is on offer – by itself, dressed, with onion , with ham and cheese and many others.
Recco is known as Liguria’s gastronomic capital, and its more than thirty restaurants are already a good tourist attraction, but not the only one. There are fireworks, the entertainment and village festivals. Recco has beaches and cliffs, a walk by the sea with bars and special ice-creams and an Olympic swimming-pool with sea water.
There is tennis, walking, sailing, cycling, fishing, horse riding, golf, water skiing and mountain biking.

San Michele Di Pagana

Our neighbouring little village on the sea – very pretty – also famous for art lovers to note is in the San Michele church altarpiece Christ on the cross with St. Francis, St. Bernhard and the donor, Francesco Orero by Anthony van Dyck)


Rapallo is one of largest towns in the Gulf of Tigullio. Its famous for its old castle surrounded by the sea which was to used to defend the city from pirates. Now it houses art exhibitions. In July the castle has a spectacular ring of fireworks display. It is to honour the Holy Virgin of Montallegro. The shrine devoted to her is on the hill behind and has the most breathtaking view.
There is also the world famous International Golf Club of Rapallo here


Paraggi is a not really a village, it is a small cluster of villas around a sandy bay – it has a small hotel and some restaurants. The small bay is nice to cool off in and theres an outdoor disco on the beach during the summer
There is a privately owned castle at one end of the bay and Punta Cajega at the other

San Fruttuoso

This is a magical place, reachable only by boat or on foot. There is a creek almost like a moat which encircles the old abbey. Founded in 1200 by Benedictine monks it was in its prime a seat of enormous power and splendour. It is now a protected monument of great historic importance which has been restored
By Boat from:

  • Genova Pegli
  • Genova Nervi
  • Recco
  • Camogli
  • Sestri Levante
  • Chiavari
  • Rapallo
  • Santa Margherita
  • Portofino

On Foot from:

  • Camogli
  • Portofino Top of the mountain (90 mins)
  • Portofino Sea “O” Base (90 mins)

Cinque Terre

Is an hour away by train and if you return in time for the sunset from the train the views are stunning!
This whole area as far as Portovene has been made into a nature park protected on land for the plants and wildlife and in the marine park for the marine life.

There are lovely walks. The paths are well maintained and are used by walkers, trekkers and also people riding.

The actual villages are high on the cliffs, perched on the rocks – they have only recently been accessible by road and have retained all their original features and charm.

The villages of Soviore, Reggio, San Bernandino, Volastra and Montenero are all connected by an easily walkable footpath overlooking the sea far below the cliff top. Stunning views through terraced vineyards


This is one of the regions main silk-producing towns. It is located beyond Chiavari and Lavagna.
If you want to experience first hand how the silk is made and woven, it is possible to visit one of the families who have been making silk and damask since the 1900’s. The business is still run by family members. They have 8 looms, some mechanical and some manuals.
It is an art form which is very delicate and beautiful. No two dark blue, gold and silver damasks look the same even though the motifs have not changed for centuries – The De Martini Family: Via Scaletta 78, Lorsica, Tel. 0185 977302