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Camogli, Liguria

Camogli

Cities and Towns in Liguria

Camogli is a half an hour drive south of Genoa and one of the most romantic destinations on the Italian Riviera.  Although the Cinque Terre National park has gained Notoriety and fame in recent years, Camogli for the most part has gone relatively un-noticed and is a favourite amongst the Milanese and Genovese as a fun weekend day-trip, a place to sit back, take in the incredible scenery and enjoy some top-notch local cuisine (Pesto, Focaccia, Sardines, Sword Fish and other local specialties). 
 
There are also some great walks which start and end in Camogli and so for nature lovers and food enthusiasts alike, Camogli makes a great base.  For those who like adventure,  there is a beautiful 2 1/2-hour walk to San Frutuosso and its 13th-century abbey. Those who are looking for something more glamorous can continue to the wealthy resort town of Portofino. Or you can take a boat ride to either place in a fraction of the time.  Small taxi ferries to and from Camogli are numerous and very convenient for visiting this area of the coast. 
 
 Camogli (pronounced kuh-moh'-lee) has a double meaning in Italian.  The first translation, "houses close together," is apparent when you stroll through the town's narrow streets, which are lined by tall columns of pastel-colored homes.  The second meaning, "houses of wives," is not so obvious; it refers to the fishermen's wives, who traditionally spent their time at home while their husbands were out at sea.
 
But Camogli is more than just a fishing village. Although it may not reel in scores of international celebrities and luxury yachts like its more famous neighbour, Portofino, Camogli is an increasingly popular tourist destination. In the summer, the town's population of 7,000 almost doubles, as numerous Italians who own summer homes in the area arrive to enjoy the nearby beaches.
 
Camogli's biggest tourist attraction is its annual fish-fry and festival during the second weekend of May. Saturday's "blessing of the fish" festivities include bonfires and a spectacular display of fireworks. On Sunday the town pulls out what is said to be the largest skillet in the world (about four meters -- more than 12 feet -- in diameter) and fries up a huge helping of fish donated by the local fish cooperative.
 
Camogli is also home to the C. Colombo nautical institute (named for Christopher Columbus, one of Italy's most famous sons), which produces many of Italy's merchant marines. 
 
Numerous craft and jewellery stores line the town's central pRomenade and there are definitely some good finds at very reasonable prices.
 
The beaches in Camogli are great and while there are beach lidos in the summer, locals swim here from May to October in the temperate waters.  After a day of hiking and exploring the coastal area, a cool dip in the sea off the shores of the town is a great way to refresh for an enchanting evening dinner in one of the many beautiful piazzas or along the boardwalk.  Either way you spend your day(s) in Camogli, time has a funny way of going too fast.

 

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