I just want to share this tiny town where my great grandfather married my great grandmother. As a first visitor to Italy, I felt as if I were in another world.
I took the train from Rome to Genova, then the next day the train to Finale Ligure, and after lunch, I took a taxi, 7 kilometers up to Orco-Feglino (it's two towns in one, actually). There's a bus that goes as well.
When you are in Portofino I may highly recommend to walk up to the castle Brown (on the left of my picture )in order to have the great view over the bay.
The old castle had great strategic importance since times of the roman empire, as from there the whole bay of La Spezia & the Ligurian Coast could be seen and approaching enemies had no chance to land on the coast unwatched.
On the right of my picture you may see San Giorgio, easyly to be reached by a walk of about 10-15 minutes.
The church itself is great although it is not as richly decorated as many other , less famous churches in Liguria.
And in front of the church you will have a terrace for a first great view of the whole Portofino-bay.
Lavagna is a lovely town east of Genua / Genova and I stayed there for a few days simply for the fact, that I found an easy parking free of charge for my motorhome there.
Lavagna has perfect connections to 5terre and Genua by train.
My favorite place in Lavagna , besides the Marina, was the cemetery with a lot of great and touching sculptures - you will see some of them on my picture-conbination and another one in the tips about "Local customs"
Also the church looks really beautiful.
Please click here in order to see, where to find Lavagna :
www.multimap.com - Lavagna
For more infos and pics of Lavagna - just click on my link below !
Nervi is a place I saw first , when I passed by in the train to Genua, and all the coastline was lighted, including the 2 small castellos and so decided to go there with Chiara the other day.
Nervi has a lovely path along the coast with a lot of palmtrees and other great vegetation.
My favorite place was the rosary, that looked great already in march, although just a few roses survived the winter.
Lots of squirrels will be in the park and do NOT miss the interesting sign at the entrance of the park, saying the park will be open, till the bell rings... ;-))
Well, THEN you better run, run, run quickly...
You may click here in order to see where to find Nervi on the map :
www.multimap.com - Nervi
On the link below you may see more infos and pics about Nervi and the famous Rosary
This lovely Rosary is certainly worth a visit, when you search for a nice and quiet park with great palmtrees and lovely roses...
Unfortunately in March it was too early in the year to see any blooming roses... :-((
But there are as well plenty of tropical flowers and trees, that I knew only in small versions, planted in a small pot in Austrian living-rooms...
...but there in Roseto Villa Grimaldi they are huge trees and look really great and interesting and stay in the garden the whole year long.
Something funny is the sign at the entrance of the rosary:
they open at 08.00a.m. and will close the gate, when the bell rings...
and then you better run, run, run to be in time at the gate ;-))
In Genua you may take the funiculare to Righi - one of the hills above town.
From up there you will have this wonderfull panorame-view of Genua / Genova.
The funiculare takes about 15 minutes and starts in the centre of town and has a 2nd stop at half way (close to Palazzo Brutto and also the youth hostel).
There is a large castle on top of Righi - in a walking distance of about 20 minutes ( and a public bus will also take you there )
You may as well drive up Righi with your own car, but the funicolare is a lot more fun !
On top of Righi - in a walking distance of about 20 minutes - you will see a massive castle, or rather the ruins of it.
The castle seems to be partly used by the army and partly private and there was just a small restaurant / buffet inside the arch seen on my pic.
But it was a nice walk and you may also see plenty of more castles on the nearby hills
Directely at the funicolare you may take the bus and it might be a good idea to go with it a big distance and finally walk back in order to see all of these castles.
I have been up there in march 2003 and saw also many of local people camping up there at the big car-parks.
When arriving in Vernazza by boat you will see the small church in the bay on your left.
Have a look inside the , the interior is not as richly decorated as most of the other churches in Italy, but it still looks great and you have to considder, it is more than 1000 years old and all materials had to be taken there by boat
Have a look out of the medieval arches of the church-windows in order to have a great view to the bay of Monterosso al mare.
Monterosso is in a distance of just about 10 minutes by boat , or 1,5 hours walk over the hills
Galleria Mazzini is obviously named after Giuseppe Mazzini, who was one of the revolutionaries around G.Garribaldi.
This galleria is a traditional shopping-centre with great architecture , lovely chandeliers and a great atmosphere.
Galleria Mazzini is just a few meters behind of Teatro Carlo Felice, and only about 200 meters from Piazza de ferrari with the famous fountain.
You may click on this link in order to see, where to find galleria Giuseppe Mazzini:
www.multimap.com - Genua / Genova
This lovely palazzo may be seen from almost every place in Genua and so it attracted my attention and I walked up the hill behind the " Castelletto "
It took me about 40 minutes to walk up there on Corso Firenze simply to find out, it is a private home now, and the closer you get, the less of it you may see.
But that walk also showed me lots of other great buildings and it might be a good idea to take a walk up that hill, if you have a lot of time.
(You may also simply take the funicolare per Righi and leave the 2nd station ) and walk just downhill again.
On my map you may see where to find Corso Firenze :
www.multimap.com -Genua / Genova
Have a look for this lovely Orario in Monterosso al Mare.
An Orario / Oratory is a building ment to pray, BUT no real church.
This oratory has a great and interesting interior in Baroque style.
When you click on my picture you may see a typical cross for the area of Liguria on the right and also the model of a sailing-ship hanging down from the ceiling.
The church is open during the day and waiting for your visit - free of charge, and on a really hot summerday it might be also a great place to escape the heat.
www.multimap.com - Monterosso al Mare
Your ship in Cinque terre will land in the latge bay of Monterosso al Mare and there you may stay in the old part of town (at the trains-station) or walk through a tunnel to the new part of town (close to the large carpark )
There is a tunnel - mainly for pedestrians and a few local cars - and behind this tunnel you may see this great old medieval castle and in a distance of just a few meters a bunker of WW II
Just click on my picture in order to be able to see it !
The castle is privately owned and was not accessible and I could not find a path to get closer to the bunker...
Have a look where to find the bunker on a map :
It is just below the red circle on the peninsula.A tunnel will go through the mountain and at the other side you may see the bunker of WW II:
www.multimap.com - Monterosso al Mare
Seborga is another pretty, yet nondescript, tiny town on top of one of the hills that make up the Ligurian hinterland. Its location and its main piazza, with a frescoed Baroque church and the Palace of the Government, are beautiful enough to justify a drive while touring the Western Riviera, in the San Remo area. However, what makes Seborga unique is that it is a self-proclaimed principality (not recognised by any country in the world). This fact makes it particularly interesting for country collectors, even if in this case we are talking of a rather folkloric principality.
The reasons why Seborga claims to be independent from Italy are of a difficult nature to grasp for the non iniciated in international law. But the fact is that the town has a ruling prince (in the manner of the nearby Principality of Monaco) and for a short period it even issued its own currency, the luigino, and stamps.
Italy does not recognise the independence of Seborga (unlike it does with the enclavated micor-states of the Vatican and San Marino) and ensures all the public services in the town.
The picture is really three pictures:
Left: As we walked from our Bed and Breakfast to the historical part of Levanto, we had to walk over a small bridge spanning a creek. This is that creek.
Top Right: One day as we crossed over the little bridge, we saw these chickens downbelow near the creek. There was a ladder to get down to this spot from the yard of an apartment building. There was a pan with chicken feed down there also
The man who owned the chickens was in his yard, and in his broken English he said, "The chickens my pets"!
Lower Right: These beautiful Azaleas were in abundance in and around our Bed and Breakfast and along the path we walked to town. They were huge and so eye appealing.
These photographs represent the Levanto that tourist seldom see, but this is the Levanto that I loved.
This pirate-ship is another attraction in the port of Genua / Genova .
It was used in Roman Polanski's film "Pirates" - and while it looks great in many ways and is certainly worth a visit, I doubt, it would be able to cross the atlantic...
You may walk onboard of the ship and walk through it on your own against a moderate entrance-fee.
In the back of the ship you may even see the "prison-cell" of the ship, where obviously a prisoner starved to death and just the sceleton and some spider-nets are left over.
Lots of cannons are under deck and on the total I would say it is really worth a visit.
The ship is opposite of the Sea-Aquarium and only a few hundred meters from the cruise-port and the main trainstation.
It's good 3* hotel, rather centrally located (about 15 min walk to Duomo and 25 min walk to the...more
Via Telemarco Signorini #177, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
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Piazza Marconi 26, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Good for: Couples