When in San Fruttuso, a 1,5 hour trail can take you to Portofino. Sorry I did not experienced it by myself, but considering I have seen kids and old people, it must be quite easy. Do not forget hiking boots, an hat and your pic-nic. Rather than eating againg in a San Fruttuoso's restaurant, I'll starve!
The abbey worths surely a visit; it takes no more than an hour and, besides what you can see inside, offers you amazing view for taking pictures. Founded probably in the 13° century, it is said that San Fruttuoso has been buried there. It is not certain, while it is certain that the members of the Family Doria, which owned the abbey for centuries, had been buried in the caves.
to be continued
This is a bit confusing. There is Portofino Vetta and Portofino Mare. There are many other places you can walk to too - like Ruta - which I would like to see another time.
The walk is supposed to take one and a half hours. It took us about three. But we are not fit and are getting rather old. We were passed by a few people who were motoring along and would obviously be close to the optimum time.
We saw a helipad just above the abbey and I conjectured it was there for the convenience of famous people like Il Papa and Nicole Kidman.
But I think it is to chopper out the people who have heart attacks or who tumble over the cliff. The path does get a bit high and narrow from time to time.
And then you are in Santa Margharita Ligure and back on the rail system - the bus drops you right at the station - and you can go wherever you like.
Do validate your ticket before you get on the train - we had a guard checking tickets on our journey - but we were legal. So cool.
S. Margharita reminded me of Rapallo. Quite large, obviously designed for tourists - their enviable microclimate - the winter weather is by and large balmy and spring-like - many restaurants, cafes, gelateria, boutiques.
Another time I will explore - this time all I wanted was home, and hot bath and dinner and bed.
It would be hard to miss it. Buy your ticket at the blue machine (1 euro) or at the newstand opposite. The bus is orange - number 82.
I was told the ride on the corniche around to Santa Margharita was rather beautiful and terrifying. Well it was certainly narrow - the driver honked like a maniac at each curve - but it isn't very high up at all. Didn't worry me.
I did notice for half of the drive that there appeared no way you could walk it. Then we came upon a walkway suspended out over the sea - but it did not appear to go all the way to Portofino.
But then Italy is chokka with sweetly pretty towns. We arrived about 3 and the sun had gone off it - so it was rather cool and had a lowering effect on us. In spite of the numerous Gucci, Pucci etc shops.
A quick coffee and pizza and one of the few cafes that were open - they didn't charge like wounded bulls so we were happy - though at that stage money was no object - then time to find the bus to Santa Margharita Ligure - so we could catch the train home to Bogliasco.
- we would reach the top of the hill and see Portofino spread out like a precious jewel below us. This didn't actually happen. You don't get great views of Portofino. The last stretch is the most lethel in my opinion. So steep - the descent hurt my knees worse than the going up hurt my lungs.
One of the signs that gives you hope (that is maybe why it fudges the facts) says - 15 minutes to Portofino.
Well maybe if you jumped on a bicycle and freewheeled down the almost vertical little road, dodging the traffic. The last stretch you share with cars, tractors and motor scooters. Not a huge amount of traffic - but enough to make you a bit wary. The drivers we met were all a bit cautious and on the lookout and waited for us to clear very narrow stretches of road - so that was cool.
- don't want to bring the husband out in hives. And there was a very sick cat yowling on the beach. Upsetting.
But - noticed a WC - sometimes that is all you want to see - and a large restaurant to the left - closed - and a small cafe (that also rented deckchairs, umbrellas etc) to the right that was open.
To start the Portofino walk - head up towards the Doria tower to the right as you face the abbey and you will find the sign.
Two red dots for degree of hardness. I give a hollow laugh. We had been told it was a flatter walk than the one from Camogli. We imagined a promenade around by the sea. After half an hour of scrambling straight up hill - and coming upon goat scat - husband said - "Flatter in the vertical sense?"
Our friends wanted to walk from Camogli - up over the hills - to San Fruttuoso - and then from SF over the hills to Portofino.
We were more judicious and reckoned we would catch the boat from Camogli to SF and just do the second walk.
In hindsight this was wise.
The boat trip was stunning. It cost 13 euro for the two of us - a charming old sea faring gent sold us our ticekts on the wharf - and we stopped at Punta Chiappa (location not on VT) and locals unloaded their supplies. Crates of eggs, 4 doonas, a roll of plastic sheeting, a plank of wood, cans of oil, crates of verdure etc etc. I noticed a trattoria near the wharf - maybe that is why such large quantities of food stuffs were being unloaded.
In the season I am sure they use a bigger boat.
We caught the 11am boat which stopped at SF and we could have returned at midday.
The times and destinations vary quite a lot, according to the time of year - and the state of the sea. So best to check.
But if you arrive in Camogli and you have missed the boat you can always walk to San Fruttuoso. (Evil laugh!)
In March,April and October, open every day 10- 16. Closed on Monday.
From May till September, oper every day, 10 - 18
From December till february open only during weekend and holidays, 10 - 16
Admittance until 30 minutes before closing time
Tickets: Euro 4 in low season, Euro 7 in peak season (april to september)