Camogli is a picturesque town with extremely high tenements that are built on a rocky cliff in the front of the sea. The town is located in eastern Liguria and it is considered one of the most beautiful towns in this region.
How to reach Camogli:
• by train – the railway station of Camogli San Fruttuoso (only regionale trains; ticket from Genova Brignole costs € 2.70; website of the Italian Railways: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en
• by car:
✓ SS1 Aurelia – state road, very, very picturesque 🙂
If you arrived by car you can park at one of two parking places (blue lines, 1.50 € / h). The first one is located next to railway station. Then you go down the stairs to the town centre ( by this way you will start exploring the town).
The second one is situated much lower, very close to the sea and the town promenade. From there it will take about 2 minutes to reach the centre.
The most romantic story about the origin of the name Camogli is the one that says it comes from the combination of the words “case” = houses and “moglie” = wives. Camogli was always a fishing village and when fishermen sailed out to the sea, their wives were left at their homes, waiting anxiously for the happy return of their husbands. According to this belief, those wives, who looked from the windows searching boats on the horizon, gave the name of the town …
All of these houses are so colourful !!! Each one has a different colour. It had a consid importance because in these way every fisherman could easier recognise his own house when he returned from fishing during bad weather.
Another characteristic of these tenements is that they are (as for such small fishing town) very high. It is the effect of the changes and reconstructions made by the owners over centuries. When a child was born or a sailor turned from a long journey, there was an opportunity to add a few new rooms or even a new storey! 😉
The town is small, so you can’t get lost.
When you arrive to Camogli, I suggest going to the seaside promenade first. In this way you can admire the town at its best! Promenade was built in 1914 when in French Nice the fashion for seaside promenades was started. However, in Camogli the first line of the houses was built almost on the beach (!) it was impossible to create a promenade. To solve the problem and to be „in fashion” the first line of the houses was demolished and in this way a new promenade was constructed. Along the promenade, there are numerous little restaurants, bars and souvenir shops .You can coose one of them and stop for lunch or aperitivo.
When you pass the entire promenade you gonna walk under one of the tenement houses, and you get to a small, romantic square (Piazza Colombo) that is located in the front of the fishing port.
At the port you can find a ferry station. From there you can take a ferry to many different destinations :
• Punta Chiappe (ticket per person: 6 € /10 € round trip ticket);
• San Fruttuoso (tickets: 9 € /13 € r.t.t.);
• Recco (tickets: 2,50 € /4 € r.t.t.);
Children up to 4 years old travel free, while from 5 to 14 years are entitled to a half-price ticket. Ferries run only under favourable weather conditions and with calm sea.
Here you can also try fishing with the real fishermen on a real fishing boat. There is a company Castel Dragone ( http://ittiturismocamogli.it/en/
) that organizes the fishing excursions. The trip consists of picking up the fishing nets that were thrown the night before and eating a fresh breakfast and lunch served on the board. It costs 90€ per person in high season (from 1st April to 31st October) and 75€ per person in low season (from 1st November to 31st March).
From the port, you can get to the stairs of via San Fortunato and then turn in Via Tommaso Racca, where at the end of the street you can see a panoramic view of Camogli and Portofino peninsula.
After returning to the Piazza Colombo square, you can go up the marble staircase, where on the top you gonna find the church of the Assumption of Saint Mary and the Dragon Castle.
Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta (Church of the Assumption of Saint Mary)
was built in the XII century as a small church on the rocky islet. During the centuries the island was connected to the mainland and now is the part of the town. Outside it is rather modest, but inside is decorated in the baroque style, with marble walls and crystal chandeliers.
Castello Dragone (Dragon Castle)
It is open to the public from 10th July to 7th September
Thursday to Saturday 5pm-10pm
Entrance: 3 € /reduced 2 €
It was built in the XIII century as an observation point. It was used mostly to defend the town from sea attacks. In the following centuries completely lost its importance and became a ruin. In the 70’s of XX century it was restored and used as local mini-aquarium. Inside were constructed pools that hosted the local sea fauna. Aquarium was closed with the launch of the Genoa Aquarium. Nowadays, the castle hosts exhibitions and cultural meetings, open to tourists only during summer.
One of the most important events of Camogli is Sagra del Pesce (The Feast of Fish). It is organized every year at the beginning of May and lasts for four days (from Thursday to Sunday). It is famous for its huge pans were the cooks prepare tons of fried fish, shrimps and mussels. These days from the silent, calm fishing town, Camogli becomes noisy, crowded, touristic centre. There is a lot of attractions, concerts and cultural events.
Where to sleep in Camogli?
Al Piccolo Scoglio – Room & Breakfast
It is a romantic, fisherman house with a stunning view. The B&B is located on a precipitous cliff, directly above the sea level. Here you fall asleep while listening to the waves … incredible experience. The hosts are very kind and they offer a rich breakfast with typical, Ligurian ingredients. More about Al Piccolo Scoglio here.
House Camogli Casa Vacanze
A holiday house that can hosts up to 5 persons. It is located in the upper part of Camogli in one of the high, tenement houses of the town. The flat is clean and has a fantastic, sea view. The only disadvantage is that it has no elevator … and it is located on the fourth floor … but the view is worth the effort 😉 More about House Camogli Casa Vacanza here.
It is a 2* hotel, located in the town centre, very close to the sea promenade, railway station and restaurants. The hotel is not for the fussy tourists because it is very essential. However, it is very clean and with a nice breakfast and very helpful staff. More about La Camogliese here.
If you travel in a big group and you are wondering if it is possible to find something for you in Camogli, here is the answer 🙂 This is a large flat that can hosts up to 10 persons! It is simple, quite modern and very clean. Also, the price can be very interesting … especially because the accommodations in Camogli are generally quite expensive. More about Appartamento Sofia here.
House in Punta Chiappa
I think it is a fairytale place. I love Punta Chiappa and this holiday house is one of the most magical and most beautiful I have ever seen 🙂 This is a perfect place to relax and rest from the crowds and noisy tourists. The house has a spectacular view of the Ligurian Sea has its own garden and barbeque and it is furnished in a wonderful way! The only disadvantage, to arrive here you have to climb a little bit … cause the house is located next to the trail that leads to Punta Chiappa … however, thanks to this the place is really amazing! More about House in Punta Chiappa here.
Silent and cosy or crowded and full of tourists, it is always a fascinating experience to visit Camogli.
Don’t forget to add it to your trip in Liguria!