Two days in Santa Margherita Ligure
Two days in Santa Margherita Ligure. My Italian summer continues in a new destination, a very very special one for me. I really love Liguria because I spent my summer vacations as a child between the end of the Riviera of Ponente and the beginning of the Côte d’Azur. Last week I was on the other side of Genoa, the one towards La Spezia, more precisely in Santa Margherita Ligure, which is about an hour’s drive from there. Read on to discover everything about our mini-tour of the Riviera of Levante!
Two days in Santa Margherita Ligure at Grand Hotel Miramare
I was lucky enough to stay at one of the historic hotel in Santa Margherita which is called Grand Hotel Miramare, a luxury four-star hotel member of Leading Hotels of the World. It is 116 years old: the building dates back to 1902, but it was after WW2 that it was taken over by the current owner’s family who, over time, brought it to its splendor and kept it even during the Seventies crisis knowing how to implement small changes and improvements. Like the column of the junior suites built to host the protagonist of “Gone with the Wind”, Vivien Leigh. The Hotel was in fact a meeting place for the international jet set during the years of the Dolce Vita and there are so many photographs in the hall and inside the rooms to testimony that. Recently an Italian garden has been created above the swimming pool and an American Bar by the pool has been inaugurated!
Upon my arrival at the hotel I was immediately impressed by the beautiful white façade of the building!
Before getting into the room we stopped for lunch at the Pool Bar, where I was so fascinated by the furniture and the beautiful chairs in the shape of a shell! Food was excellent: we chose to compose our salad at the rich buffet and to accompany it we order a pizza margherita with olives, one of the best that I have ever eaten! I suggest you to order it if you happen to be there!
Dining with this view is awesome! The pool is really beautiful and has sea water in it.
For us it had been reserved one of the most beautiful suites, in a corner position with a view both on the beach of Santa Margherita Ligure and on the pool and on the hotel garden. Composed of a very spacious double bedroom, two bathrooms and a living room with a desk, sofas and a TV screen.
All around the room there was a beautiful terrace with a panoramic view, two deck chairs and a table with chairs to have breakfast in your room!
Grand Hotel Miramare is located at the end of Santa Margherita Ligure, in the direction of Portofino. To separate it only a few kilometers and a delightful village, Paraggi, the only one with the sandy beach. We reach the parking lot of Portofino in a few minutes by car and we set off for the delightful street of colorful shops and boutiques that leads to the famous Piazzetta.
We decide to climb up to the Brown Castle: it will be the five minutes of the highest and the most difficult steps of your life, but it will be worth it. From up there everything is more beautiful and you can hear even more the sound of the cicadas that populate the Promontory of Portofino: from here also a whole series of hiking trails starts and goes inside the Natural Park of Portofino.
We came back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner and looking out of our room we find a beautiful sunset!
For dinner we had a table booked at Vistamare Restaurant, located inside the Miramare. The living room is decorated with beautiful frescoes and elegant chandeliers, but we choose the terrace to admire this view!
I ordered two fish dishes: a delicious salmon tartare and then a prawn carpaccio, to be served with avocado salad and a selection of bread, breadsticks and delicious Ligurian focaccia!
Finally, a small pastry tasting: I did not know where to start (so I started with a delicious chocolate)!
The next morning we decide to enjoy a few hours on the beach. But first we went down for breakfast, also served on the terrace facing the sea!
The Grand Hotel Miramare also has the Bagni Miramare (open to the public) and offers beach service with deckchairs, umbrella, cabin and towels, reserving some areas for hotel guests. All in white and blue stripes!
In the late morning we decide to make one last stop in another iconic place of the Riviera di Levante, the Cinque Terre. One of my favorite is Manarola!
Credo che riuscirete ad intuirlo da questi scatti: faceva davvero caldissimo!
Manarola and the Cinque Terre must be done with a backpack containing water and sun protection. Parking can be difficult because there is only one parking lot and is located high enough compared to the village, so in addition to the backpack I suggest you wear the most comfortable shoes you have!
Since there is no beach, if you want to swim you have to jump off the rocks. Beautiful but very high rocks!
This ends my two days in Santa Margherita Ligure…
This trip is in collaboration with the website Vivere, that I thank very much because it made me discover another really special destination!
I wish a good Monday and a happy start of the week to all of you!