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Published: October 12th 2013
Liguria Region - Genoa and San Fruttuosso, Santa Margherita and Portofino 7 Oct 2013
We set out for the day at about 9.30am, still missing Kerrie & Gemma and wondering how they were dealing with their flight home.
The camp site we stayed at didn’t have a functional WiFi so we were without contact unfortunately. So we strove out to Genova arriving at about 11.00am. We found a park near the harbor.
Genova is THE major port of Italy. We counted 6 big passenger ships along the harbour. It also has a major ship building industry so there were a couple of ships at different stages of completion. It also has narrow, twisting streets, almost like Morocco.
We saw a small section of the only remaining old city wall which was built in 1155. The old town was established by significant family dynasties in 13th
centuries, the 2 most significant being the Garibaldi and Balbi families. There are 2 streets carrying these names and both are lined with magnificent buildings, many of which were used by important visitors to the city in the early centuries.
It took us about ½ hour to get to
the old town which was perched up on the hill. We wandered through the narrow streets and suddenly we would come to a square which had a building full of the cities history. The most significant we saw were:
· The old University (1634) with large numbers of students in it
· Palazzo Reale, a one-time residence of the King of Savoy which is of Rocco design
· The gothic San Lorenzo Cathedral
· Statue of Christopher Columbus whom they claim was born in Genova
· The Maritime Museum (Galata Museo del Mare)
· The redesigned ancient harbour done in 1992 for the 500th
anniversary of the voyage to Columbus to America.
As the rain had eased while we were looking through the Maritime Museum, we walked about 4 kms back to the motor home and headed for Portofino.
Portofino is on its own little peninsula. There was a narrow road going to it. The scenery was beautiful along the coast. There were many buildings that had paintings around the doors and windows making them look as though they had 3 dimensional window frames and architraves. One must have at least $1000
a night to stay in most places in Portofino.
As we were driving out to the town, 2 separate men waved their finger at us and shaking their head. We started to think that motor homes were not allowed to drive into Portofino. All of a sudden we came to a dead end and we were in the centre of town. As we were trying to turn around, a policeman came up to us and told us that camping cars are not allowed to park in town so we turned around and drove out.
The next town was Santa Margherita which was yet another beautiful seaside town and is a favourite place for Europeans’ summer holidays.
It was getting late in the afternoon and as we were discovering that campsites were closing altogether or their receptions closed early, we set our GPS for a camp site at Sesti Levante, Mare Monti Campeggio which was in the hinterland up on a cliff with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. It wasn’t the most exciting campsite and its WiFi was not working but we had electricity. We met a couple from Holland who gave us some great hints about travelling
in Italy at this time of the year as they have travelled extensively as their daughter lives in Italy.
The next day we were off to Cinque Terre.
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