Italy Via della Costa

Day 13: Camogli to Sestri Levante

A great day in the sun, lots of ups and downs, beautiful towns and a night in a historic home, and not to forget, burnt cream and sugar for dessert.

Today was a long day, 33kms and 1166m elevation. I took the train from Genova station, conveniently close by, to Camogli. The train was delayed, which seems to be the norm, so it was already 9am by the time I reached Camogli.

I started off with a very steep climb to the small village of San Roco and into the Portofino National Park – 500m over the first 4km was the first of many climbs today. There were many great views inlands and along the coast. I followed excellent paths into Santa Margherita Ligure, where Lene and I had visited yesterday. The decline was as steep as the climb, yet again on a rough stone path, looking down on the village we visited yesterday.

I passed through Santa Margherita Ligure, just as beautiful as it was yesterday. I passed many beautifully kept houses, as well as the Imperiale Palace Hotel, where a night out of season can cost upwards of 1.000 €. It looked fabulous with fantastic views along the bay towards Portofino.

I continued along the coast towards Rapallo.

I passed through the old town and stopped for a coffee. It wasn’t long before the next climb kicked in, up to the Sant’Ambrogio church with more fantastic views and engraved doors, which, as at so many other churches, were locked.

Down towards the coast at Zoagli and more great views and more beautiful houses.

Continuing east, I climbed again toward Sant Andrea di Rovereto. This was a beautiful stretch, with great views everywhere I looked. Photo’s truly don’t do it justice.

I carried on towards Chiavari, a coastal town. There was a steep decline along a nice path, at times even with a hand rail. I was overtaken by a group of 3. They walked in line and totally in synch down the hill, whilst I was far more careful. Lene met me at the bottom of the hill and we walked through Chiavari.

Founded in the 7th century BC as a Roman camp along Via Aurelia, it flourished in the Middle Ages. there were several Genovese style palaces and squares, lots of palm trees lining the roads and a commercial center with arcades.

We sat down for a drink and watched life go by. I still had another 8kms, so I left Lene to enjoy her drink and pay the bill, and walked along the arcade lined streets.

I crossed the river to Lavagna and more churches and more arcades.

The trail took me up to 20 – 30m asl., looking down at the Mediterranean glittering in the afternoon sun. I was back down at sea level at Calvi, walking along the main road and through an open tunnel before reaching Sestri Levante. As so often happens at the end of the day, I am so full of impressions from the day, and want to get to my destination, I don’t stop up to take many photos.

Lene was sitting the the B&B’s garden, when I arrived and I was immediately introduced to the two owners. We were staying in a beautiful home, that had been built by the owners’ grandfather who was an important lawyer, and left to his grandson, the current owner. The house had been beautifully kept in the original style, and beyond being the home of the grandson and his wife, was now also a two room B&B.

After a shower, we walked around the small town, the Bay of Silence with a small sheltered beach on the other side of the peninsula.

We ate at a small fish restaurant without a paper menu. As so many places nowadays, we had to scan a QR code, and study the menu on the phone. Unfortunately, the menu  was translated to Danish, which was a problem, as the waitress had no idea what we were ordering, and even worse Tiramisu was the Danish equivalent of “cream with liquor and biscuits” and Creme Brûlée was “burnt cream with sugar”.


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