What to do in Santa Margherita Ligure
“One must imagine an island in the Hellenic archipelago, on which mountains and forest alternate capriciously, that one day, somehow by what phenomenon, sailed towards the mainland and anchored there without detaching itself.” (Niet zsche)
Of Roman origin, Santa Margherita Ligure has been transformed from a fishing village into a tourist resort of international appeal, attracting a prestigious clientele since the second half of the 19th century: royal families, important politicians and industrialists, and famous personalities from the worlds of entertainment and culture. One of the most classic tourist destinations, the beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the elegance of its characteristic houses, villas and grand hotels that frame the Gulf.
One of the most classic tourist destinations, the beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the elegance of its characteristic houses, villas and grand hotels that frame the Gulf.
Spending a day in Santa Margherita is both pleasant and relaxing.
We begin our tour by starting in the historic centre of the town, where we can admire the splendid façades of the houses painted in the Genoese style, mentioned in art books, the shop windows of the elegant boutiques, the bakeries that tempt you to taste the fragrant focaccia fresh from the oven, the historic pastry shops, and the cosy patios of the many cafés, restaurants and ice-cream parlours.
And from the centre of the village you can access Villa Durazzo Centurione. Situated in a dominant position and surrounded by a lush, centuries-old park, Villa Durazzo Centurione is an important example of Alessian architecture. The large square building, built in 1678 as the summer residence of the Durazzo family, is surrounded by a terrace decorated with allegorical 17th and 18th century statues. Inside, you can visit the Prince’s Apartments, with original furnishings, frescoes and paintings from the 17th century in Genoa, and the Vittorio G. Rossi Museum, which is a reconstruction of the studio of the important writer and journalist from Santa Margherita. From outside the villa, there is a beautiful panorama of the city, the port and the entire Tigullio Gulf. Not far from the villa are the 19th-century Ville Nido and Ville San Giacomo, also, like the main building, owned by the municipality.
Next to the Villa stands the gorgeous Baroque church of San Giacomo di Corte, formerly owned by the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, and later passed in commendation to the Doria family, which features an important cycle of frescoes by Nicolò Barabino.
Situated on a spur overlooking the Villa Durazzo Centurione, the Castle of Santa Margherita Ligure was erected after 1550, like other similar fortifications in the Gulf of Tigullio, in order to protect the village and its villas from the numerous Saracen raids of those years. It was subsequently modified and restored several times. Owned by the municipality of Santa Margherita Ligure, it is now home to the Multimedia Exhibition Rooms of the Sea Museum. An innovative interactive exhibition with videos, totems and talking paintings, leads to the discovery of the maritime history of the city and the treasures of its seabed.
We continue our walk along the seafront promenade, which skirts the city’s beaches and marina. Here, too, we find the typical colourful houses, trendy clubs, elegant boutiques and a gentle, relaxed atmosphere in which it is pleasant to immerse oneself.
A visit to the fish market, which welcomes the catch of the day, reminds us of the seafaring origins of this locality, which are still alive and precious.
The surroundings of Santa Margherita Ligure
Portofino Natural Park
The Bay of Paraggi
San Lorenzo della Costa
The Cervara Abbey
S. Michele di Pagana