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2004 Trip - Cruise - Portofino, Italy

Wind Spirit Day #5 - Portofino, Italy

Our half-day excursion today was a boat trip to San Fruttuoso and Camogli. It sounded a little different than the usual bus trips, and it sounded COOL! We were tendered to shore from the cruise ship and immediately boarded the quite large private boat. It took about half an hour to motor along the coast to a little inlet where San Fruttuoso was located. We discovered that the town of five permanent residents is only accessible by boat and helicopter (probably on foot too but not by car or truck). Although we did go ashore and started to walk into the Abbey, the helicopter activity picking up and delivering construction materials was just too busy, so we did not stay. I was glad to get out of there and back to the solitude of a boat!

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A guy and his dog - pretty cute!
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Next stop was Camogli, a fishing village, and it was lovely. Our guide led us off the boat into the little town. Before leaving us on our own for an hour or so, she took us through the Basilica. It was quite large for such a small town and really beautiful. A total of 13 altars, three in the front and five down each side, and each was beautiful in its own way. Wonderful frescos on the ceiling too.

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We were then on our own for awhile to walk along the seaside and check out the shops and restaurants. We stopped at one, and I had my first Peach Bellini and my first gelato. Both were great! Then back to the boat for our return trip to Portofino. We had a little focaccia bread and local wine as we departed.

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Bill had been to Portofino before, so he knew there was a tiny church at the top of the hill overlooking the port. We found the path that led up there - I was exhausted by the time we got there because it was very steep. We later found out that there is another less strenuous road to get there. Oh well! We deserved our dinner that night!

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The church at the top of the hill was relatively plain after seeing some of the more decorated churches, but it was charming in its own way. It had a cemetary/crypt next to it, so we looked at that too.

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Back into town, we checked out some of the shops. While we were waiting for the tender to arrive, we sat at an outdoor cafe to have a glass of wine (Bill) and a Bellini (me). They turned out to be the most expensive drinks on the trip! 30 Euro, which converts at least 37 USD. Wow! Of course, the Bellini was made with a split of Veuve Clicquot! They brought the champagne out and opened it in front of us and poured it into the glass with the peach stuff. I have never seen it done that way - it is usually blended at the bar. But, I guess they wanted to justify the huge price they charged. Portofino is considered an expensive town, and we can now vouch for that!

Farewell to Portofino!
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This was our night for dinner at the Eberle table, so you know we had good wine! Eberle Viognier and Cabernet - it was great!

Thursday Night Dinner Menu:

Appetizers: Escargots Classic in Garlic Lemon Butter, Sweet Shrimp and Crab Salad

Soups: Creamy Roasted Garlic Soup with Grilled Marinated Radicchio, Cold Spring Pea Soup with Yogurt, Crushed White Pepper and Mint

Salads: Classic Cobb Salad with Tomato,. Avocado and Chopped Eggs, Wind Spirit House Salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette

Entrees: Potato Crusted Fish of the Day with Braised Leeks, Apples and Smoked Bacon, Herb and Pepper Coated Prime Rib of Beef with its own Gravy, Creamed Horseradish, Whole Roasted Chili Crusted Port Tenderloin with Tropical Fruit Salsa over Creamy Polenta, Grilled Turkey Paillard with Shitake Raviolis, Asparagus and a Lemon-Scallion Sauce

Comments (6)

Beautiful photos, Nancy.

sheri:

Nancy, I just love these pictures. This is one (of many) area of Italy I would love to visit!

nancyhol:

Thank you, ladies.

I would like to go back to Portofino on a daytrip, but I think it would probably be really expensive to stay there.

We are definitely going to visit Camogli in September though.

I have stayed in the area twice, both times visiting Portofino (once staying in Camogli). It is definitely very expensive in Portofino! I ate lunch there once. Forget the cost now but much more than most other restaurants for some lasagna. The gelato cost was reasonable though. I have hiked up to the church twice but it has always been closed when I have been there. I am glad you posted a photo of the inside of the church.

It is too bad there was all that helicopter commotion. San Fruttuoso is usually very quiet and peaceful (except sometimes right at the shore in the summer when lots of teenagers arrive from some summer camp). I didn't know only 5 permanent residents live there.

Gorgeous photos! I remember Girasoli staying in Camogli and it looks beautiful. No better way to see these towns than from a boat!

I haven't visited this area yet but looking at these beautiful photos (esp. the churches!) really makes me want to go.

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