Santa Margherita Ligure is one of the best known and most renowned tourist resorts in all of Liguria. This coastal town, located in a protected bay in one of the most beautiful stretches of the coast, is considered the Pearl of Tigullio.
Its history is very ancient and dates back to Roman times. Since then it had a troubled history and over the centuries it was destroyed, rebuilt then conquered several times by the Saracen pirates.
Santa Margherita began to transform into the beautiful coastal town we know from the second half of the 1800s, when the nobility from all over Europe began to discover the wonderful cities of Liguria. Similarly to what happened in Bordighera and Alassio .
After the Second World War, and in particular in the 60s, Santa Margherita, together with the most beautiful places in Liguria, experienced an unprecedented boom in tourism.
Today “Santa” is a lively town, especially during the summer season, full of bathing establishments, bars and restaurants. But it still maintains its elegance, a legacy of the belle époque.
If you are thinking of organizing a nice holiday in Liguria, Santa Margherita is undoubtedly a recommended stop.
What to see in Santa Margherita Ligure
In Santa Margherita Ligure you can enjoy a quiet beach life, explore the elegant city center or travel a few kilometers to discover real wonders.
Villa Durazzo-Centurione is part of a single complex consisting of two villas, the castle and a beautiful seventeenth-century park with an Italian garden and paths in the typical Ligurian cobblestone called risseu.
This large villa represents one of the pride of the city of Santa Margherita.
It contains the Vittorio Giovanni Rossi museum dedicated to the writer, the prince’s apartments and the bellometti collection.
The seventeenth-century frescoes are beautiful.
The Castle of Santa Margherita Ligure is a fairly small building located right in the center of the city.
It was built by the Genoese in 1550 for defensive purposes. At that time, in fact, the raids of Saracen pirates were quite frequent.
The castle was restored at the turn of the century and is often used by the city to host events and exhibitions.
Church of San Giacomo di Corte
The church of San Giacomo di Corte was built in the 17th century but its origins are much older.
The structure is divided into three naves. It houses the famous statue of the Madonna della Letter and the frescoes by Nicolò Barabino.
From Santa Margherita it is really easy to reach even the Pearl of the Mediterranean, Portofino .
By boat or in a few minutes by car it is possible to reach one of the most iconic places in Liguria. This magnificent village nestled in the greenery is one of the most exclusive tourist resorts in the world and attracts thousands of visitors every year including artists and famous people.More information
Abbey of San Fruttuoso
San Fruttuoso is an incredible locality hidden in a small cove of the Portofino promontory. Here, hidden between the green of the Portofino park and the deep blue of the sea, is the famous Abbey of San Fruttuoso Capodimonte.
The abbey is a really recommended stop for those in or around Santa Margherita Ligure. During the summer it can be reached effortlessly by boat and the journey is enchanting and scenographic.
For true explorers and hikers it is also possible to reach this place on foot through the Portofino Natural Park.More information
Christ of the Abyss
The Christ of the Abyss is a must for diving enthusiasts. If you are in Santa Margherita Ligure or even in San Fruttuoso you absolutely must organize a visit to this suggestive work.
The Christ of the Abyss is a bronze statue lying on the bottom of the sea at a depth of fifteen meters in front of the bay of San Fruttuoso.
It was placed here in 1954 by Guido Galletti in memory of those who died at sea.
Diving near this statue is truly a unique emotion. On calm sea days, even the surface of the water is clearly visible with a mask and snorkel.
For diving enthusiasts also the Grotta dei Gamberi, near Punta Chiappa, is very interesting: it is named for an incredible number of crustaceans that rest on its walls.
Beaches of Santa Margherita Ligure
The coast of Santa Margherita Ligure is quite varied: there are several beaches to choose from, truly for all tastes!
Here, as in all of Liguria, you can choose between free beaches and beaches equipped with umbrellas and sunbeds.
Then there are rocky beaches, gravel beaches or sandy beaches. Depending on the area where you travel, you can find more spacious or slightly more intimate beaches.
If yours is a quick visit however you will find most of the beaches near the center, in an area called “Ghaia”.
Near Santa Margherita Ligure there is one of the most beautiful beaches in Liguria : La Baia di Paraggi.
The bay is actually a small natural harbor with beaches with very fine sand and a seabed rich in corals, starfish and many other suggestive creatures of flora and fauna, which make it a perfect place for diving.
Where sleeping in Santa Margherita Ligure
There is no shortage of places to sleep in Santa Margherita Ligure. Here there is a large hotel offer, many B & Bs, guest houses, holiday homes and apartments for tourists.
Most of the hotels are mid-range, but there are also several luxury hotels with impeccable services.
On the other hand, it is more difficult to find cheap hotels, especially in summer and during holidays. To find the best low-cost solutions, it’s best to plan your holidays in advance and book your room right away.
How to get to Santa Margherita
Reaching Santa Margherita Ligure is very simple.
By car, take the A12 motorway, take the Rapallo exit and proceed west for a few minutes. If you are nearby you can simply follow the Aurelia road.
Santa Margherita has its own railway station on the Genoa-La Spezia line. It is an important route with quite frequent trains.
Santa Margherita can be reached by bus from the main towns of Liguria. To get to Santa from the sea it is possible to take the boat from the ancient port of Genoa or from Camogli.
The closest airport to Santa Margherita is Genoa airport ( http://www.aeroportodigenova.it/ ), about 40 km away and easily reachable by train, bus and taxi.
ACCOMMODATION IN SANTA MARGHERITA
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