CAMOGLI – The Most Colorful Beach Town East Of Genoa

Camogli is a colorful beach town just one hour East of Genoa. You know, one of these typical fishing villages with tall, colorful houses that make Italy so picturesque and lovable.

View of the port of the colorful beach town of Camogli
Italy – just like praised in romantic songs.

Also, it’s definitely not by mistake that the bay that stretches from Genoa all the way to Portofino was named Golfo Paradiso, if you know what I mean.

Hence, let me guide you to beautiful Camogli so you can spend a day in paradise.

The famous Riviera di Levante attracts millions of visitors every year mainly for the famous Cinque Terre. However, along the paradisiac coast, there are also many other treasures worth a visit. Just like Camogli.

This small town is a truly romantic place, surrounded by the enchanting natural setting of the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino. Camogli – which derives from casa delle mogli, the wives’ house – has welcomed tourists from all over the world for decades. There is this vibe of relaxation, the sea, and incredible food. In brief: La dolce vita!

Camogli’s Past

In the late Middle Ages, Camogli was a sizeable port city. The town’s fleet consisted of hundreds of big impressive ships in its heyday. It was called the City of a Thousand White Sailing Ships for a reason. In 1798, the city even provided a large number of vessels to the Napoleonic fleet.

Port of Camogli
To this date, Camogli still honors her fishermen with the annual fish festival in May.

Today, the prestigious naval college Cristoforo Colombo, founded already back in 1874, continues the glorious seafaring tradition. In 1880, of Canoli’s then 12,000 inhabitants, 500 were patented sea captains. Also, a local Maritime Museum keeps the city’s nautical history alive.

However, over the centuries, handicrafts such as weaving, spinning, and dyeing replaced the trade and seafaring. And today, Camogli’s main source of income is, obviously, tourism.

Leisure And Activities

Most visitors to Camogli head straight for the beach. Although this is very understandable, there are some attractions you shouldn’t miss.

Beach of Camogli and the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta
On Camogli’s town beach, you can just stretch out on your towel. Or you choose the more sophisticated option and rent a beach chair and a sun umbrella.

A special feature of the entire Ligurian region are the brightly painted house facades. Their decorations, known as trompe l’oeil, represent architectural elements such as pedestals, ledges, balconies, flowers, or closed shutters. The building’s bright colors, however, once helped the fishermen find their way back to the shore.

Beach of Camogli
On a weekend in July: The beaches are more Italian fun faires than secluded strands.

Among Camogli’s landmarks is the Basilica Minore Santa Maria Assunta from the 12th century. Overlooking the small harbor and the adjacent beach, it impresses with its double facade in an enchanting Ionian style.

Basilica Minore Santa Maria Assunta from the 12th century
Assistance from above: It’s so funny how the church building is being used for hanging laundry out to dry.

Right behind the Basilica is the medieval fortress Castello della Dragonara, a castle that was built to protect the village and the coast.

Castello della Dragonara in Camogli
Look at those cannons – still ready to defend beautiful Camogli anytime.

Out Of Camogli

Yes, it’s very tempting just spending the day on the beach, just reading or snoozing with an occasional dip in the Mediterranean sea.

Basilica Minore Santa Maria Assunta from the 12th century
Way up high behind the Basilica you can spot the mountains to cross on your way to Ruta.

However, if you enjoy hiking, you can do so on the panoramic route that leads from Camogli via the towns of Rute and San Rocco all the way to Punta Chiappa. This typical fishing village got its name from a pointed rock that juts out into the sea. The whole route is about six kilometers long, hence walkable in about 90 minutes. However, beware of the slight ascent of about 300 meters.

Once you are in Punta Chiappa and you are into diving, you might want to explore for instance the Grotta di Gamberi. Nomen est omen – amazing numbers of crabs cover the grotto’s walls. However, there are also small crawfish, crayfish, and, of course, corals.

Practical Information

How to Get There

Camogli is the perfect location for a day trip. A bit over 20 kilometers East of Genoa and less than 100 kilometers West of La Spezia, it can be easily reached not only by car, but also by train.

Train station of Camogli
Camogli’s train station.

From both stations and, obviously, the stops in between, there are normally three to five trains per hour.

Where to Stay

If you plan on going to Camogli for longer than just a day, you can choose from a couple of accommodations*. It’s located in one of the world’s most beautiful bays, consequently, prices for halfway decent accommodation are quite high.

However, if you can afford to splurge, here are some ideas of where to say*. A good alternative, however, would be accommodation in Genua since it’s only 25 kilometers, hence half an hour by train away. Tickets start at 2,50 €uro.

Booking.com

Where to Eat

Where to eat? Camogli is catering to tourists, hence there are many restaurants in the historic old town. Obviously, it’s famous for fish cuisine.

However, if you just need a bite for the beach, there are small stores selling fruits and snacks like Arancini, Italian rice balls. At the bakeries, you’ll get pizza and focaccia.
Revello on Via Giuseppe Garibaldi supposedly makes the best focaccia in Italy.

What to See

I’m an avid solo-travelling woman. Since solo travel doesn’t equal solitude, I love to join organized tours here and there. They allow me to meet fellow travellers – for just a short moment or a lifelong friendship.

Therefore, here are some great ideas of what to do during your stay in Camogli. Especially if you don’t have much time, on an organized tour, you get to experience as much as possible. Also, pre-booking online will guarantee your place at the activity of your choice*:

Cash And Cards

In general, credit cards are accepted in Camogli. Mind you, there are many rather small businesses and you will probably spend money on cheaper things like snacks and drinks. Therefore, you should have some cash on you. Anyway, there are three ATMs in Camogli, so getting €uros shouldn’t be a problem.

Euro coins and bills as well as credit dards
Cash’n’Cards

As for May 2021, the exchange rate is 1 US$ = 0,82 EUR, but you can always check the conversion rate on this page.

Language

Although Camogli is quite touristy, people don’t really speak English – at least not well. And not voluntary. So while they halfheartedly make an effort to understand what you’d like, they’ll probably snort and roll their eyes. Don’t take it personally.

Reading Glasses and an Italian Newspaper
Wouldn’t it be great being able to read an Italian newspaper while having your morning caffè?

Zushini, Gnotchi, Raditcho – I’m bleeding from my ears since I hear these mispronunciations so often.

Seriously, guys, it’s not so hard.

So here are some general rules: As in any other Romance language, C is hard when written before A, O, and U, hence, it’s pronounced K.

If followed by E or I, it’s tch as in witch.

Now, if a C followed by E or I should be pronounced K, an H is added: Zucchini, Gnocchi, Radicchio – Zukkini, Gnokki, Radikkio.

On the other hand, if C followed by A, O, or U should be pronounced tch, they slip a – silent! – I in: Ciocolata, Ciabatta – Tchocolata, Tchabatta – forget about the I in-between.

Italian Classes in Italy’s Most Exciting Cities

As a matter of fact, it might be a great idea to learn some Italian or brush up on what you already know. A great place to do so is the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. Not only do they have campuses in Milan and Rome, they are also in Siena and Florence, hence not that far from Camogli.

If you are interested in taking Italian classes, but you’re insecure about how to organize your stay, don’t worry. The friendly and efficient ladies at the Scuola’s office are accommodating and can arrange literally everything for you – starting with an airport pick-up if you wish.

After a placement test, they advise you which class would be your best choice and help you with every little detail including providing housing for the duration of your course.

Connection and Communication

If you have a European mobile phone contract, no roaming charges apply within the EU. This applies in all 28 countries of the European Union as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
The EU roaming regulation applies to all contracts.

Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, and Switzerland are excluded because they are not EU members. In the three smallest countries, however, you can log into the mobile network of a neighboring EU state. This way, you can still use the EU conditions.

A cellphone is, obviously, an indispensable travel gadget.

There was free Wifi at basically every business such as hotels and restaurants.

The standard voltage in Europe is 220 V and the frequency 50 Hz. In Italy, they use three plug types, namely C, F, and L.
Whereby, since nowadays, all these chargers have integrated adapters, in general, the voltage and frequency don’t really matter.

If you are looking for comprehensive travel info, you’ll find everything you need in my post World’s Most Complete Travel Information – an indispensable globetrotter-classic.

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Note: I am completing, editing, and updating this post regularly – last in May 2021.

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47 Replies to “CAMOGLI – The Most Colorful Beach Town East Of Genoa”

  1. I actually kind of like that English is limited there despite being a tourist hub. To me it’s soooo dreamy to be surrounded by the Italian language all day. Also, trying to make conversation with someone who speaks little English is all part of the fun!

  2. I love the architecture and the color! It is nice to see a town with colors. Many times in this world most things are brown or tan, so a pop of color I am sure makes so much difference! Really enjoyed this article.

  3. With a historic background, nice beaches, colorful buildings and nearby hike options, Camogli appears to be an attractive destination. Thanks for sharing such a detailed guide.

  4. Yet another beautiful town in Italy. I saw a lot of places on my visit there but obviously, there is a lot more for me to see. I love these pictures!

  5. Beautiful photos! I really love that you give language and cultural advice. It make the experience much more enjoyable and most people really appreciate the effort.

  6. We visited Genoa a few years ago and debated on jaunting down to Portofino for a bit. However, we decided not to and I fully regret it. What a beautiful area! Camogli looks like such a fun place to visit and I appreciate all the information you’ve put together here!

  7. This looks like heaven. So colorful and right next to the sea. It’s everything I love most about Italy all in one place. Now, I’m just a little disappointed I didn’t know about this place before I visited Genoa!

  8. These pastel house colors are delightful. I love to photograph this architecture. I could sit in a cafe overlooking these houses, boats, and bay for hours. I definitely miss Italy and its extraordinary charm.

  9. Your pictures are always beautiful and well taken. I would love to experience an Italian beach and dine in one of those fin3 Italian restaurant.

  10. This post definitely brings back memories of our trip to Cinque Terre. We loved those colourful houses perched on the hills. We had so much time moving from town to town on the train. Although we did not get into the towns as much as we wanted. We made a bad accommodation decision and got stuck much of our visit high above the towns with no way down.

  11. It looks lovely! I’m living in Sicily where there are many small gems like this. I’d love to explore further north in places like this.

  12. There is so much to Italy that I am yet to explore but I am looking at a trip to Milan later in the year, fingers crossed! and Camogli will perhaps make my list then. As always, your post is detailed and forms a valuable guide to those who venture out to these beautiful towns like Camogli. I shall surely be returning to your post nearing my trip.

  13. Looking at these beautiful pictures taken at Camogli makes me want to teleport right away! I’m a sucker for places with rich history and your narrative truly excites me. Definitely adding this to the bucketlist! – How I wish we could travel again!

  14. I love beaches, so I would love to explore. But also that every beach and beach town in the world is different with their own foods and cultures.

  15. There are so many cities and tows in Europe that are just breathtaking! I would love to spend my vacation on Camogli too and just enjoy the scenery. Thanks for this guide!

  16. You’ve got a load of information here from the stay. I will say I love a place that has so much history and much to show from its years. Beautiful views all around!

  17. This beach looks lovely with lots of cultural trips to do too! I can’t wait to travel again!

  18. Love seeing all those people swimming! The black sanded beaches looks cool too but I am shocked to see so many people actually in the water off the beaches in Camogli cause I can only imagine that water is FREEZING at least for this warm blooded Cuban Boy! haha. But seriously, I love learning about Camogli. I had never heard of it before and love learning about any areas around Genoa

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