A week in Liguria – Our Liguria tips

One week in Liguria Portofino

It's been almost 3 months since our week in Liguria – unbelievable. It's high time that we show you all the beautiful pictures and of course tell you what we have seen, including our Liguria tips. But how did it happen that we ended up in Liguria for a week?? Actually Milan was to blame. Yes, the fashion capital of Italy is not part of Liguria. But Stefan wanted to fly to Milan this year and we decided to just add a few more days at the sea. And if you drive south from Milan, you end up in Liguria. And when I first leafed through our Liguria travel guide, which of course I had to order, I knew it was going to be great. The first vacation for the three of us.

Day 1& 2 – Milan

Milan Tips - A week in Liguria

Patricia: The spirits seem to divide when it comes to Milan. When I mentioned that we will fly to Milan, either came "Beautiful!" or "Total Disappointment". And how did we find it? Not amazingly great, but still quite beautiful. There are definitely some highlights to discover. But the 24h we had in Milan in the end were enough for us.

We stayed at the Radisson Blu Milan, as we still had a voucher Stefan won at a blogger event two years ago. The hotel is recommendable (especially because it has an indoor pool, which we had all to ourselves :D), but rather located on the outskirts of the city. We had to take the bus to the center for about 25 minutes. So if you find something affordable in the center, better take this to not waste time.

Milan Tips - One week in Liguria

Milan tips - One week in Liguria

After we landed at noon, picked up our rental car, drove with it to the hotel and checked in, we also got directly on the bus and drove to the center. There we immediately took a look at the Milan Cathedral, which is really impressive and definitely worth seeing, fed the baby girl right on the main shopping street, Corso Vitttorio Emanuele, and then went to eat at the Taverna del Borgo Antico on Fee's recommendation. We didn't have the best pizza of our lives there (we definitely had it in Bosa), but it was very tasty and the ambiance in the little alley was wonderful. The perfect start to your vacation!

Milan Tips - One week in Liguria

Milan Tips - A Week in LiguriaMilan Tips - One week in LiguriaMilan Tips - One Week in LiguriaMilan Tips - One week in LiguriaMilan Tips - One week in LiguriaMilan Tips - One week in LiguriaMilan tips - One week in LiguriaMilan Tips - A Week in Liguria

Afterwards we strolled towards the cathedral again, Stefan got his obligatory ice cream and we walked to the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is also very worth seeing.

Milan Tips - One week in LiguriaMilan Tips - One week in LiguriaMilan tips - A week in Liguria

The next morning we split up. Stefan had booked a stadium tour at the San Siro stadium and took Marlena with him. I went shopping in the meantime. However, I have to be honest and say that Milan is not such a shopper's paradise as one would think. At least in the main shopping street there are quite a few primark-like stores, which were rather not my thing. However, when I happened to come upon the Corso di Porta Ticinese, things started to look a bit different. Here were the really interesting stores, cafes and restaurants. The street itself was also much more exciting. You could perhaps call it the hipster district of Milan.

Milan Tips - A Week in Liguria

If you walk down the street further and further, you come to the probably most beautiful quarter of Milan, which is also called a little Venice – Navigli. There I met again with Stefan and Marlena and Marlena licked at the first ice cream of her life from the Eiscafe Stecco Natura. And we found with Le Celizie even a halfway affordable restaurant right on the waterfront.

Milan Tips - One week in Liguria NavigliMilan tips - A week in Liguria NavigliMilan Tips - A week in Liguria Navigli

On to Liguria! – Our vacation home in Santa Margherita Ligure

Stefan: We have been looking for a vacation home for a long time. Because with a baby you need a place where you can spend a few hours and feel comfortable. One cannot be on the way like in former times 12 hours per day continuously and therefore we organized already some rounds of presentation, in which the one presented to the other its selected favorites😀 . With the vacation house it was important to us that we have of course 2 rooms (so that Marlena can sleep in peace and I can still drop something without her waking up :-)), a kitchen (I love to cook with regional ingredients on vacation) and best of all a garden. And what can I say about our vacation home? It was just perfect.

Vacation home Liguria Santa Margherita Ligure

In addition to everything we expected from our accommodation, there was an additional view of the whole valley! Having breakfast in the garden while looking at the whole area, just great! The vacation house had just been built by the owners Gianpaolo and his wife Anna and we were one of the first guests. The two have lovingly furnished the entire cottage and there is really everything you need. From the washing machine to the grill you really don't need to bring anything with you. Even a crib for Marlena they had provided, we had not even asked for it😀 (here you can book😉 ) .

Vacation home Liguria Santa Margherita LigureVacation home Liguria Santa Margherita Ligure

Vacation home Liguria Santa Margherita Ligure

The view to the neighboring property – not bad, either?

Vacation home Liguria Santa Margherita Ligure

The road that leads from the vacation home to Santa Margherita Ligure

Vacation home Liguria Santa Margherita Ligure

The grill was of course also used extensively!

The view was a dream!

Day 3: Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure One week in Liguria

Patricia: First of all we explored the place where our vacation home was located – Santa Margherita Ligure. And to be honest I didn't expect it to be so beautiful there. Honestly Santa Margherita Ligure was together with Camogli my favorite place we have seen in Liguria. Beautiful architecture, small, winding streets and the charm of a harbor town with mountain views. What more could you want?

Santa Margherita Ligure One week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure One week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure One week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure A week in Liguria

Just let yourself drift and stroll a little through the small town, which by the way passes directly into Rapallo. Restauranttipps I have unfortunately no for you, since we had here only Foccacia. This was however for my feeling just as good as what we had later in Recco. Recco is famous for its foccacia. I didn't write down the name of the bakery, but I guess it was the Panificio Torinese.

Santa Margherita Ligure One week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure A week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure One week in Liguria

Santa Margherita Ligure One week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure A week in LiguriaSanta Margherita Ligure One week in Liguria

Day 4: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre A week in Liguria

Stefan: As one of the 40 places in the world that you should definitely have seen once in your life, I started planning the day trip. To explain: the Cinque Terre are 5 sweet places located directly on the sea and cliffs, which captivate with their unusual house color combinations. The places, including the forests around them, are protected as a national park and of course UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During the planning I realized right away that this would not work with a rental car. But how do you get there with the baby?? Of course by train, that's obvious. Because a railroad line was built to connect all places and to handle the huge crowds of tourists (I can anticipate: there were really many people). So I booked 2 tickets (round trip costs a ridiculous 18 Euro per person, why should you go by car?? 😉 ) Marlena was of course allowed to drive for free and we went in the morning by car on the way to the neighboring town of Rapallo, to then take the train from there to the first village of Monterosso. The train ride leads the whole time directly along the sea and you can pass the 30 minutes super with looking out the window.

Finally arrived you can expect a great view of the sea and a beach where you can certainly also relax super. We didn't have time, because our return trip was firmly booked, since I was a fool and didn't think of buying a ticket on the spot to be more flexible. Because that goes there even at a vending machine😉 . To do the "Cinque Terre tour" by train, you then have to buy the Cinque Terre ticket at the ticket office in Monterosso (I think another 9 euros per person) and can hop back and forth between the towns by train as often as you like. Oh of course you can also hike along the coastline. Why we decided against it? You need to go through the slopes etc. ca. 2.5 hours from one place to the next and that would have been too short with five places within 7 hours and with a baby. And so we went on from Monterosso to see first Vernazza and then Corniglia.

Cinque Terre A week in Liguria

In Vernazza, the train station is located directly in the village and so we were able to get to the train station after ca. 5 minutes already directly take the first photos at the sea. That was nice and relaxed and so we went on to Corniglia after what felt like the thousandth focaccia.

Cinque Terre One week in LiguriaCinque Terre One week in Liguria

As easy as it was to get to Vernazza, as exhausting was the way from the train station to Corniglia. For this is located very high up and therefore you have to be prepared for a determined 20 minutes of stair walking despite the train ride (take a lot of water with you😉 ). Patricia would like me to mention that there is a bus transfer from the train station to the village and it is included in the Cinque Terre ticket. We took the bus transfer back so downhill, up it went of course on foot. Of course, I expect this from anyone who decides to check out the town of Corniglia😉 .

Cinque Terre One week in LiguriaCinque Terre One week in Liguria

After that we decided to leave the other towns of the Cinque Terre on the left and take the train directly to La Spezia, the next bigger town in the Cinque Terre and have something to eat there. We just didn't want to wait so long for the next train, which was supposed to take us to the other places. Because in the low season not every train stops at each of the five villages. And so we wanted to tackle the last two places on the way back.

After the pizza we went to Riomaggiore, which I think is the most beautiful place in Cinque Terre and most of the time you see this place when you look at the picture results for Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre One week in Liguria

Again, it took us only a few minutes to work our way through the village and I was just glad that we would be able to get to all the places by the time we booked our return trip. So we waited for the train that would take us to the last place, Manarola. The first train we could not take and we wait for the second train. Also here I was not quite sure whether this would stop there at all. But a visibly convinced Italian told all the undecided tourists that the train would also stop in Manarola and so all those who wanted to go to Manarola got on the train. And when we were standing in the train for a few minutes and I saw the station sign of Manarola rushing past us, I realized that the guy was wrong. The train went directly to the first place, Monterosso. He noticed right away that he had made a mistake and his gaze did not leave the floor of the train until the arrival. Because certainly 15-20 people could not see Manarola without driving back completely again.

We didn't make it back because of our booked connection and missed Manarola. Some are now asking a specific question, which I can answer in a moment: No, he didn&#128539t get beat up; . And so we just looked at the Quattro Terre😀 .

Cinque Terre One week in LiguriaCinque Terre One week in Liguria

If someone would ask me if it was as expected for me, I have to answer, unfortunately not quite! Once you google and look at the picture results, you are just totally mesmerized by the beauty. But photos are mostly edited, taken at a certain time (the best light conditions) and, still most important, from the sea. If one stands then even in the villages, it is already impressive, but me once again the photography in advance messed up😀 .

Day 5: Sestri Levante with the Baia del Silencio

Patricia: Of course I had planned a beach day for us and had chosen one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, the Baia del Silencio in Sestri Levante. With our rental car we drove there for about half an hour and ended up in a small resort, which was similarly pretty as Santa Margherita Ligure. We walked first along the waterfront and walked in the direction of the Baia del Silencio. I was a little surprised that we could reach it on foot in the middle of the village. But when we turned the corner and saw the beach, I was surprised. People upon people swarmed around a small bay surrounded by houses and restaurants. Really nice, but way too crowded and absolutely not what we expected. Now one must say that we were there on a Saturday. After all, you have to do something even on a Saturday. Maybe during the week it is much emptier and therefore more pleasant.

Sestri Levante One week in LiguriaSestri Levante A week in LiguriaSestri Levante A week in Liguria

But we started to escape and looked for a restaurant to eat something. We found what we were looking for in the pedestrian zone. We ate in the backyard of the "Asia Cafe". But there was not, as one would expect, Asian food, but Italian food. We were especially attracted by the interior and the backyard was all to ourselves. I had very tasty green pesto, which by the way comes from Liguria and is therefore a must there! Afterwards we strolled a bit through the town, which is definitely worth seeing.

Sestri Levante One week in LiguriaSestri Levante A week in LiguriaSestri Levante A week in Liguria

Day 6: Portofino


Stefan: In our vacation plans a beach day was a fixed component and thus we wanted to make actually only a small excursion to Portofino, which is a neighboring place of Santa Margherita Ligure, and then finally to the beach.

What we did not know: It was the 1.May and this is also a holiday in Italy. Thus, in addition to the usual tourists, all the locals wanted to Portofino. Because Portofino is a little bit like the Cote d'Azur of Italy. So the police closed the complete access roads, because there were no more free parking spaces, and only allowed another car into the place when another one left it. So after standing in line for 20 minutes we decided to turn around, park the car in Santa Margherita Ligure and take the bus to Portofino. Unfortunately this also took forever, because we were also stuck in a traffic jam until a very smart policewoman had the idea to close the opposite lane, so that our bus could drive into town.


Portofino is a really cute little seaside town, if it weren't so touristy😀 . Tour groups with more than 40-50 people pass you by and on the other side sit the 18 year olds sipping champagne and oysters with dad's gold credit card. Just my thing😛 . Even to find a place in the restaurants was a torture. We ended up choosing a spot not far from where the tourist boats docked, so tour groups gathered right in front of our table to get on the boats. Oh, did I enjoy that.

PortofinoPortofinoPortofinoA week in Liguria PortofinoPortofino

Day 7: Genoa


Patricia: Genoa was definitely love at second sight. Because at first sight I got quite a fright. In all my naivety, I had assumed that Genoa was a small, tranquil harbor town that had only become famous because of Columbus. But as we drove into Genoa, I suddenly saw a big city. Google told me that Genoa is just under 600.000 inhabitants and I gradually got used to the idea that we would now explore a big city. By the way, originally we had planned to take a vacation apartment in Genoa. About the fact that we had decided then nevertheless differently, we were very glad then.


But then when we parked (use a parking garage if you are arriving by car, e.g. the Corte Lambruschini), and slowly walking towards the center, I fell in love with Genoa. It has a very special flair. A bit run down, then modern again. At every corner something new awaits you. We ended up in the Via alla Porta degli Archi, which of course immediately excited me with its colorful umbrellas. There we first had a coffee and ate a croissant filled with a cream in the Don'Cola. That was so tasty that Stefan got something there again. And this is what you see on the picture. The cream was super bright, but we don't know anymore what it was exactly. Only that it did not taste at all. 😀


We continued on Via XX Settembre, the main shopping street, which is not a pedestrian zone, but impresses with its porticoes with very pretty floors. Further through the old town through various alleys towards the harbor. And this one is totally modern. And has a Ferris wheel. I love Ferris wheels (when I don't have to go up there). Already in Malaga I was impressed by the Ferris wheel at the harbor.


By the way, in the harbor is also the aquarium, which is supposed to be really great. However, the queue was enormously long and we still had enough to explore. So we did not visit the aquarium. For this we have queued at the also not inconsiderable line of the Friggitoria. Here you can get fried fish and seafood. But since I am not a big fan of seafood, Stefan took fried vegetables. It was delicious, but not exceptional. We continued through the old town in the direction of Piazza Portello. We passed through another street with white umbrellas, which was at least as impressive as the one with the colorful umbrellas.


The Piazza Portello should be remembered, because here is an elevator, with which you get for I think two euros to the higher level of Genoa and have a magnificent view. Really terrific! There is not much more to explore up there. But you have to see this view.


After that not much happened with us. We were desperately looking for a restaurant and actually fear to this day that there are not many of them in Genoa. However, the Trattoria Franca was recommended to us, but it is closed on Mondays. And of course we were in Genoa on a Monday. We ended up in a sidewalk cafe where we definitely had the worst meal of the whole vacation (if not the whole year). So better choose a restaurant beforehand and build it into your daily plan.


Day 8: Recco& Camogli


Stefan: The last full day of our vacation started with a great rain shower. It was pouring. And so we decided to first visit the town of Recco and then Camogli, which was again directly on the coast.

We decided to go to Recco because it is said to have the best foccacia. And so it went to the bakery Tossini. A really typical Italian bakery with only one big difference. Because this is so well known and everyone wants to eat focaccia there, you have to take a number there like at the office. When your number pops up, you get to order first😀 . The focaccia was really the best on the whole trip and the ladies in the store are really super nice, even if you don't speak Italian and they don't speak English.

Afterwards we went once more to the sea, in order to get a family photo in spite of rain again.

We then continued on to Camogli. A really super nice place, filled with many restaurants right by the sea. There should be one of the best pastas. You can take them home or eat them in the adjacent restaurant Il Portico Spaghetteria. A really small restaurant with few seats. The waitress was a German who immediately grunted at us that the stroller couldn't stay there (it was still pouring and so we had to take the stroller into the restaurant). Nice to meet Germans again, then you know why other countries find us grumpy and negative😀 . We built this together and treated ourselves in peace to the pasta. In the restaurant was honestly a very subdued mood. Somehow you had the feeling not to make a sound, so that you are not too loud. Also the other guests felt very uncomfortable. What a difference the behavior of the waitress can make..

Many would take their things and go again, but I run at such a thing of course to the top form and am in the L…mich am…-Stimmung. I was happy about every loud sound that Marlena made. Later we got to know that there had been stress in the restaurant because things didn't work the way they were supposed to. However, guests should not be aware of this. Nevertheless we found Camogli really nice and it was a super end of our week in Liguria.

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