It's bank holiday weekend in Santa Margherita in Liguria. The weather is hot and sunny, a perfect recipe for an Italian seaside holiday.
We spent a large part of the day exploring the cobblestone streets and arcaded shops on the waterfront. To just relax and take in the ambiance, we decided to stop at a cafe just above the beach to people watch. Most people brought their own umbrellas and many had a picnic too. One extended family all huddled under an umbrella to escape the summer sun and then lathered up with suntan lotion to take a cool dip.
While people lounged on the beach, several merchants appeared. One was selling cool slices of coconut and another was holding large cotton cloths with colorful designs. "From Kashmir!" he called out proudly. I am not sure if they were really from there but they did look nice.
In the evening we took the public bus to Portofino. It's a 15 minute ride up the narrow coastal road that has such sharp twists and turns that the bus driver had to constantly toot a musical horn. We noticed that here buses rule and everyone else needs to pull over.
I have always wanted to visit Portofino, a resort for the rich and famous. On Skyline webcams I have watched the live streaming webcam and noticed the luxurious yachts. The village is accessed down a step cobblestone lane and the waterfront is lined with colorful houses and cafes all tucked into a tiny cove where the yachts are docked. We walked along the waterfront and found a table on a floating dock right outside a cafe. We ordered bellinis where the peach puree was so fresh, it tasted like it came right off the tree. The drinks were served with a tapa type platter of olives, cheese, prosciutto, potato chips, and carrot sticks and dip.
Determined to find the picture postcard view always featured in photos, we hiked up the stone path on the other side of the harbor to a small church overlooking Portofino on one side and the ocean on the other, We discovered that a music festival was taking place and a swing band was about to perform outside the church. We stayed for one song and they were excellent.
Back in town, the lights on the buildings were just coming on. We walked out on a pier to look back at the town. It was a lively place with people at outside cafes and musicians serenading tables. Many of the buildings including the church are outlined in white lights. Looking back at the town, we truly felt like we were in a magical place.