"The Pearl of the Italian Riviera" Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Margherita Ligure by nicolaitan

Santa Margherita Ligure Travel Guide: 90 reviews and 293 photos

The Place We Always Come Back To

We first visited SML in the mid-1980's. Greeted with Guten Morgen, given menus written in German, there certainly were not a lot of Americans visiting here. Well, things have changed a lot in 20+ years. There is a large Best Western right on the main street and now english menus come, in one restaurant, with either the British or American flag depending on the appraisal by the owners. Nevertheless, it is the village we always come back to for its laid-back atmosphere, reasonable prices at all star levels, great food, beautiful scenery. With excellent auto access to Portofino, Rapallo, Camogli, and tiny Zoagli, the location is perfect. Meals are always well-prepared, fresh, and at reasonable prices (except the hotels), and the locals remain as friendly as the first time we rolled in driving out little rented Fiat Ritmo. Photos here are of the beach and town from the same vantage point day and evening.

  • Intro Updated Feb 12, 2006
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Reviews (3)

Comments (8)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Did they give you the menu with the American or British flag? I suppose to be fair they must have German-language menus with a German, Swiss or Austrian flag, assuming they can tell the accents apart.
    Once I stumbled into a touristy restaurant where they asked each party where they came from and planted a flag of that country on the table. I must admit that I got up and left when they tried this on me. (I have even forgotten where this was, but I suppose it will occur to me after a while.)

    • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
      Mar 21, 2015 at 12:34 PM

      great story. but back then really there were like no americans, no brits, just lots of bmws doing 140km on the autostrada. the guy at the milan airport advised us not to take our little fiat into the passing lane ever and he wasn't kidding either. plenty of english language in florence and rome but the italian riviera was not on the radar. There were places, Recco comes to mind, we had to wait while an english speaker could be located.

      years later, when we could afford better than a class A rental car, the agency ran out of the car we reserved. tried to give us a van. No deal. ( I can drive manual well ). Ended up with a silver Lancia coupe, got that thing out on the highway, and joined the bmws. Back to SML.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Lew this looks like a special place to visit. Our sole visit to Italy did not visit this area, it makes me realise how little of Italy ans Souther France we have seen.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Your lovely pictures look like the postcards Lew. It all looks so beautiful. Another wonderful page!

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2007 at 7:37 AM

    those pebble beaches are shockers

  • skywalkerbeth's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2006 at 9:29 AM


  • zuriga's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2006 at 2:25 AM

    I loved this place.. was there quite awhile ago and stayed, I think, at the Continental Hotel. I'd love to go back in this new life. :-)

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2006 at 2:01 PM

    La vita è bella !

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2006 at 10:18 AM

    Rocks on the beach are fine - sand is for wimps anyway.


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