Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Walk From Portofino to Santa Margherita

I didn't make a conscious decision to walk all the way back until I had reached the main road, saw the bus pull away, and just kept walking. Good decision. Along with great exercise, I got the chance to see the route I had only been able to get glimpses of on the bus because I was always standing and trying not to knock into people. I saw incredible mansions, about four or five of the bathing clubs that are so popular in these coastal resorts, and stunning vistas everywhere I turned. Many Italians, as well as other foreigners, rent lounges and changing areas every summer for the entire season. Nobody goes to the beach in a swimsuit. One must change into a proper "bathing costume" when one arrives. They return year after year, coming down from Milan or Genoa on weekends to the same clubs. I was surprised to learn that at our hotel, the Metropole, most of the people out on the sun deck weren't guests of the hotel. I met a number of these people, including a man with his wife and two young boys from Norway who have been coming for four years to get some reliable sun and warm water. He assured me that summers can be beautiful in Norway but that they are unpredictable. Hence, Santa Margherita. The walk took about an hour and forty five minutes and was well worth the effort.

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