A Hidden Riviera Gem
Just a short distance from the ever popular Cinque Terre and the glitz of Portofino, lies a place that is so breathtaking that you have to see it to believe it. Only accessible by boat (although some claim you can hike in) San Fruttuoso is a wonderful day trip on the Italian Riviera. The main attraction is the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, an 11th century fortification that dominates the small cove. Other than several eating establishments, the well preserved inlet offers few activities, but that’s what makes it so attractive. The sandy beach, appreciated by mostly European tourists in the summer months, is a welcome relief to the bustling crowds of the Cinque Terre and Portofino. As you sit in a beach chair, it is difficult to keep your eyes off the transparent blue-green water which seems to have a hypnotic effect.
San Fruttuoso can be reached by boat from Santa Margherita or Portofino, but for a fully unique round trip day experience, take a train t
o Camogli (5 min train ride from Santa Margherita). After exploring the quaint town of Camogli, board a boat to San Fruttuoso. Then return by boat to Santa Margherita via Portofino. In this way, you see the entire peninsula of this Liguria area. If your home base is in the Cinque Terre, take a train in the direction of Santa Margherita, about 45 minutes from Monterosso (one of the Cinque Terre towns) and Camogli is the first stop after Santa Margherita. What a wonderful day trip!
For snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, this is a great area to do some underwater exploring. The clarity of the bright blue and green water here is hard to describe or capture in photographs. You really must visit and see for yourself!
And don’t forget to find out what time the last boat leaves or you will be spending the night on what will seem to be a deserted island!