As a jewel setted between Rapallo and Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure is one of the cities of Tigullio dedicated to entertainment and to nightlife, but at the same time it’s marked by style and elegance. It’s located in the heart of Gulf of Tigullio and it offers several possibilities of culture, sport and entertainment. To discover what to do and where to go during your holiday in Santa Margherita Ligure, continue to read this short guide to discover the possibilities that are waiting for you: a quick digression of useful information between attractions, events, sports complexes and breathtaking hikes.
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Main attractions in Santa Margherita Ligure
Historical villa built in 1678. The “Apartments of Piano Nobile” are opened to the public and they can be visited all year round. Halls are furnished with period furniture and they hold also a valuable art gallery of Genoese school of 17th and 18th centuries.
In 1912 Cervara Abbey was elected National Monument and it holds very important cultural events. It can be visited from March to October, the first and third Sunday of the month, or booking a visit for groups of 30 people.
Santa Margherita Ligure Castle was built after 1500s to protect the village from Saracen raids. Later it has been reshaped several times and today it’s used to hold events and small exhibitions.
The baroque Basilica – located in the heart of old town, in Piazza Caprera – set up in 1658 in the same place where was situated, as some works testify, a place of worship of the 13th century.
The first religious building in Corte dates back to 974 A.D. The current appearance in baroque style is the fruit of interventions of 17th century. The building has three naves with ten side altars. The central vault was painted by Nicolò Barabino in the 19th century.
Capuchins Church, consacreted in 1633 and dedicated to San Francesco with the monastery, is located on the slope of the hill that looks out onto the harbour. This religious site is one of the most important of the city thanks to artistic and historic aspects.
In the centre of Piazza Martiri della Liberazione stands Christopher Columbus Monument. An impressive marble statue with octagonal fountain which was built in 1892 by the sculptor Odoardo Tabacchi. In 2017 it was restored with mastery under vigilant eye of Soprintendenza.
Sea Museum and traditions
Villa Durazzo, where is located also the museum dedicated to the writer V. G. Rossi, holds also Sea Museum. It’s recommended to collect ( in IAT, Villa Durazzo, Civica Biblioteca) leaflet about Sea Museum monuments and to create a perfect route in the city.
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What to do in Santa Margherita Ligure
Tourist offers of Santa Margherita Ligure are very variegated: from places to night club, from traditional gastronomy to shopping. Don’t forget also big bathing offers with every type of beach; for example “Mare per tutti“, that guarantees services for disabled people, and “Bau Bau Beach“, which is available also for pets. To be always update about tourist offer: www.smlturismo.it
Promontory of Portofino offers numerous fascinating dive sites for all lovers of scuba diving in a marine environment which is full of flora and fauna thanks also to the creation of the marine protected area. It’s also possible to dive in caves and wreckages.
In the middle of Santa Margherita promenade it’s possible to board for boat trips to Portofino promontory, to eastern Tigullio towards Moneglia and Sestri Levante, to explore Cinque Terre or for eno-gastronomic tours. Consult lines and timetable.
Dozens possibilities for hikes lovers. They can reach by walks hills, hamlets and Parco di Portofino. Not to be missed, the evocative “Kisses Promenade”: an itinerary between sea and woods that connects Paraggi to Portofino.
Paraggi is an important stop for a visit or a relax day. It’s a famous seaside resort with emerald sea and premises such as Le Carillon. It’s located on Dolphins Coast, halfway between Santa and Portofino, and it can be reached by bus, by walk or by the sea.
Main events in Santa Margherita Ligure
Festa della Primavera
Every year, the third weekend of March, there is one of the most ancient events of Santa Margherita Ligure: the bonfire on Ghiaia beach. It’s a very sincere day, with the first fireworks of the season and free fritters. On the top of bonfire there are two puppets, Tunin and Manena.
Patron saint feast day is celebrated on 20th July for Santa Margherita d’Antiochia. Besides the solemn mass and the religious procession frame fireworks, votive small lights on the sea and stalls along the old town streets
Bindi prize, presented in July, is one of the most important italian festival for emerging singer-songwriter songs. It was born in 2005 and it’s bound with two prominent people of italian music: Bruno Lauzi and Giorgio Calabrese, who have also partecipated in artistic running.
In May, quays hold TAG Heuer VELAFestival. A meeting place for enthusiasts, professionals, shipyards and companies for sail promotion in Italy, for tourism and for all that is bound to the world of sail.
Services and structures in Santa Margherita Ligure
It was designed in the mid-nineteenth century by the will of Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour. It can accommodate 600 boats, with different dimensions and typology. There are also available passing moorings, for a period of up to 5 days, from 1st June to 31st August, and to 7 days for remaining period of the year.
Covo di Nord Est has written history of nightlife. It was the most popular night club in Italy in the 60s and 70s. Today it’s always a welcoming club but more technological. It’s frequented by many vips, who hang around between Portofino and Paraggi, such as fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana.
For a simply match among friends or for a true tournament, you can go and see to the Tennis Club of Santa Margherita Ligure. It’s equipped with four synthetic courts, one clay court, one pitch, one padel court and ping pong. It’s located in San Siro district, 8, Via Frugone
The Minigolf course winds close to Flauto Magico Park, where you can find famous templates inspired by Mozart works designed by master Lele Luzzati. It’s opened from Tuesday to Sunday (10:00-13:00 and 16:00-00:00). Sports complex is located in 16, Corso Rainusso
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More information about Santa Margherita Ligure
Town Hall of Santa Margherita Ligure Piazza Mazzini 46 – Tel. +39 0185.2051 IAT – Tourist Office Piazza Vittorio Veneto – Tel. +39 0185.287485 N. S. di Montallegro Hospital Via S. Pietro 8 – Rapallo – Tel. +39 0185.683111 A&E Lavagna Via Don Bobbio, 25 – Lavagna Croce Verde Corso Matteotti 10 – Tel. +39 0185.283622 Croce Rossa Italiana Corso Matteotti 77 – Tel. +39 0185.284645 CHEMISTS Pennino chemist’s Via Giovanni da Pescino 2 – +39 0185/287077 Moderna chemist’s Via Jacopo Ruffini, 21/B – Tel. +39 0185.286812 Internazionale chemist’s Piazza Martiri della Libertà 2 – Tel. +39 0185.287189 San Siro chemist’s Piazza San Siro 23B – Tel. +39 0185.292002 Sturla chemist’s Via Palestro 44 – Tel. +39 0185.287002
Population and territory
Santa Margherita Ligure is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Genoa. In January 2019 it counted 9.024 inhabitants and a surface of 10,04 Km²
Since 2018 Santa Margherita Ligure, such as neighbouring resorts, enforces Tourist Tax from the 1st of March to the 31st of October. Tourist Tax concerns also furnished apartments for tourist use. More information
How to get to Santa Margherita Ligure
By Car: Santa Margherita Ligure can be reached by motorway A12. When you exit from Rapallo tollgate, it’s sufficient to turn into SP27 following indications. As an alternative, Santa Margherita Ligure can be reached with SS1 Aurelia that links Genoa and La Spezia, descending to the sea from San Lorenzo della Costa. By Train: Santa Margherita Ligure is connected to the line Genoa-La Spezia-Rome with local trains, Intercity and Frecce. By Plane: Santa Margherita Ligure is only 43 km away from Genoa Airport.
Other unmissable destinations close to Santa Margherita Ligure
Close to Santa Margherita Ligure there are a lot of cities that deserve a visit during your holiday in Gulf of Tigullio, such as the timeless Rapallo or the famous Portofino, the evocative Camogli, with the breathtaking houses perched over the sea, or the east seaside resorts: from Zoagli to Chiavari or Sestri Levante, which is famous for the Bay of Silence.
Ancient Benedictine monastery, dating back to 1000, was used as a pirate base and then as a fishing village. A true oasis which is located between the sea and the greenery of Mount Portofino.
Since 1935 Parco di Portofino, with 80Km of paths, protects flora, fauna and the beauty of the territory of Tigullio offering memorable experiences to its visitors.
The Acquario di Genova, which is made rich by the interior department “Giardino tropicale – Un battito d’ali”, is the biggest exposition of aquatic biodiversity in Europe. An unique destination, not to be missed.
The boat trip in the heart of “Santuario dei cetacei” is perfect for people of all ages. The aim: search and observation of 8 species of sea mammals that populate the marine area.