Gold Coast, undefined, Australia
July 19, 2004
We hired the boat in the harbour at Portofino. The boat we hired is a Portufin boat, modern versions of the typical old Ligurian boats that were once used by fisherman in the area. It was easy to use and extremely secure and safe.
Before we set off, we purchased bread and ham from the local bakery, and wine and cheese from the local store. The owner of the hire-boat business lent us an esky (or cooler box). The boat had a large sundeck covered by mattress cushions, an excellent spot to lie in the sun. Before we left Portofino the owner also erected a sunshade across the middle of the boat so that we had some protection from the sun as the day got hotter.
At 9am, we headed out of the harbour and turned right to make our way around the Portofino headland with the lighthouse and along the coast toward Genoa. We were headed for San Fruttuoso. Along the way, passing steep cliffs plunging into the ocean you will see the Batterie, so called because here there are the remains of German anti-aircraft gun emplacements built into the side of the cliffs.
In the small bay at San Futtuoso there is a Benedictine Monastery called the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. You can only reach this abbey by sea or a very long hike. There are tour boats which travel from Portofino and Comogli to this bay so we felt very lucky to be there on our own little boat with no one else around.
There is only the abbey, its tower, and a small beach. A couple of tacky looking restaurant/café type buildings are also there and I think they tend to spoil the area. Annexed to the abbey complex at San Fruttuoso is the Ristorante da Giovanni, which is recommended for fish specialities, shellfish, and lobster straight from the lobsterpots anchored in the bay; however, we didn't try it as we visited early in the morning.
You can snorkel here and be sure not to miss the underwater view near the Cristo degli Abissi, a statue of Jesus placed 15m below the surface of the bay.
After having our breakfast on our boat we turned around and headed back in the direction we came (back past Portofino), heading for the town of Santa Marguerita Ligura. It was wonderful to see the coastline from the boat and to check out the beaches.
We headed back around to the cove near our hotel to have a late lunch on the boat and to swim and sunbathe the rest of the day away. It was a fantastic way to spend the day and we got to see places we would normally not see unless accompanied by hoards of tourists on a tour boat.
From journal The Italian Riviera