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Boat to a Port

by on March 25, 2008

A long weekend of shopping at St. Tropez was an invitation to spend a few days on the Italian Riviera with close friends was a welcome change. Crazy Too is a 108 Mangusta, two 2400 HP engines with a top speed of 40 knots make the Mangusta the largest and fastest Open Series yacht in the world. These yachts are day cruisers and whether you want to go from point A to B at the rate of 40 knots or just anchor off st. Tropez, they cater to every whim of their owners and at super speed.

The smiling captain was there with his crew, all very refreshing in the warming Mediterranean sun. Crazy Too berths at Golf Juan and the crew prepared to sail. Our first port of call was Sanremo, about an hour and a half away (60 miles). italy-sanremo-market.jpgSanremo had an ancient history, there are plenty of tourist attractions but our purpose of visit was something else. There is a colorful market open only on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which offers a range of accessories and fakes of all a famous French and Italian brands. There are numerous restaurants that serve Italian food and the wines.

The next morning was for the fakes market and everybody was carrying excess baggage of their shopping. We walked back to the harbour and made a noon departure for Portofino. italy-portofino.jpgIt is an ancient village which preserves and blends old world atmosphere and charm with modern tourism. As we cruise in to dock on the port side, a narrow castle like building is pointed out as the residence of famous designers Dolce & Gabbana. The right top is dominated by the Hotel Splendido which is a home to many Hollywood stars. There are little ateliers and cafes at strategic points with views of the village and sea. We made a late morning start for our next port of call, Portovenere.

italy-portovenere.jpgIt gets its name from Venus for whom there was a temple herein ancient times. The village sits on a rocky peninsula in the Gulf of Poets. Writers like Shelley, Byron and Lawrence visited and stayed here. The promenade along the harbour is a pedestrian only zone lined coloured houses, seafood restaurants and bars. We walked to Byron’s Cave, a rocky area where the young Lord Byron would swim, there are no sandy beaches and sea is not calm.

As Crazy Too is a day cruiser, she has a flat shallow hull, which in maritime parlance, means that as she cuts through the water it gives higher speed. If you are into marble sculptures then you must visit Pietrasanta. Its little difficult approaching from the sea, so the approach was from a commercial port, which had no birthing for leisure yachts. The drive to Pietrasanta was about 45 minutes, after enquires we were able to find some of the people who made and carved statues of all sizes, from little ones available at tourist shops to giant ones. Pietrasanta has many famous bronze structures and a giant bronze Botero occupies central place in the little town.

italy-santa-margherita.jpgThe next port of call was Santa Margherita which is a fashionable little town and is a dreamy spot better known for its food festivals and lobsters. The shopping is good and its nearness to Portofino makes it more popular. This was our last stop and after spending a restful night and some more shopping and lunch we head back.

The Italian Riviera is still unspoilt, this is more about the Mediterranean as it was with old fishing villages, cobbled streets, simple Italian fare and honest wine. de

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One Comment
  1. Nice and usefull post, thanks, this is one for my bookmarks!

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