Meandering along the Ligurian Coast

After spending the night in a car park on the outskirts of Nice with a bunch of other campers and motorhomes, we were all politely awoken at 06:30 by the local Gendarmes asking us to please move on. Apparently motorhomes are prohibited, but the signage was not clear. This meant we didn’t get our planned trip to Nice, so we headed back into Italy.

The northern-western coastal region of Italy is called Liguria, often referred to as the Italian Riviera. It’s characterised by steep mountains that drop into the sea, with continuous small seaside towns clinging to coves and small beaches.

First stop that took our fancy was San Remo. The primary reason for stopping was that it had an easy car park and we were in dire need of a coffee! After a good cappuccino and pastries, we found a nice little harbour, an old fort and some pubic art. As we’d missed the casino in Monaco, we thought we’d try our luck in San Remo’s municipal casino, although only the slot machines. Our €10 briefly rose to €12.50… before being wiped out.

The stopping point for the night was in Cervo in a proper camp site. We paid a couple of Euro extra to get the spot right next to the beach. The site had it’s own small beach with a beautiful view of the old Cervo village on the hill. We had a good wade in the sea and found quite a bit of sea life. Joolz also did a tonne of beach combing and we now have about a kilo of sea glass to take home. She was also very excited to find a sea urchin shell! Overnight it was very peaceful with just the sound of the waves gently lapping on the beach.

In the morning we walked to the old town. Apparently Cervo is the prettiest village in Italy (although I suspect many make that claim). The tiny winding streets were certainly charming and we almost had the place to ourselves. Joolz has discovered ‘Marocchino con Nutella‘, which is basically a shot of espresso, but the cup is thickly smeared with Nutella before the coffee goes in. We also visited the museum. It had an exhibition of 150 dolls (mostly Barbies) dressed up in traditional cloths, as well as several rooms of traditional tools of various crafts… some of which were being held by some slightly disturbing hand made manikins.

After a couple of days in Cervo, we moved on eastwards. We stopped at the Grotte di Borgio Verezzi, a system of caves in the province of Savona. They were first discovered by three boys who climbed down a well in the early 1950’s and explored an opening into the caves. They were more extensively studied by scientists before being opened to tourists in the 1970’s.

The caves are stunning with many stalagmites and stalactites of different colours, sizes and shapes. We also saw a small colony of bats!

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