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12 Hours in Santa Margherita Featured

What to do in this quaint beach town this season, especially during VELA.

by Angelina Hazzouri

This perfect seaside promenade is... well... perfect. There is quite simply no other way to describe it. Quaint neighborhoods surrounded by stone beaches with mountain views keep the essence of the Italian Riviera fresh and beautiful. If you're lucky enough to take a day trip to Santa Margherita, it is guaranteed to be a day you remember. Take advantage of the town and do as much as you can to enjoy your journey.

For Breakfast

Arte Dolce 1©ARTE DOLCE

Start your morning in Santa Margherita with breakfast at Arte Dolce by tasting the art of delicately created cakes and pastries. Sit outside and enjoy the morning sunshine or opt for a table inside away from the heat; you'll be able to enjoy your morning espresso either way. The pasticceria promotes an atmosphere of elegance with relaxation - the perfect way to start your day in Santa Margherita.

For a Morning Walk


As Santa Margherita is a beautiful town on the Italian Riviera, a walk along Corso Guglielmo Marconi is not to be skipped. Fabulous views and stunning, old architecture guide your way along the coast, which is decorated with local shops, restaurants and friendly Italians. Many say it's better than Cinque Terre, but you didn't hear that from us...

For Art


As if viewing the gorgeous town itself isn't enough, Guglielmo Meltzeid Gallery offers fine art, such as oil paintings and graphics, in the artist's Santa Margherita studio. Guglielmo Meltzeid is a painter, sculptor and graphic designer who was born in Turin with a natural talent for art. He is known throughout the world as the artistic Ambassador of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure and collaborates with American universities to spread his passion for art to other prolific countries. Keep your morning exciting by heading here before lunch.

Related article: 12 Hours in Vicenza

For Lunch

foto 53 1©CAPO NORD

After a tiring but rewarding morning, lunch might be your favorite part of the day, as Capo Nord, a cosy restaurant right on the water, has everything you need for the perfect Santa Margherita meal: views, seafood, pasta, and of course, wine. As you sit inches from the water, you'll be treated by a wait staff that makes you feel like you're in the home of an Italian family, and the food is just as authentic. Treat yourself to an unforgettable meal in this charming seaside spot.

For Shopping

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The afternoon will take you around the town, as shopping becomes very necessary. Santa Margherita boasts quaint, decorative shops and charming boutiques that make you feel like a local... or wish you were one. For clothes for her, we recommend 3B3 Showroom, a concept store featuring many different styles and brands of trendy, ready-to-wear clothing. For him and the children (and still her!), Harmont & Blaine, a luxury Italian brand that started in Naples, has everything you need, especially for your night out on the town. Along the adventure, you'll find it's best to pop in and out of local and hidden shops, where sometimes the best treasures can be found.

Related article: Discover Trieste: From Barcolana to Joyce

For Focaccia

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Take a break from all the walking and stop by Panificio Pinamonti for some well-deserved focaccia. If you're trying to pass buy without buying anything, good luck; the smell alone will lure you into the inviting aroma of fresh-baked focaccia. 

For Aperitivo

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A day trip to an Italian town is not complete without aperitivo. For a fun experience where you can relax, head to Tortuga American Bar for a laid-back aperitivo including clever fruity and refreshing cocktails as well as delicious light bites  to whet your palate for dinner.

For Dinner


Dinner at Trattoria Tripoli in Portofino might just be the best meal you'll have while you're in Italy. No promises. With views of the water and the old Italian coastal homes, there's no such thing as a bad table at Tripoli. Choose from an extensive wine list and enjoy the freshest seafood and other ingredients the area has to offer. Some notable dishes include Trenette al Pesto alla Genovese and the Branzino.

Related article: Classic Wine Bars in Verona

For After-Dinner Drinks

miami caf beach inizio 1©MIAMI CAFE

Finish your evening with some fun in Santa Margherita at Miami Cafe, a small spot on a corner by the water where you can enjoy creative cocktails, welcoming service and cosy outdoor seating. Did we mention there's music? Enjoy the fun vibe of Miami Cafe where many locals and tourists stop before going clubbing. You're sure to have an exciting night.


For more ideas on Do, Dine and Spend, visit our Destinations page.