We have “tendered” over to Santa Margherita from Portofino. For those of you, like me, who had no idea what a “tender” was; it’s a boat that can be used as a life boat from a big ship or can be used to transport you from a ship out at sea to a harbor. Our ship also used them to transport from one harbor to another, so in a day’s time we could visit many places. Our tender could hold 45 people, plus a crew of four and a driver. It was like driving a big fancy car, because it also had GPS and Navigation. It included a bathroom, and water and a life vest for everybody. So we were always good to go. I loved riding in the tender! If you read my post on Portofino, you know how amazing I thought this little village was. We also come from a small town, but not as small as Portofino, so I get small towns. Santa Margherita is a big place and port compared to Portofino. However, Santa Margherita is the resort and fishing town, where boating and sunning rules the day, and is much quieter than Portofino. Santa Margherita also had many more cafés and shops and I imagine the cost of living is not as expensive as Portofino. So, I saw Santa Margeherita as a place where the folks from Portofino and around the area came to do their big shopping and fancy dining. But, to me it did not have the charm of Portofino, but like I am beginning to see, it did have it’s 16th-century castle and the 17th-century church, this one, the Basilica di Santa Margherita, as every town along this coast has had. So, let’s get into port!
The port is much larger here and the buildings along the harbor numerous.
But, the beach sure is easy access!
There was a nice park and promenade to explore at the harbor too.
Our guide pointed out one of the features we had to see in Santa Margherita; the trompe-l’œil, which in French means “deceive the eye.” It is an art technique that uses imagery to create an optical illusion to depict objects in three dimensions. In other words all that fancy detail on many of the buildings that looks like windows and clocks and shutters and fancy trim is actually just painted on the building.
Here we see the trompe-l’œil shutters. On the top floor all the way to the right, the middle row all the way to the left and to the right, and on the floor with the balcony, all the way to the right. That window also has flowers in a planter painted on it.
Here is another trompe-l’œil building………
and another……. So you can see Santa Margherita is quite the place for this kind of architecture.
This woman has her own style of display………
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rose had origins in the Middle Ages, when sailers brought a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus on her left arm and a rose in her right hand to a spot that had long been deemed sacred. Today on that spot is the Basilica de Santa Margherita. It boasts ten featured paintings and eight featured sculptures by famous artists and is quite ornate (Baroque) in style.
This photo gives you a glimpse of the Basilica inside. Absolutely beautiful and well maintained………….
Back on the streets we passed many outdoor cafés…….
And local fruit and vegetable stands…….
And many specialty shops……. this one for meats……….
this one for olives……….and cheese…….
And this one for anything else you might need……..
And as we walked back to the harbor up there on the hill was the castle and ramparts…. I didn’t want to go there, as it was hot, hot, hot by now and the sweat was dripping off my chin…….
I would have taken that rubber raft back to the ship.
But, waited for the tender and took a photo of this hefty chain…….
Back on the tender this woman got a really good seat to get the breeze……….. and I was on the opposite side!
I hope you have enjoyed our little jaunt through Santa Margherita! See you tomorrow in another port!