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Camogli: 26km (16 miles) E of Genoa; Santa Margherita Ligure: 31km (19 miles) E of Genoa; Portofino: 38km (24 miles) E of Genoa; Rapallo: 37km (23 miles) E of Genoa

The coast east of Genoa, the Riviera di Levante (Shore of the Rising Sun), is more ruggedly beautiful than the Riviera Ponente, less developed, and hugged by mountains that plunge into the sea. Four of the coast’s most appealing towns are within a few kilometers of one another, clinging to the shores of the Monte Portofino Promontory just east of Genoa: Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, and little Portofino.

Camogli remains delightfully unspoiled, an authentic Ligurian fishing port with tall houses in pastel colors facing the harbor and a nice swath of beach. Given also its excellent accommodations and eateries, Camogli is a lovely place to base yourself while exploring the Riviera Levante. It’s also a restful retreat from which you can explore Genoa, which is only about 30 minutes away. One interpretation of Camogli’s name is that it derived from “Ca de Mogge,” or “House of the Wives” in the local dialect, so named for the women who held down the fort while their husbands went to sea. Another possibility is that it comes from “Ca a Muggi,” or “clustered houses,” which will seem apt when you are out swimming in the sea and turn to look up at the town’s wonderful agglomeration of colorful buildings. Other interpretations of the name abound.