We passed through Santa Margherita Ligure on our way from Genoa to Portofino and paused at Da Nello Trattoria Bar for a long lunch.
We had been advised by the excellent staff in our hotel, the Melia Genova, that the best and most flexible way to visit Portofino was to take the train from Genoa Brignole railway station along the coast and then catch a water taxi for the relatively short 25 minute or so voyage to Portofino. Excellent advice this was too.
The remarkably cheap Italian train deposited us at the station and then it was across the road, down some steep steps and we were right on the promenade, alongside a pebble beach which was being heavily used by locals of all ages.
Da Nello Trattoria Bar literally straddles the pedestrian crossing from the steps to the beach, having a small pavement terrace under umbrellas within inches of the pebbles. The main restaurant and bar is on the landward side, so the host and hostess have to cross the busy road to serve the terrace tables.
As one eats and drinks one is surrounded by boats but the view of the blue mediterranean is still absolutely breath taking.
We had some white wine from a carafe/pitcher, a tasty salad (€8), a selection of fried fish (€15). Whilst overall it was quite pricey the location was great and we lingered a long time. So long that we were given a delicious fruit sorbet which was the perfect palate cleanser.
Next we were off to Portofino by water taxi which left from a pier five minutes walk away along the promenade. If taking this highly recommended route beware that the ferry company takes cash only.
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