CAMOGLI was the “saltiest, roughest, most piratical little place”, according to Dickens when he visited the town. Though it still has the “smell of fish, and seaweed, and old rope” that the author relished, its rough edges are long gone and it’s now one of the most attractive resorts along this stretch of the coast. The town’s name, a contraction of Casa Mogli (House of Wives), comes from the days when voyages lasted for years and the women ran the port while the men were away. In its day Camogli supported a huge fleet of seven hundred vessels in its day, which once saw off Napoleon. The town declined in the age of steam, but has since been reborn as a classy getaway without the exaggerated prices found further round the coast.
Camogli’s serried towers of nineteenth-century apartment blocks line up above the waterfront and a small promontory topped with the medieval Castello Dragone. On one side of the castle there’s a busy harbour, crammed with fishing boats, and on the other a section of pebble beach, backed by a long promenade of bars and restaurants. Camogli is also known for its annual Sagra del Pesce (second weekend in May), when thousands of fresh fish are cooked in a giant frying pan in Piazza Colombo by the Marina.