Take your boat and come to the VELA Cup in Chiavari. There is so much to discover

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Vela Cup Chiavari - 1
The VELA Cup in Chiavari is an opportunity to discover the Tigullio. A Gulf that the whole world envies us

More and more people are registering for the VELA Cup in Chiavari, scheduled for April 27. Over 50 boats(you can sign up here, find out who has already signed up here. And there’s also the ICE Cup!). But the regatta/festival is just one reason to get a weekend of boating in Tigullio. This is a great opportunity to go on a voyage of discovery of stunning bays, good food, art and culture in a Gulf that the whole world envies us.


VELA Cup Chiavari – Why you can’t miss it

It is in Chiavari that the VELA Cup 2024 will be inaugurated on Saturday, April 27, thanks in part to the invaluable support of the Marina di Chiavari Calata Ovest – a modern and well-equipped marina in which free mooring is also guaranteed for those coming from outside during the event.

1. Marina di Chiavari Calata Ovest is the modern and well-equipped marina in which free mooring will be guaranteed for those coming from outside during the event

Chiavari, heart of Tigullio

Known and respected as a seafaring town since the time of the Roman Empire, Chiavari opens up to the Tyrrhenian Sea with a strategic location: not only is it placed right in the center of the Gulf of Tigullio, a beloved tourist area in eastern Liguria, but it is also a stone’s throw from the renowned tourist resorts of Santa Margherita, Sestri Levante, Camogli, and Portofino; it is not finished here: it is also almost equidistant from Genoa and Cinque Terre, two other important destinations that are reachable by a few miles of navigation.

A center with ancient origins and a modern and competitive tourist proposition, then today this elegant town presents itself as a location at once lively and people-friendly, captivating for its nightlife and good food but at the same time rich in history and culture, with an interesting architectural, artistic and natural heritage, all to be explored.

Starting from Chiavari Castle with its mighty Keep, which is now the main witness to the fortified citadel that was erected in medieval times and later became a garrison of the Maritime Republic of Genoa.

From here it is easy and relaxing to take a walk to the heart of the village to discover its true architectural gems such as the Palazzo Rocca, the Cloister of St. Francis, and the Palazzo dei Portici Neri. Not forgetting, of course, the shopping alleys with stores selling typical Tigullio products and to reach the tables of the various interesting restaurants offering the main recipes of the tasty cuisine of the area.

Such as Da Felice (tel. 0185.308016) where you can taste the “bagnun di acciughe” or such asOsteria Moderna (tel. 338.3766675) which offers homemade “trofiette”.


Discovering the bays of Tigullio

Once you leave the West Calata anchorage, on the other hand, you are spoiled for choice of magnificent bays to reach with a short and easy sail. Starting from the western end of Tigullio, where Mount Portofino towers, the first inlet not to be missed is San Fruttuoso.

Panorama of Cannon Bay and the nature of Mount Portofino.

It is considered the most fascinating cove among those that “pierce” the famous headland, not only because of its wild natural beauty and turquoise waters. Going ashore in fact is the Benedictine Abbey of the same name founded in 711, while those who enjoy snorkeling underwater also discover the famous and fascinating Christ of the Deep statue.

The Abbey of San Fruttuoso in Camogli

Returning toward the center of the Gulf, one cannot fail to discover the two coves located immediately north of the historic center of the mythical village of Portofino. They are that of Cannone, surrounded by historic villas and colorful Ligurian-style mansions, and that of Paraggi, at the bottom of which a tiny but very famous beach also opens up.

Heading back toward the center of Tigullio, one soon discovers the large inlet of Santa Margherita Ligure, a larger town but one with nevertheless unspoiled seaside charm. In fact, one can go ashore to enjoy a stroll and reach some of its unique monuments: among them the scenic Villa Durazzo, with its splendid neoclassical garden, and the 17th-century Church of San Giacomo di Corte, with its magnificent white Baroque facade.

Leaving “Santa,” one heads east: in the wild cliffs that anticipate the village of San Michele di Pagana, the tiny and delightful bay of Prelo opens up. The space is very minimal but the sea you discover there is a magical turquoise.

Going ashore by tender or even better by swimming one can take a short walk uphill to the scenic pizza where one discovers the Church of St. Michael the Archangel: it dates back to the 12th century and was erected on the site of a former pagan shrine. Another pearl of Tigullio is then Zoagli, a colorful village overlooking the sea in the center of the cove of the same name. Just west of the major inlet opens a smaller secondary cove onto which L’Arenella Restaurant (tel. 339 4434114) directly overlooks, pied dans l’eau: one eats a revisited regional cuisine based on fresh fish just a step away from the waves.

The Bay of Silence is one of the (many) unique features of Sestri Levante.

The last anchorage to see is the very famous one that opens to the east of the historic center of Sestri Levante: the Bay of Silence. It has a scenic outline made by the lush Punta Manara mass, the colorful little houses of the village and the 16th-century Convent of the Annunziata. The center of Sestri itself is then convenient to explore on foot, walking lazily through the narrow carruggi until you reach the Church of San Nicolò dell’Isola, dating back to 1151, and the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, built by the Capuchins in 1640. Finally, also in an old building in the historic center is Polpo Mario (tel. 0185 480203), a famous seafood restaurant that makes the freshness of the fish it offers its trademark.

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