Swim in Santa Margherita, Ligure

Swim in Santa Margherita, Ligure

The beach at San Michele, Santa Margherita Ligure

Après Swim Club | Santa Margherita Ligure

By Jac

It’s not hard to top the day we spent (2 small children in tow) pacing the chaotic (and glamorous) Milano Centrale train station hoping our determination would outlast the determination of the Italian railway workers, on strike for their third and last day in a row. After 3 rounds of standing espressos, countless cornetti and too many attempts to win the sympathy of the immaculately groomed railway guards we decided we couldn’t risk missing another day in the paradise we were headed to. We raced across the city, fluked the last available rental car and hightailed outta Milan, Martin Solveig’s Exotic Disco Mix (upon our four year old’s request) blaring out of the speaker and the city slipping behind us at 150km per hour. 

My first and most striking impression of Santa Margarita is that this must be the inspiration for Wes Anderson’s world of pastel kitsch fascination. The sparkling sea wraps endlessly around lucius hills, dotted with peach and pink hued, by-gone era hotels and mansions that would make for a perfect White Lotus set up. From the front beach pier a ferry departs almost every hour, winding around the coast and stopping off at some of the most incredible swim (and après swim) spots in Italy. 

We spent an afternoon ogling the mega yachts and jumping off the pier at PortoFino. There’s not too much room here to swim but a refresher dip is all you need before perusing the Jacquemus store and downing cocktails on the shorefront. 

Drink at Vernissage. There’s a little bar on a hill just as you reach the foreshore of town (Santa Margherita) After a day lounging and swimming at local Spiaggia Minaglia we stumbled across this bar and gorged on cicchetti and delicious Georgian Orange Wine all the while perched on an incline.

For a day by the sea away from the glamour of the Italian Riviera we traipsed around the corner from town to the local’s swim spot. Bagni San Michele, specifically Spaggia pubblica Travello, is where it’s at. The beach shack is serving a steady stream of Aperol Spritz’s. The ornately painted buildings of the town are butting up against the water at points and the Italian Cypress trees are leaning against it at others. In between all of this there are pockets of rocky shoreline where locals are lounging, teens are lunging into the water from the pier and there’s a pontoon in the distance playing a summer house disco mix for a flock of gorgeous Italian day partiers…and us, lapping it up on the shoreline!


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