After a great start in Monaco we were off to Portofino, well almost. Due to new regulations, ships are now required to dock two miles off shore which made it impossible to dock in Portofino. The plan was to dock in Portofino, head over to Santa Margherita for lunch and then have a glass or two of wine on the veranda at Hotel Splendido. Well, Portofino did not happen nor did the few glasses of wine at Splendido but, lunch in Santa Margherita turned out to be all we needed.
After docking in Genoa we took what seemed to be an hour taxi ride to Santa Margherita for lunch. I know, why should one take a taxi for an hour to Santa Margherita for lunch? Well, this was no ordinary lunch as I was on my way back to a fantastic property I fell in love with several years ago and to see a dear friend. It’s often said that one can never step into the same lake twice but I do delight in the pleasure found in my returns. Finally, Grand Hotel Miramare appeared and I immediately picked up where I left off – – the bar. I was a bit early so snacks and a little Ligurian wine was the perfect prelude to lunch.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my travels are the friendships I develop and maintain. One such friendship is that which I have with Andrea Fustinoni, the owner of Grand Hotel Miramare. Andrea’s family has owned Grand Hotel Miramare since 1945 and he has done an incredible job maintaining and elevating the property to a level worthy of many returns.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Andrea while enjoying a wonderful Ligurian lunch with fresh seafood, unbelievable pasta, the elegant Terre Bianche, Rossese Di Dolceacqua and dessert. This was the ideal lunch – – Mediterranean at its best!!!
Grand Hotel Miramare’s elegance and warmth greets you like an old friend and embraces you like a long lost love found. I was last here in 2007 and had a wonderful time getting to know the property and Santa Margherita. If you love the Italian Riviera, this is a must. I am thrilled with the beauty of this magnificent property and cherish my friend Andrea. I do hope you get by for a nice long stay. Tell him I sent you. The following two pictures are from my stay at Grand Hotel Miramare in 2007.
Next stop – Livorno, Italy (Florence & Bolgheri)
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