The Italian peninsula was home to some of the most powerful trade emporia of the medieval era, and there are a multitude of small port towns and fishing villages all along its shores; Camogli, just over 10 miles east of Genoa, is one such village. It features a breakwater extending from a small rocky islet now connected to the shore to form a small harbor. In the past, this area was part of the Genoese Republic and home to many captains and sailors. During the Napoleonic Wars, his fleet took on provisions there on the way to Egypt where they would battle with Horatio Nelson. In more recent years, a fish festival has drawn in visitors to one of the largest seafood fry ups in the world. Today, Camogli still hosts an active fishing community, whose small boats loaded with nets and baskets take shelter within the harbor.

We approached Camogli the traditional way, walking down a meandering staircase passing by old houses, courtyards, and gardens. The sea was calm, the seagulls were out and about, and the focaccia al formaggio was moreish. After the sun came out so did the bathers to the characteristically stony beach.