Stunning- the blue sea, the magnificent fort and town of Portovenere
An epic voyage planned today. Just a few miles South of La Grazie there is a break in the headland forming the West side of the bay. This cut-through leads to Portovenere on the Mediterranean end of the mainland, with the island of Palmaria to the South. Famously Byron swam across the bay here to meet Shelley. In later years, Shelley also drowned here when his boat overturned.

Portovenere is a beautiful old town with fortifications, church and tall, colourful buildings surrounding the harbour and coast. We arrive at lunch time, with a lot of motorboats and RIBs going in and out. The main visitor moorings are inside a harbour wall on the seaward side of the harbour, and don’t look very inviting. Alistair masterfully blags a temporary berth on the town-quay in the shadow of the shops and building, with a warning that we may be thrown off if the person who has booked the space turns up. They don’t, and we enjoy Portovenere for 25 Euros rather than the 75 Euros it would have cost on the other wall. We are the only yacht in a long line of speedboats and RIBs.

We explore Portovenere, walking out to the chapel and fortification on the headland to the West. The scenery is spectacular and Portovenere is picture-book pretty. We retire to the boat after a meal ashore and Atalanta Mary provides nautical interest for the hordes of tourists walking up and down the quay.

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