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The Position

On the way from Santa Margherita to Portofino, a small uphill road – right before Paraggi – takes you to the ancient complex. Here, the Cervara monastery rests on a steep cliff overlooking the sea. It is truly an epiphany for the spirit.

In ancient times, the section of coast that overlooks the Gulf of Tigullio and runs steeply along the shore toward Portofino was lush with vegetation. Cervara is named after the surrounding woods, which were called “Sylvaria” (from the Latin “Silvas”) during the Middle Ages.

 

Protected by the dense, rich vegetation of the Mediterranean bush, the Cervara and its 15th Century-tower can barely be seen as you arrive from the coast road. The access road and the monastery are shrouded with holm-oak trees, Aleppo pines, heathers, ash trees and hackberries, as well as by the typical underbrush of shrubs and lianas and the many other plant species that are native to the Liguria region.

 

On the side of the hill ahead of the Cervara, you can see the “strips” or series of terraces that are typical of the landscape in Liguria. They are the work of the Benedictine monks, who raised olives there for centuries (and, olives are still grown there to this day).

 

 

 
 
 
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