Portofino conjures up posh images of an Italian resort town where 1960s glamour stars laze in the hot Ligurian sun. It’s no wonder that Dior chose it as one of his “Voyages” fragrances, Escale à Portofino. Just hearing the name, you get immediately transported to a golden-age era of luxurious travels to exotic ports of call.
Postcard-perfect Portofino is best enjoyed on a hot summer day. We arrived early by boat from Genoa, admiring the Ligurian coast until we reached the hidden bay and its minuscule marina. I was beyond excited, imagining in my head (as sadly this wasn’t my reality) that I was a rich heiress traveling there for an afternoon gelato.
The colorful façades were striking, and the gentle waves made the little boats bob in front of the stores’ terraces, where nicely-dressed people were lazily lounging with a spritz or a bellini in hand. You can’t help but sigh in contentment when you set foot on the piazza. After all, you’re in Portofino, of all places!
Portofino is a tiny (read: ultra tiny) magical place where many celebrities come to be seen on super-yachts. It remains, however, a low-key and quiet place. There isn’t much to do in Portofino, except indulge in all the good things, but in a very slow pace. It seems that time has stopped in this town, and it suits everyone just fine.
After having indulged in a delicious meal at one of the very pricey restaurants overlooking the harbour, you could do a bit of hiking to catch the best views over the bay. When you’ve reached San Giorgio’s Church, continue on to Castello Brown, the 16th century castle and its gardens for some of the most breathtaking views of Portofino. You could also walk to the lighthouse on Punta Capo.
Portofino’s charm is undeniable. It is one of those places – a bit mythical, you’re not exactly sure if they’re real – that has a reputation of being wonderful. When you actually get there, you realize that the hype doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s one of those places that you just have to see for yourself. I suggest you do just that
How to get there: Take a train or a bus to Santa Margherita di Ligure, then walk to Portofino (approx 5km) along the waterfront or take a boat (traghettiportofino.it)
Where to stay: Hotel Splendido
Have you been to Portofino? What did you think of this picturesque little Italian village? Leave a comment below!
– Cath x