Portofino, Italy was our next port of call along the Italian Riviera. One of the most picturesque, enchanting and romantic places, Portofino is tucked into a narrow cove overlooking a rocky coastline. It is a town resort of the rich and famous, half-moon shaped seaside village with mostly pastel-colored houses.
Ever since the city of Genoa declared Portofino as a national monument in 1935, it has not been altered that much. Founded by the Romans, it got its name because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf- Portus Delphine or Port of Dolphins. It became famous in the 1950s with a song written by Leo Chiosso, “Love In Portofino”. It has also been featured in countless TV shows and movies.
We arrived there one sunny Wednesday morning with the temperature of 24 degrees centigrade and it was love at first sight for us! I can now understand why it is one of the most photographed villages along the coast.
I had fun clicking my camera away as you can see by the pictures below.
As we found out, there weren’t many things to do in this tiny town other than shop at the pricey boutiques while strolling along the small harbor, sit down at a little cafe watching people go by while we enjoy a glass of wine or visit the castle, Castello Brown, way on top of a steep inclination.
Walking up the cliff-side on our way to the castle, we discovered picture-perfect gardens (to my delight, of course)! Castello Brown, which is open to the public from 10 AM to 7 PM, is a medieval castle with a very nice garden which became the home of Yeats Brown, a British consul to Genoa in 1890. Its yard provided us an awesome view of Portofino and its small harbor.
With a decidedly affluent aura, Portofino is a popular destination for the rich and the famous. Most owners of the yachts and big fancy boats anchored at the cove and the residents stay out of sight during the day, only coming out and making their appearances by evening when the day trippers are gone. Well, “feeling rich and famous” that day, we stayed on shore well into the night, dining in the rich-ambiance of Ristorante Delfino, one of Portofino’s few restaurants that are very expensive! Hotels are also pricey!
We enjoyed our visit to Portofino and were delighted to find a Christmas ornament painted by a local artist that captured the spirit of this picturesque seaside town, and of course, I had to close my eyes and bought it! As usual, it’s very hard to leave behind something as beautiful as Portofino. We will be back!