With its pristine cobbled square overlooking a picturesque harbour of super yaughts and pastel lined pretty streets that house the best in upmarket boutiques and seafood restaurants
The quaint yet impossibly glamorous fishing village of Portofino is the shining jewel in the Italian Riviera's crown. This quaint town of pastel coloured buildings surrounding a deep green crescent shaped bay, has been a long-time playground for the rich and famous. Luxury restaurants and high-end boutiques line the pretty cobbled streets. Sit back and enjoy a cooling drink in one of the many open air cafes that fill the Piazetta as you watch the jet-set hop on and off the luxury yachts that flock to the area.
What to do
Take a walk up to the Castello Brown, a huge 16th century fortress that sits on a hill high above the village. Take the winding path that leads from the Botanical Gardens to the top. Inside has been turned into a museum housing many artefacts and pieces of art belonging to its former resident, Yeats Brown, as well as pictures of famous visitors. The castle has great views of Portofino and out to sea.
Take time to stop at San Giorgio Church and Lighthouse on the way to the castle. Set in a panoramic position, this is a great spot to take some pictures of the spectacular bay below. Visit the beautiful San Martino church. Dating from the 12th century this ancient church, built in Romanesque style, is perched on a hill close to the main plaza. It has a particularly impressive interior decorated with colourful paintings, mosaics and statues.
Go window shopping. Portofino is famous for its luxury shops and you will find all the most glamorous, luxury, brands there. Alongside there are several craftsmen shops selling high end, local products. Indulge in a bit of people watching. Take a table at one of the many waterside cafes, grab and espresso or a cooling drink and take in the unique spectacle that is the rich and famous at play.
Where to eat
Dine like the rich and famous at Ristorante Puny. One of Portofino's most popular restaurants, you can dine on delicious fresh seafood and pasta dishes. The service is impeccable, and the chance of a celebrity spotting is high. Situated close to the harbour with an outside seating area.
For a slightly more affordable option try Taverna del Marinaio. This local restaurant has been serving traditional, high quality antipasti, fresh seafood and deserts for travellers and locals for over 25 years.
Enjoy a cooling glass of wine and charcuterie board at Winterose Wine Bar. Located at the end of the harbour it offers reasonable value (for Portofino) and is a great spot for people watching and taking in the stunning view.
Right on the water's edge you will find the excellent Capo Nord. As is typical for the town, it specialises in fresh seafood and pasta dishes, but what really sets this restaurant apart is its fantastic waterside setting, the perfect location for a romantic dinner or special occasion.
How to get there
The nearest airports are located at Genoa (47km) Parma (104km) Pisa (148km) and Milan (216km). There is a quick and convenient direct train from Genoa (20m) If arriving by train, step off at Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino. From there it is a short stroll into town. Portofino is car-free but you can drive the narrow winding road close to the village where there is a small parking lot.
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