5 reasons why Portofino is worth a visit
In the beautiful Liguria region of Italy, there are many beauties, but undoubtedly the jewel in the crown is Portofino. The small, almost perfect port has been designated a historical landmark. It is undoubtedly the most photographed village in the world. But if you need a reason to visit Portofino here are five.
In the late 19th century, first British and then other Northern European aristocratic tourists began to visit Portofino. Eventually, more expensive holiday houses were built, and by 1950, tourism had replaced fishing as the town’s chief industry. During this period, the village became famous among famous stars and transformed into a destination for the international jet set. The former fishermen’s houses became expensive restaurants and cafes, while the narrow alleys were filled with shop windows with expensive clothes and accessories. The most impressive store is undoubtedly that of Alexander McQueen.
The natural scenery
Portofino is a sheltered small port at the edge of a beautiful green peninsula that forms the Parco di Protofino. The park has been a conservation area since 1935. The southern part, which is more dry, has high cliffs that enclose scenic inlets. The northern side is full of chestnut trees. Especially the botanical diversity of the small penisula is astounding. This is the reason the area has been a favourable location for human settlements since antiquity. Also, the peninsula is full of interesting walks with beautiful views of the coastline and, of course, numerous maritime activities.
If there is one thing that can characterise Portofino, these are the colours. The facades of the former fishermen’s houses are painted in rich colours, for which the whole region of Liguria is famous. Pink, rust, red, ocher, and mustard are the dominant colours on every building. At the same time, all the windows are painted green. These colours, combined with the deep blue of the sea, the white of the boats, and the green of the surrounding cliffs, create a colourful panorama.
The authenticity and the glamour
Many characterise Portofino as a tourist trap. The truth is that during the summer months, the magic is lost. It’s when crowds of daytrippers and tourists descend on the village, and dozens of yachts belonging to the international jet set dock in the port. But when the crowds leave, the village reveals its true face. A curious and interesting mix of authenticity and glamour. Walking through the picturesque alleys with clothes hanging from the balconies, you feel like you are in a picturesque fishing village. However, you can feel the glamour if you find yourself in the main street and the large square in front of the sea, which are surrounded by designer shops and expensive restaurants.
A cup of coffee
After a stroll through the alleys and promenades of Portofino, it is worth sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee. In the central square of the village, in front of the sea, the famous Café Excelsior, operating since 1924, is the perfect place for this. The café is also famous for its paciugo ice cream. It is made from chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, fresh summer fruits, sour cherries in syrup, and chopped hazelnuts. However, nothing can compare to the aroma of coffee early in the morning when the port is still relatively quiet and the first boats start their journey to the waters of the Ligurian Sea.
The Splendido Hotel, perched on a serene hillside above Portofino, is a timeless summer retreat and a haven for panoramic solitude. It is the epitome of Mediterranean glitz and carefree luxury, located in an old monastery overlooking the bay. When Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sought refuge there in the 1950s, the area gained notoriety. Visitors can take advantage of the children’s club, saltwater pool, tennis court, lovely terraced gardens, and superb Ligurian dining. However, it is a pricy place and not in everyone’s budget.
What you will take with you when leaving Portofino is a series of unique colourful memories. It is a place of unique aesthetics, inimitable beauty and effortless elegance. You do not need a reason to visit Portofino, you just go.
If you are visiting Liguria, Guida Turistica in Liguria offers guided tours in Genoa and Liguria with local private guides. Treat yourself to something special. Whether you are on vacation, or for business ask for a tour designed for you. Choose whether you want to walk, drive, hike or ride a bike. Liguria can be an unforgettable experience. City, sea and nature, the wonderful food and the tangible history are the stones of a tour, focused on your requests and desires.