- Detailed description of the attractions
- travel schedule and cost for trains
- travel schedule and cost for boats
- list of best restaurants, bars and “gelaterias”
- and all the other details you need to have a wonderful and successful trip:
Italy’s best secret: One day trips from Milan without a car:
enjoy Portofino in wintertime
Are you stuck in Italy, maybe on a business trip in the busy and crowded city of Milan? Perhaps it is wintertime, and the weather is lousy, with dense fog, or it’s freezing. If you have one day free in your busy schedule in Italy you can take advantage of the train system, and go to visit a magic place on the Italian Riviera: Portofino. The weather in the Italian Riviera is usually much milder than in Milan, and Santa Margherita Ligure is a winter retreat for Milanese pensioners.
Portofino harbor – Photo © R. Schmuck
Portofino can be very crowded during the high season, one of the most crowded places in Italy, the narrow road to get there is often a long bumper-to-bumper in these days and you even have electronic info on the road, telling you the approximate waiting time before you may reach Portofino.
Go there in Spring or Autumn, or, better, in a sunny winter day: you will have a magic place all for yourselves, and, if you are there in the peak season, take the boat from San. Margherita Ligure, Rapallo or Camogli instead of driving.
Hotels and restaurant prices in Portofino are really extremely high, some of the highest price in Italy: if you want to eat on the “piazzetta” you will pay for the location, the view, and the privilege of doing so in addition to the paying for the food.
“A little village stretching like an arch of the moon around a quiet basin. Never have I felt the way I did when I walked into that green indefiniteness, with such a sense of peace and fulfilment”.
From Vie Errante by Guy de Maupassant
It was Pliny who first described this stunning natural area and named it ‘Portus Delphini’. This over time was corrupted to Portofino.
Portofino is a typical fisherman village of the Ligurian Riviera which has become one of the most renowned tourist spots in all of Italy, best known in all the world for its tall colored houses situated in a semicircular formation around the small port and piazza.
Portofino and the Tigullio Gulf are symbols representing Italy throughout the world. The coast is a sequence of fashionable resorts with their marinas, pastel-colored houses, first-rate sports facilities and the seductive atmosphere of the Dolce Vita.
But perhaps the most striking thing for the traveler is the beauty of the seascapes, with some of the most celebrated views in Italy, suspended between the intense blue of the sea and the green mountains.
The area of Portofino boasts an exceptional natural heritage that includes traces of rural and nautical civilizations, splendid religious architecture, and clusters of rural houses surrounded by tiny orchards and sections of land planted with grape vines and olive trees.
In Portofino don’t miss a visit to the Brown Castle, there is a terrace with breathtaking view on both the open sea and the Bay of Portofino (the pictures in this page are all shot from the terrace). The Brown Castle was a stronghold of enormous strategic importance, it watched over the entire Tigullio Gulf and the towns located along its coast, not to mention the transport routes leading over the Eastern Ligurian Apennine Mountains.
It was located in a strategic position for sanitary controls too, which were done to prevent as much as possible plagues and infections.
Flanked by the nearby fortress and adjacent lookout tower, the stronghold guarded wide stretches of the Upper Tyrrehnian Sea.
Now the Castle is a Portofino municipal property since 1961 and it is the seat of the offices of the Sea-Park.
Where to stay in Portofino
There are hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs available, check it out and make a reservation here.