Portofino in winter

This is an excerpt from the book “Milan and day trips to lakes and art cities

Portofino from the Castle - Photo © R. Schmuck
Portofino from the Castle – Photo © R. Schmuck

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

Portofino at Christmas - Photo © R. Schmuck
Portofino at Christmas – Photo © R. Schmuck

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.

Portofino - the Castle - Photo © R. Schmuck
Portofino – the Castle – Photo © R. Schmuck

end of the excerpt, buy the book “One day in Portofino from Milano” for the rest of the content.

Where to stay in Portofino

There are hotels, apartments, villas and B&Bs available, check it out and make a reservation here.

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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