The colors of Liguria – Portofino

The colors of Liguria – Portofino

Портофино / Portofino

Thousands of times I’ve imagined me aimlessly wandering the streets of Portofino… ‚ I’ve enjoying its colorful houses and beautiful views… With one smile suggesting that someday… this hidden dream will become a reality! That’s right, Portofino for me was that dreamy paradise I didn’t share with anyone! I kept it only for myself, I dreamed it, I waited for it and… I enjoyed it… It’s time to show it to you… We are starting “The colors of Liguria” with the magnetic village of Portofino!

How to get to Portofino?

Some time ago I had written that the easiest way to get to Portofino was with a personal Yacht, but then I had not yet gone… Now I made sure it was not the easiest… It may be difficult to find where to park it… If you are traveling by car – the village has only one parking lot and the prices are around 5 euros per hour! (PARKING) Better to leave the car in Santa Margherita Ligure, there are more parking options. From there to Portofino there is a regular bus service on bus line 82, which runs during the summer season from 6 am to 1 am. You can find the exact schedule HERE. You will also find ticket information on the site. From the bus you can buy a two way ticket for 6 euro, and if you pick it up from one of the points of sale in advance, it will cost you 5 euro.

Another option is to go by train – that’s what we used to go. We were positioned in La Spezia and from there we took a train to Santa Margherita Ligure. Direct trains run on the route for about 1 hour, with a one way ticket ranging between 6-10 euro. There is no need to worry about late arrivals in La Spezia, there are trains in the opposite direction until about 00 o’clock in the summer. You can use the Tren Italy website – HERE for scheduling and booking. From Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino I already mentioned to you – we use the bus, its stop is right in front of the train station. The journey takes about 15-20 minutes along the main panoramic route.

Advice –  Buy your train tickets in advance! This saves a lot of time in the queues of the cash desk and the extra check of the machines. You will be much more relaxed by calculating your time and planning your stay in advance. And tickets can be used up to 2 hours after your train time i.e. and to miss it, you will grab the next one.

Advice 2 – Schedule at least 1 hour to explore Santa Margherita Ligure, it’s worth it…

A little more about the village…

Perhaps because of its current popularity, Portofino is not impressed by the glorious past. The former small port was built by the Romans and is called Portus Delphini – Port of the Dolphin. Today they are not many, but they can still be spotted in the bay… Situated on the Italian Riviera, it impresses with its beautiful coves, surrounded by high and steep slopes. Its permanent population is less than 500 people! Most of the cottages are located in the typical Italian coastal towns, terraced way. And their colorful facades once helped fishermen not to lose sight of the coast. In many places you may find Portofino classified as the “Most Beautiful Place in Italy” or the “Liguria Pearl”… and rightly so!

How does it become „The resort of the rich and famous”?

“The Resort of the Rich and Famous”… This is another name you’ll hear about Portofino… It has earned that nickname after tourism began to shift little by little in the 19th century, the main industry until then was in the small port town – the fishing. It was first discovered by the British, and in the mid-20th century Portofino’s fame had already spread and the once secret paradise has become a favorite vacation spot for aristocrats, actors, diplomats and other wealthy people around the world. Some decide to buy villas, others to invest in hotels and restaurants, while others come simply on vacation with their luxury cars and yachts… But Portofino’s image has changed forever and tourism has become a major driver.

To the Port!

Almost every walk in Portofino starts from Piazza della Libertà – there is a bus stop on bus line 82, as well as the only parking lot… From here we make our way down the cobblestone streets, where side by side you will see fashion boutiques and local grandmothers, selling their own lace products – something Portofino has been known for in the past, but is starting to lose in the present… You can’t miss the many souvenir shops and all sorts of interesting things…

And in a short while you will be at the central square Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta and the port… According to many visitors, the square is one of the most beautiful in Italy! It has indescribable magnetism… Surrounded by colorful houses with typical wooden shutters, numerous small restaurants nestled between well-pruned trees and giving a sense of timelessness… It’s like the weather stops here and you can enjoy the view for hours… A perfect place to get gelato from a nearby gelateria… Or sit by the shore with a glass of wine… It’s your choice!

Take a stroll among the many yachts and boats so you can enjoy the port more fully and see the beautiful square from every possible angle! From there you can see the beautifully colored houses with beautiful terraces, and above them the villas located high up the hill…

The most beautiful view in Portofino

Let’s climb a little, how about? That’s why I told you to have at least some gelato, because we’re about to climb! Just bring something in – be sure to bring water with you in the summer! Okay, we’re ready! In fact… it is nothing special, a pleasant walk on the alley to the Castello Brown and revealing beautiful views of the harbor… But in the summer months it can be difficult…

In the middle of the road is the church of St. George, which dates from the XII century, but due to numerous attacks was restored only in the middle of the XX century. Here you can relax for a one photo session time…

The Castello Brown is a landmark for the city’s development! Built in the XVI century with a protective function, but in 1867 it was purchased by the Honorary British Consul in Genoa – Montague Yeats-Brown. That’s why his name is “Castle Brown”… by that time it bore the name of the church – St. George. It turns it into a private villa and starts the tourist development in Portofino! The castle remains the property of the Brown family for about 80 years, in order to be managed by the municipality today and to welcome thousands of tourists… Admission is 5 euros and it accepts visitors until 19:00 in the summer.

It impresses with its beautiful gardens, but undoubtedly the most fascinating is the view that reveals from its terraces… View for what it’s worth to call Portofino… one of the most beautiful Italian villages! In front of you is the stunning symbiosis between the slopes of the Alps and the shores of the Ligurian Sea, lined with the presence of numerous colorful houses and hundreds of glossy yachts…

To one paradise bay…

I had seen so many pictures from Portofino that my head was turning… But there was a paradise nook, which did not come out of my mind… There is almost no information about the village where not having a picture from there… Rocky shore hidden by noise and two colorful, single villas over the waves… There was no way to be missed…

We returned to the central square and exited through its northern end, to the church of St. Martin. We found ourselves on the main road behind all the colored houses. That’s right, the designated bay is in the direction of Santa Margherita Ligure, where we came from (exact location HERE). Be careful along the way, because it is very narrow and heavy. Even buses use bibs on turns to alert oncoming vehicles…

The desired location is reached in no more than 5 minutes walking – it depends how often you turn to take a look at the breathtaking views over the harbor… And they are worth it… The houses around the square are tall, and now we are upstairs at the level of their roofs. Ever built this way, tall and glued together, so that they can play the role of fortification walls in enemy attacks…

You will recognize the bay on the yellow and pink house, you can‘t miss them! Go down the narrow stairs to get to one of the most photographed places in Portofino… A great solution for the end of our walk! And the bus also has a stop (“Fermata” in Italian) very close from here.

And for the end…

Portofino is a fairy tale… a tale of fascinating Italian romance that captivates you until madness and makes you fall in love with everything here… And for the sweet life… La dolce Vita… The epitome of calm and harmony, in contrast to the vanity and anxiety of the visiting elite…

2019-09-15T19:37:58+00:00