Fast Facts

  • Location: Tigullio Golf, east of Genoa, Liguria, Northern Italy
  • Attraction type: Sea Resort
  • Significance: Beaches, Activities, Shopping, Dining, Swimming, Walking Trails
  • Best Time to Visit: Can be visited throughout the year. However, summer is probably the best.
  • How to Reach: Ferry services are available from Genoa, as well as from Santa Margherita Ligure, Camogli, and Rapallo. By train, arrive at Santa Margharita Ligure and Camogli and then take a ferry to sail across. Buses are also available. Remember, Portofino is car-free, and so cars will leave you at a parking lot just outside the village.
  • Nearest Airport: Genoa International Airport

Portofino is not your average backpacking destination. Located close to the Italian Riviera, this resort destination is and has always been, the ideal destination for the rich and the famous. The crystalline Mediterranean water, beautiful beaches, a wide range of activities and significant landmarks have turned this old fisherman’s village into one of the most glamorous holiday retreats of the world. In Portofino, it is not surprising to spot your favorite celebrity while taking a dip, nursing a drink or taking a walk around the high-end shopping centers of the resort.

History of Portofino

Portofino used to be a fisherman’s village until the 17th century. However, from the 18th century onwards it started to attract tourists, first from Italy and then from other parts on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly the rich and the famous. Soon, it was completely transformed. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was a place noted for its amazing beaches, great shopping centers, mind-blowing services inexpensive resorts and wonderful walks.

Things to Do in Portofino

The ideal way to enjoy this paradisiacal little community is to do nothing at all. Rest and relaxation are the top attractions of the destination, which is not surprising because it has a propensity to attract people who usually have a very hectic lifestyle. However, if the activity is something you want to enliven your vacation with it, Portofino will not disappoint you. There are plenty of hiking, swimming and diving opportunities in the resort. You can also take to the waters with a canoe or a kayak and enjoy the great aquatic life of the seas.

Some of the major landmarks of Portofino that you cannot afford to miss include:

Castello Brown: This medieval castle was the residence of Yeats Brown, the British Consul to Genoa. Amazing interiors and furnishings, as well as historic old photographs, are some of the greatest attractions of the castle, along with its beautiful exterior.

San Gloria church and Lighthouse: This is another wonderful landmark you can visit on your way to the castle. Another pathway will take you to the wonderful lighthouse, Punta del Capo.

Accommodation and Dining in Portofino

Hotel Splendido is a luxurious hundred-year-old resort in the village. It is known for its excellent services, high-class facilities and long tradition in hospitality. Other hotels of Portofino include Hotel San Giorgio and Domina Gome Piccolo. Budget-conscious visitors can check out Eden Hotel.

You cannot leave Portofino without tasting some authentic Genoa delicacies. There are many wonderful restaurants in Portofino which excel in seafood preparations. Almost all restaurants along the harbor are great places to grab a bite. You can also check out Pizzeria El Portico. It is slightly on the expensive side, but the food and ambiance are excellent.

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