The history of this small town has its roots in the distant VIII century AD. According to the surviving documents, the Portofino was founded by the Romans and at first called it the Port of Dolphins. The name was not chosen by chance: in these places there were really many of these marine inhabitants. The first mention of this settlement dates back to 986. Today it is a luxury resort town. His main income is tourism.
Portofino (Italy) is located in the beautiful national park. It is one of the most protected regions of the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The park grows a myriad of diverse shrubs and flowers, inhabited by many invertebrates, birds and animals. In addition, valuable monuments of ancient architecture are concentrated here. If you love nature, then you will enjoy walking along the alleys.
Portofino is comfortably located under the cape, whose height is more than six hundred meters. We are sure that you will not be indifferent to the magnificent view of the cliffs, under which snow-white beaches stretch.
Portofino attracts many tourists with its climate. Italy is generally famous for its surprisingly comfortable natural conditions, which seem to be created for year-round recreation. Portofino has a mild climate with many sunny and warm days in the year. According to those lucky ones who have already visited these places, it is especially good here in winter and spring. There is very little rainfall, so vacationers come to this town throughout the year.
Tourism industry experts say that the best beaches in the country are in Portofino (Italy). Prices at this resort are quite high, so wealthy people come here. Despite the presence of rocks, the beaches here are very pleasant for relaxation. Fine and soft sand, perfectly clear water make your vacation in Portofino unforgettable. The beach in this city is awarded the Blue Flag, which indicates its impeccable cleanliness.
For guests, ideal conditions are created here. Rental of umbrellas, sunbeds, various equipment for practicing your favorite water sports is widely developed. Numerous bars located on the beach make the rest even more comfortable.
Tourism has become the main source of income in Portofino since the second half of the 20th century. Since that time, large-scale construction of magnificent mansions and villas has begun. The mild climate, stunning landscapes, extraordinary Ligurian cuisine allowed the small town to become an ideal vacation destination for the rich and famous.
In addition to an ideal beach holiday, Portofino residents are proud of the sights of their town. Tourists tired of lying on the beach can get acquainted with them.
This is an ancient castle, which was erected in 1557. It used to be called Castello San Giorgio. It was created to protect Portofino from attacks from the sea. Today it is a place where various cultural events are held.
Monastery of La Chervara
This building dates back to 1361. It is known for the fact that at different times famous people visited here: Pope Urban VI, Francesco Petrarch and others. The monastery tower became a prison for Francis I - king of France.
Statue of christ
She was lifted from the bottom of the sea in 1954 in one of the small bays near the town. On it, Jesus holds open palms to heaven, as if calling people to the world.
This statue stands in the bay of San Fruttuoso. You can get here only by sea, for example, by hiring a tiny taxi boat. The statue is called "Christ from the Abyss." It is installed at a depth of about fifteen meters, so it is impossible to see it completely. In calm calm weather, when the sea is completely calm, the upper part of the statue is clearly visible.
This is the main, but very small area of Portofino. Italy (reviews of tourists confirm this) is distinguished by noisy and busy squares. Piazzetta is an exception in this sense. This is the abode of silence. Any traffic is prohibited in the city center, so it is not noisy here. The square offers stunning views of the main architectural attractions of the city.
Portofino, Italy: tours, prices
A trip to Portofino is a guaranteed bright vacation. The refined resort on the coast of Liguria has established itself as a place of entertainment and relaxation for famous and rich people.
The mandatory tourist program includes visiting the main attractions of the city. In addition, you can appreciate the exquisite local cuisine, go on sea excursions, learn interesting facts from the history of the city from a highly professional Russian-speaking guide.
In Moscow you can buy an interesting tour of the great cities of Northern Italy. Within 15 days you will visit different cities, including Portofino. The price of such a tour is 70,470 rubles.
You can go on a bus tour (15 days). Its price will be 60 324 rubles with accommodation in a double room. Perhaps in your city tour operators will offer you other interesting travel options.
People respond enthusiastically about excursions around Portofino (Italy). They are fascinated by everything in this town: picturesque nature, magnificent beaches, hospitable and friendly locals, excellent service. Only pretty high prices upset.
Portofino Hotels: Where to Stay
Portofino is a small town, so by definition there can’t be many hotels. The most expensive and famous hotel in which world stars stay is Belmond Hotel Splendido 5 *. The cost of one night in this hotel starts from 1900 euros for a double room. The second five-star hotel of the same chain is Belmond Splendido Mare. If the first is on a hill, the second is closer to the sea and the windows offer stunning views of the bay. By the way, the second hotel costs “a little cheaper” - from 900 euros per night.
The cost of simpler hotels, as well as b & B, starts from 180 euros for a double room. For example, Albergo Nazionale 3 * will cost 210 euros per night. Bucking rating - 8.5.
By the way, there is no public beach in Portofino. There are only hotel corners, and even hotel guests can use them, and everyone else needs to go to the beaches of Santa Margarita or Rapallo.
Prices in Portofino
If the price of hotels is understandable, then how are things with prices for everything else. But things are such that the prices here are quite high, which corresponds to the level of the resort. Judging by the menu, lunch in a restaurant will cost no less than 100 euros for two. The most expensive cafes and restaurants are located in the central square of the city - Piazetta. Souvenirs here are also not cheap.
A jar of strawberries in Portofino will cost 4 euros. A half-liter bottle of water will cost the same
We bought strawberries in Portofino. About 500 g of strawberries cost us 4.20 euros, that is, about 8 euros per kg. At the same time, in Turin, we bought strawberries for 1.60 euros per package (300-400 grams). Another about 4 euros costs a bottle of water of 0.5 liters, so whoever saves, stock up on some water.
But gelato is not so expensive. Before reaching the bus stop in (if you go from the port) on the right side in the shade of the trees there is gelateria, in which ice cream costs only 2.5 euros, and there is a lot of ice cream in this portion. For comparison, a gelato for 2 euros in Genoa was significantly less.
Gelato in Portofino and Genoa
By the way, in this cafe you can also go to the toilet.
As I already wrote in the article on how to get to Portofino, the cost of parking in the city is 5 euros per hour, and even then, it seems that this parking is only one in the whole city.
Entrance to Brown Fortress costs 5 euros.
What to see in Portofino: attractions, map, photo of the city
Brown Fortress View
A popular attraction in Portofino is Castello Brown. This castle fortress was erected in the 15th century. Until this time, there was a wooden fortress on this site, which was supposed to protect from pirate raids.
Official site of the attraction: castellobrown.com (website in Italian). There you can see the current schedule and ticket price.
As of June 2017 castle work schedule:
From March 15 to March 31 - from 10:00 to 17:00
From 01.04 to 31.05 and from 01.09 to 31.10 - from 10:00 to 18:00
From 01.06 to 31.08 - from 10:00 to 19:00
From 01.11 to 15.03 - open only on weekends from 10:00 to 17:00
Ticket price 5 euros.
Watch a minute video about the castle and Portofino:
You can visit the castle in order to see the original postcard view of Portofino. Here is a scenic view from the terrace of the castle.
View of Portofino Bay from the terrace of Brown Castle (photo from castellobrown.com)
If you need just this kind, then you have to pay 5 euros.
Slightly different, but no less beautiful views can be obtained for free, at least from two places. First place - not reaching the castle along a walkway with a live fence. In some places, this fence is slightly lower and on outstretched arms you can get a very beautiful photo:
Another place with a beautiful view is the square at the Church of St. George. There you can take a picture of yourself:
I, Portofino and some kind of package)))))
St. George is the patron saint of Portofino and his relics are kept in this church. The very first church, built in 1154, was destroyed during the war, and acquired its modern look already in the 50s.
Church of St. George
Another temple in Portofino deserves attention - the parish church of San Martino. It was built in the 12th century. Today, sculptures made of stone and wood and many other works of Italian masters are stored here. This temple can be seen from the main square of the city.
The main square of the city is Piazetta, where the most expensive cafes and restaurants are located. And the most expensive shopping is on the main street of Via Roma.
Piazetta - the main square of the city, where the most expensive cafes and restaurants are located
The town is located in Portofino National Park, so you can just walk around the city while admiring the views.
Narrow paths leading to the lighthouse
Brown Castle Terrace View
If you go towards the cape, you can go to the lighthouse, where there is also a cafe with a picturesque view.
By the way, a cocktail in this bar costs 10 euros, espresso 2 euros, cappuccino - 3.5 euros, soft drinks for 5 euros.
There are few tables, and there are high chairs at the entrance, which means that in the season there are even lines of people who want to enjoy the moment
The lighthouse has a cafe with a picturesque view.
And next to the lighthouse you can admire the turquoise sea and breathe in the smell of pines.
Not far from Portofino is the Abbey of San Fruttuoso di Capodento, and in the bay of Fruttuoso at a depth of 17 meters a statue of Christ is installed. They say that it is visible not only from the sea, but also from the hill on which the abbey is located.
The complex itself was built in the 10th century, and in the 15th century a watch tower was built to protect against sea robbers.
The most detailed map that I found on the Internet is presented below. To view or download, click "open image in new window":
Also see my map of Portofino's attractions, where I marked not only the attractions themselves, but also the places where beautiful views for photographs open.
Where is Portofino located and where to stay?
The amazing city is located on the coast of the Gulf of Tigulli. It is 377 km from the capital of Italy.
Portofino is notable for joining the Riviera - the famous French-Italian coast of the Ligurian Sea. It stretches from Cannes to Italian Spice.
So, are you planning a vacation in Portofino? Then you need to take care of booking a hotel, of which there are no more than a dozen in this city. The most fashionable places of rest are considered two five-star hotels:
- Splendido is a former Benedictine monastery,
- Splendido Mare Portofino - Located near the harbor.
For a night in these expensive hotels the tourist will have to pay about 800 euros. However, those who want to live here for the sake of prestige do not stop at such an amount. In addition, here you can often meet world celebrities.
Other hotels belong to the category of three- and four-star, however, and here the night is not so cheap - about 200 euros.
Most tourists who want to admire the sights in Portofino, prefer to rent apartments or rooms in mini-hotels for 60 - 140 euros. The nearby resort villages of Rapallo and Santa Margarita Ligure are also popular.
Tourism industry experts note that the best beaches of Italy are successfully located in this city. The resort prices are high, and therefore only wealthy people come to the sea. Despite the many cliffs, the beaches here have a pleasant rest.
Perfectly clear water in the sea, soft sand, warm air - all this allowed Portofino beaches to win the Blue Flag, symbolizing the impeccability of the cleanliness of the area.
For leisure tourists are provided here. the most comfortable conditions. If you wish, you can rent sunbeds, umbrellas, equipment for your favorite sport. Numerous bars along the beach line make your vacation more interesting and comfortable.
Wonderful local cuisine
Regarding the cuisine of the Ligurian coastShe is very light. The basis of the menu is dishes created by cooks of seafood, olive oil, walnuts and pine nuts, cheese and incredibly aromatic herbs.
The most popular meat dish is Tomasello - the most delicious veal rolls stuffed with eggs, meat and herbs. Fish dishes captivate tourists with a variety of variations with anchovies, which are served in fried, stuffed, fresh, baked and canned form. An obligatory dish in most restaurants was a seafood salad bar.
A restaurant closer to the center means that the price here will be higher. A cup of aromatic coffee in a prestigious institution will cost 12 -15 euros, and the average bill is about 220 euros.
Sights and excursions
Wikipedia writes very little about visiting Portofino, although there are plenty of attractions in this city, and numerous photos testify to this.
The main delights of the “pearl" of Italy are located around the central square, from where it is worth starting the tour. So, what to see in Portofino:
- Piazzetta is the main square, unlike any other in Italy. It is commonly called the abode of silence. This place is hidden in a depression between the mountains and resembles a quiet harbor. Access to vehicles here is closed, and therefore their noise does not interfere with local residents.
- The Lighthouse (White Castle) is another place worth seeing in Portofino. It is better to come here at dawn or at sunset. At this time, on the observation deck you can admire the incredible picture of the sea. A cafe is located not far from here, but it closes late in the evening, and therefore everyone who loves night walks should stock up on drinks and food in advance.
- Brown Castle - an ancient fortress located on Cape Marina. It was founded in the 12th century, but to this day has been able to maintain a beautiful view, which is proved by photos of tourists. At first, the castle was used as an observation tower. Since 1961, it became the property of the municipality, and today it is a house-museum that has preserved the style of the interior of houses of the 19th century. Basically, you can get inside the castle in the summer from 10 to 19 hours.
- Church of St. Martin - today La Chiesa di San Martino - the original building in the Romanesque style. Its decoration is a medallion window located directly above the entrance and original elements along the cornice. The unusual color of the church attracts attention - the facade is restrained gray with horizontal yellow stripes.If you stand facing the main entrance, you can see on the right a square bell tower topped with a dome and a clock. A bright interior with golden Altars and a ceiling painted in the style of the Sistine Chapel, stained glass windows and ancient icons, sculptures of Our Lady, Jesus Christ, John, Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea - all this cannot but attract the attention of tourists.
- Church of St. George - pilgrims from all over the world come here to bow to the relics of St. George brought by the crusaders from the next campaign. Since that time, the Saint has been considered the patron saint of Portofino, and on the top of the cliff stands the Temple in his honor. The facade of the building looks quite simple. Reliefs of biblical scenes are created on a wooden door. Despite the modesty of the interior, the temple is bright inside. Most tourists come here to look at the black and white pebble pattern laid out in front of the church. Near the basilica there are two viewing platforms with views of the bay and the sea. Near the temple there is also an old local cemetery.
- Christ from the Abyss - a bronze sculpture of the image of Christ, directed to heaven, was discovered in the XX century. In the coastal waters of Italy, she appeared in 1954, and she was dedicated to Dario Gonzatti. This is the first diver who died near the bay. The height of the statue is 2.5 meters. It is located in the bay of San Frutuoso at a depth of 17 meters. Despite this, it is not necessary to dive to see the statue. Pure water allows you to see the miracle from an ordinary boat. Recently, the statue was taken out to land for restoration.
- Regional Natural Park - almost the entire territory of the National Park is occupied by mountains, on the slopes of which unique Mediterranean trees grow. The total length of the hiking trails is 80 km, and all of them lead to viewing platforms that open up fascinating panoramas for tourists. Salamanders, goats, squirrels, wild boars, lizards and a huge number of interesting birds live here.
Judging by the reviews of tours of the famous Portofino, there is incredibly beautiful! People admire the luxury of beaches, the beauty of nature, the friendliness and hospitality of the local population, the high level of service. All this is reflected in the reviews left on the Internet.
More and more often today we began to hear about an interesting city in Italy - about Portofino. My family and I decided to go there too and bought tickets for a trip along the Ligurian coast of Italy. They decided to rent housing in a nearby town in order to save a little. One day was completely dedicated to Portofino. First, we studied the reviews of tourists, looked at the photos and made a list of where we would definitely like to visit. Impressions, of course, are incredible. A truly fashionable city in Italy, and we are pleased that we also visited there!
We had a rest in Rapallo and from there we got a boat trip to Portofino because there are simply no parking lots for tourists there (it’s good to read about it in advance in the reviews and guidebook). Ships go there often, and we managed to see a lot in the city, until we had to go back to Rapallo. I want to say that the view from the sea is just picturesque. We took a lot of photos and now we are nostalgic, reviewing the archive.
For one day I decided to go to Portofino from Genoa. Sin, having been in Italy, do not call here! The place is gorgeous. Cliffs, bays, sea, clear water and beaches. You can walk in such surroundings endlessly. A bus runs from the railway station, so it’s easy to get here. Although I walked on foot to enjoy every moment spent here.
A bit of history
The city has an ancient origin, its history goes back to the VIII century BC. It was founded by the Romans who named the city "City of dolphins" (or "Bay of dolphins") - due to the large number of dolphins sailing to the coast.
The first written references to the city date back to the end of the 10th century (986), when Portofino appeared in the documents of Queen Adelheida of Burgundy. City then was an ordinary fishing village, whose inhabitants earned bread by trade and marine industries.
The population of modern Portofino is only 650 people, but at the height of the tourist seasons, the population of the city increases hundreds of times. Today Portofino receives the main income from the tourism sector.
Any construction is prohibited in Portofino, so today it looks like it is in the courtyard of the 19th century. The surviving monasteries and palace buildings have a long history. For example, the city hotel Splendido in the 14th century was a monastery: A century later, it was looted and destroyed by pirates during the raid, and after a while, Baron Baratta wished to turn the building into his summer residence.
Climate and weather
The climate in Portofino, like everywhere else on the Italian coast, has a comfortable rest. Mild and sunny Mediterranean climate contributes to the fact that tourists visit the city almost all year round.
Winters are mild, moderate; the minimum temperature in December-February is + 6-7 degrees. In summer, the temperature is also mild - rarely when the thermometer rises above +28 degrees.
The swimming season in Portofino lasts from late May to late September, the water warms up to 24 degrees. All urban and suburban beaches are marked with the “Blue Flag” - i.e. clean beaches.
Portofino's beaches are sandy, equipped with sun loungers and parasols, and their rental is relatively inexpensive. There are various cafes and bars on the beach.that will make the rest much more enjoyable.
Where to stay?
There are not so many hotels in this corner of Italy - Portofino, about a dozen. Among the most fashionable holiday destinations are two first-class five-star hotels. it "Splendido", the former Benedictine monastery (address - Viale Salita Baratta 16), and Splendido Mare Portofino (Via Roma 2), located near the harbor.
Here the most expensive hotels - for a night in luxurious rooms have to lay out in the region of 750-800 euros. But those for whom staying in such hotels is a matter of prestige, this does not stop. In addition, there is a high probability of meeting George Clooney or Demi Moore at breakfast.
The remaining hotels are in the category of 4 and 3 stars. But even in these hotels accommodation will cost a pretty penny - from 200 euros per night.
Some tourists choose more acceptable type of accommodation: either rent rooms and apartments in small mini-hotels (60-140 euros), or settle in the neighboring resort villages - Santa Margarita Ligure or Rapallo. Accommodation costs around 100 euros per day.
Features of local cuisine
The cuisine of the Ligurian coast is quite easy: at the heart of many dishes - seafood, pine or walnut, olive oil, cheese, as well as a large number of all kinds of aromatic herbs.
Of meat dishes, Tomasello is very popular - tender veal rolls stuffed with meat, eggs and herbs.
Leading among fish dishes anchovies, and in any form - stuffed, fried, baked, fresh, canned. Seafood salad bar is a must in many restaurants.
The closer to the center there is a restaurant or cafe, the higher prices are in them - In the center near Piazzetta are the most prestigious institutions. A cup of coffee will cost 12-15 euros, and the average bill is 180-220 euros.
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Tours and attractions
You can see a lot of interesting things if you visit Piazzetta - a small square in the center of Portofino. The main attractions of the city are located around this square. Here are located hotels, fish restaurants, cafes, shops and tourist shops. All kinds of parties with the participation of stars often take place on the square itself.
If you are interested in shopping, then it is better to walk along Via Roma, it is here leading fashion boutiques. There are no malls and hypermarkets in the city, but only small shops and shops. There are a number of shops in the harbor area where local produce, wines and souvenirs can be purchased at reasonable prices.
There are not many attractions in Portofino, but all of them kept the style of their time.
- Lighthouse (aka White Castle). Located in the bay of Punta del Capo, on a cliff. It is best to come to him at sunrise or sunset, when you can admire the sea from the observation deck at the lighthouse.
Here, near the site, there is a cafe. True, it closes late in the evening, and those who prefer night vigils should stock up on food and drinks in advance. Located in the Portofino National Park.
Address: Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino.
Abbey di San Fruttuoso. You can get to the abbey both by sea and on foot. Only a pedestrian path is fraught with much more dangers due to steep slopes and impassable places.
This monastery was built around the X-XI century, and the tower was built later - in the XV century. An abbey named after St. Fruttuoso, who lived in these parts in the III century. Legends say that Fruttuoso appeared here after his ship wrecked off the coast of Portofino.
Today, the saint is considered the patron saint of sailors, and his relics are stored in a special room in the abbey itself. Near the beach near the monastery is another attraction - "Christ from the Abyss."
Abbey Address: Via S. Fruttuoso, 18. Phone: +39 0185772703.
Brown Castle. The oldest fortress, founded in the XII century, is located on Cape Marina (Tigullio Bay), high above the harbor. Initially, the castle was used as an observation tower, from which the entire bay was perfectly visible.
The castle lost its military significance in the 19th century. Since 1961, the castle became the property of the municipality. Today, Castell Brown is a house-museum, which preserved the interior of the XIX century, antique furniture and household items of that time. The castle works mainly in the summer, during the high season it is open from 10 to 19 hours daily.
Address: Via alla Penisola, 1, 16034 Portofino.
Church of St. Martin located in the oldest part of Portofino. Opinions were divided about the time of its construction: some historians believe that it was built in the XII century, others believe that the church was rebuilt from a primitive chapel on the pier at the end of the X century.
Inside the church is not rich in decoration, but here is a wooden sculpture by Anton Maria Maragliano, a sculptor from Genoa (XIII century), as well as a large painting "Maria del Rosario" (attributed to the same sculptor).
You can explore this church for free. Address: Chiesa Divo Martino, 16034 Portofino
Church of St. George (San Giorgio). Especially revered by Catholics around the world, the church is a place of storage of the holy relics of St. George the Victorious. St. George is also considered the patron saint of Portofino.
Address: Via alla Penisola, 13
Statue of Christ in the Abyss (Cristi del Abyssi). The pearl of all excursion programs. The bronze statue is 2.5 meters high and is located at a depth of about 17 meters. The history of the statue is very remarkable: after the first Italian scuba diver died in this bay in 1947, colleagues decided to perpetuate the memory of him.
The sculptor Guido Galetti made a sculpture, which in 1954 was flooded and installed almost at the place where the diver died. In 2003, the statue was taken out of the water to be restored, since due to numerous corrosion and the growth of crustaceans, the statue began to collapse.
In sunny weather, you can clearly see the top of the statue, and to view it in its entirety - you have to dive. The sculpture of Christ is considered the patroness of divers and sailors.
No less exciting for tourists will be boat tripduring which you can visit five ancient villages. Getting there is not so easy - they are located on the rocks.
First you need to get to the place by motorboats, and then climb the mountain on foot. But the hospitality of the locals and the excellent view of the harbor are worth the effort.
Portofino Mountain - also in some way a local attraction: more than 700 species of plants (including tropical ones) grow here. But the mountain is famous for the fact that here are located villas of world cinema stars, business leaders and famous people of the planet.
It is here that Sylvester Stallone and Ornella Muti, Madonna and Sharon Stone rest. The villas themselves can only be viewed from afar - the territory of private estates is protected in the most serious way. And if climb the highest point of the mountain, then you can see immediately two islands, called the "Napoleonic" - Elba and Corsica.
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How to get there
The nearest cities to Portofino are Genoa (40 km) and Nice (230 km), as well as the resort of Rappalo (7 km). Nice flight from Moscow takes only 3 hours. From Nice or Genoa airport (see photos of its attractions here) it’s quite easy to get there: by tourist bus or taxi (there are also Russian-speaking drivers).
There is also a railway station in the city - from nearby cities can be reached by train (ticket price is about 15 euros).
If tourists prefer to travel by sea, Portofino has a ferry service. In this case, the trip will cost about 28-30 euros.
Most budget option - bus trip. True, the road will not be the most interesting - it is unlikely to be admired by the beauties.
Those who prefer to explore the city on their own can be advised to use the Rentalcars car rental service: upon arrival in Italy, a rented car will be waiting for you.
Portofino is a territory of true relaxation. Cozy restaurants, old streets, olive groves and azure expanse of water - An atmosphere in which you relax to the fullest. Relax in one of the cafes on Piazzetta or watch the ships entering the harbor - is this not bliss?