La Piazzetta is Portofino´s iconic main square which, overlooking the harbour and the myriad of boats anchored at the port, is a peaceful spot where to enjoy traditional specialties or just to sit and take delight in beholding the vastness of the Ligurian Sea. Plentiful boutiques, art galleries and restaurants are located in the surrounding area, making the bustling centre an ideal gathering point.
Located on a promontory high above the sea level, Castle Brown overlooks the bay and offers a sweeping view of the picturesque harbour. Dating back to the 1400s, it served as a fortress for years, guarding Portofino with its majestic figure. Nowadays, Castle Brown houses exhibitions and special events, boasting a Mediterranean garden that flourishes with roses and local flora.
The suggestive walk that twists and turns through Portofino´s most southern tip, leads to a scenic view of the Ligurian Sea - Portofino´s Lighthouse is a landmark in town. The immaculate white colour of the building creates a contrast with the surrounding natural landscape, shaping a stunning and unforgettable tableau.
The two scenic trails that unroll down Mount Portofino and from the bay along the coastline, lead to the ancient S. Fruttosio Abbey, alternatively reachable by boat only. The elegant architecture blends perfectly with the surrounding regional park, a protected gem that houses Mediterranean flora and fauna.
Only a few hundred meters away from Portofino, Paraggi Beach is a natural inlet of emerald water and natural wonders. Loved by both tourists and locals alike it is renowned for its sea bottom, rich in red corals that belong to Portofino´s Marin sanctuary. The myriad of restaurants and bars, make Paraggi beach and village a favourite among party-lovers.
A wise man once said that you can´t judge a book by its cover and this is just the case of Divo Martino´s Church. The austere facade in fact, conceals spectacular interiors elegantly built on the XII century - once the massive bronze doors are opened, the beautifully decorated ceiling and the pillars enchant both tourists and locals alike.
Tortuous paths run through Mount Portofino and its park in an intricate knot of hiking trails. From Portofino, make your way through stunning nature and a steep climb to get to the otherwise inaccessible San Fruttosio - St. Fruttosio´s Abbey and Bay are an untouched paradise. You can also enjoy walking up to the top of Mount Portofino or to St. Margherita Ligure.
Overlooking the iconic Martiri Olivetta Square, Portofino´s Art Gallery offers ever changing exhibitions in an interesting quest for emerging talent. The gallery also displays artworks of popular Italian sculptors and painters, featuring contemporary art masterpieces.
An event that every year attracts a huge and diverse crowd - the spring regattas are organized by the luxurious Italian Yacht Club and they are certainly not to be missed. Over 100 boats hurtle from Portofino´s port in May, competing for the coveted trophy in a 3 days of good sportsmanship along with concerts and shows.
One of the most iconic restaurants in town, Taverna del Marinaio is located in the beautiful Portofino´s main square and overlooks the port. Love for good food and traditions distinguish this family run business, shaping a restaurant that servers only quality products and excellence.
A stunning view of the Ligurian Sea and beautifully cooked seafood dishes and pasta is the special combination that make Ö Magazin so captivating. The typical Ligurian cuisine combines here with fresh products and seafood of daily catch, blending into a climax of flavor and uniqueness.
Shrimps, oysters, sea-bass, mussels, clams and lots of other seafood delicacies combined with pasta and optimum wine can be enjoyed at this charming restaurant. Treat yourself with their beautiful desserts, the menu features some of the favourites of the Italian cuisine and a homemade tiramisu to die for.
Freshly made pasta and seasonal ingredients, Stella Restaurant doesn´t fear any rivals. Located at the seafront, it boasts a terrific view of the wharf and the elegant yachts anchored at the bay, in a display of splendour and exclusiveness that is Portofino´s peculiarity.
Located at the legendary Portofino´s Hotel Splendido, La Terrazza is an upscale restaurant that will simply make you fall in love with it. Perched on the city´s promontory, it offers a spectacular view of the harbour and a real taste of regional cuisine, adjusted to donate a sophisticated touch.
Craving for a gelato? Don´t look any further, at Gelateria Il Molo the ice cream is what matters the most. A wide selection of flavours are served along with coffee, wine and some food as well, making Gelateria il Molo a perfect gathering point in the bustling heart of the city.
A landmark in the charming Portofino, Caffè Excelsior has a history that dates back to the 1924 and has been a popular gathering spot since then. Breakfast starts at 7.30am, when the early birds start buzzing around the beautiful Martiri dell´Olivetta Square, catching the first glimmering sun.
The scent of freshly baked crispy bread and focaccia (Italian flat bread) that is renowned throughout the city for its deliciousness - Pasticceria Canale is the one-of-a-kind experience. Enjoy mouth-watering cookies, their selection of homemade products is a treat that you must allow yourself.
A beautifully located wine bar and shop that overlooks the port in a summit of relax and peace of the senses - Winterose Bar is one of a kind. Apart from the attentively selected wines and Sicilian delicatessen, the uniqueness of the bar lies with the service and the passionate and helpful owner, who runs the bar exquisitely.
The romantic location, just below the lighthouse, creates a magical atmosphere that is a peculiarity of Al Faro Restaurant. After a walk up the stairway "Salita San Giorgio" , treat yourself with a delicious cocktail or a glass of wine: they are all rigorously accompanied by snacks.
The ritual of the aperitivo reaches a whole new level at Mariuccia Bar, where delicious drinks and a lively atmosphere are enhanced by the view of the port that makes the establishment a perfect yacht-watching spot. Heart of the city´s jet-set, it is an ideal destination to get the party started.
Slightly off the beaten path, Chuflay has a laid-back charm that boasts a long history. Serving appealing dishes along with signature drinks, the bar features a colourful facade that is just a little sample of its quaint Italian-style interiors, begging the traveller to be visited.
Located in the fashion heart of Portofino, Brunetto Tiziano offers signature designs in a feast of elegance and uniqueness. Providing an outstanding service and items that range from menswear to women´s and kid´s clothing and accessories, Brunetto Tiziano is an absolute must-visit.
The elegance and class of Brunello Cucinelli´s designs couldn´t go unnoticed in the pretty Portofino. Specialized in menswear, Brunello Cucinelli is one of the leading brands of the Italian fashion industry, lining up proudly among the other big names that has written the history of fashion.
The best of the "made in Italy" is Falconeri. Clothing items made of cashmere and quality materials, beautifully designed knitwear specifically created for fashion-lovers and peculiar silk scarves will open up a world of new possibilities - the ultimate shopping experience is signed Falconeri.
Emilio Pucci is one of the most loved Italian brand names. Well-renowned worldwide, it has open a shop in the shopping paradise that is Portofino, donating an extra touch of class to the picturesque hamlet. Women, kids, or men´s clothing and accessories, Emilio Pucci is a cornerstone of the fashion industry.
From the Airport of Genova you can take the bus 882 to Santa Margherita Ligure, from where you will take the train Roma - Genova - Torino (check www.trenitalia.com to see departures). Alternatively, you can book a taxi: Abacus Transfer Taxi. +39 331 1678040 / +39 373 8746794 Web: www.abacustaxi.it e-mail: [email protected] From the Airport of Pisa you can take a train to Pisa Centrale and from there, take the line that will lead you to Portofino. If you intend to take a taxi, the service is run by CO.TA.PI (Pisa taxi cooperative) and the taxi stand is located in front of the terminal exit, at arrivals. To enjoy the view of the beautiful port of Portofino, it´s recommended travelling by boat from Golfo Paradiso (www.golfoparadiso.it) or Genova (www.battellierigenova). It also recommended because it´s not possible to reach the central by either car, bus or train because Portofino is a pedestrian area only. The city is reachable by car but you will have to park just outside the city borders and parking fees tend to be quite steep.
As the city of Portofino is a big, pedestrian area, there are no buses, trams or trains of any sort in the central; on the other side, numerous walking trails connect the central to the lighthouse and other destinations through Portofino Promontory. A bus line runs from S. Margherita Ligure Station to Martiri della Libertà Square, stopping at Covo Nord-Est and Paraggi.
As already mentioned, the best way to get to/from Portofino is by boat, and in Portofino you will find plentiful options to rent one. Portofino Taxi Boat +39 338 3168058 www.portofinotaxiboat.it Cesare Charter Portofino Molo Umberto I +39 342 141 5161 Taxi Enrico +39 339 352 5993 Santa Margherita Ligure