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Portofino is a cosmopolitan holiday resort wrapped up in an aura of nostalgia for the 60s, years during which the village started shaping into the luxury travel destination it is now, managing to maintain the original allure of a fishing village that is abundant in local customs and traditions. La Piazzetta (Portofino´s main square) is adjacent to the port and buzzes with life, in a bustle of people, yachts, and upmarket restaurants. The alleys around the port feature dainty boutiques and eateries, creating a district of quaint buildings and lovely art galleries. From La Piazzetta, a suggestive walk through unspoiled nature leads to some of the highlights of this fishing hamlet. From the ancient S. Giorgio´s church head to Castle Brown and its beautiful garden and culminate your experience at the lighthouse. The essence of Portofino can only be captured by walk or boat. If you’re travelling by sea, a postcard-like view will open up in front of you, disclosing the colourful harbour and the majestic promontory.
Portofino serves as a perfect starting point for uncountable adventures. Nestled in the Regional Park of Portofino, it is just a few steps away from scenic walking trails along the coastline or high up hill. Numerous boat trips also start from Portofino´s bustling port - the city´s surrounding area is a marine sanctuary, perfect to enjoy the underwater world or just to swim in emerald crystal water. But it´s the city itself what make Portofino such an alluring travel destination - the charm of the old fishing village coexists with shiny boutiques, opulent restaurants and art galleries, in a mix of maritime traditions and fashion.
As a former fishermen settlement, Portofino boasts a culinary history deeply linked to seafood dishes, made of basic ingredients and fresh herbs. The homemade pesto is a classic throughout the whole Ligurian Riviera, and in Portofino, with its own touch of personality, it features tomatoes and vegetables added on it. Embodying a true Italian spirit, the city sees another pasta dish among its specialties: the pansotti, a triangular-shaped, filled pasta. A most-coveted travel destination, the picturesque harbour has reshaped into an exclusive resort, price-wise, which makes it tricky to find a good eatery if on a budget. With a history that dates back to the 20th century, the family-run restaurants that have developed around the Piazzetta are certainly some of the crown jewels in town, offering a suggestive, yet relatively expensive dining experience.
The intense and aromatic Italian coffee becomes a concept that chimes the different parts of the day, and if latte is only drunk for breakfast, the espresso accompanies the Italians throughout the day, serving as a perfect after-meal treat. Portofino and its captivating centre boasts a laid-back atmosphere, where having a good espresso is just a matter of what place to pick. Fortunately, the coffee chains that have taken over in the bigger cities still don´t exist in the untouched Portofino, where you can pop in one of the dainty restaurants, bar or gelaterias around the main square to appreciate a real coffee, pardon “espresso”, and take delight in beholding the stunning view.
Paying homage to visitors of all tastes, Portofino's eclectic nightlife doesn't fail to seduce the traveller. The allure of its dynamic evening entertainment is a magnet for VIPs (and their fellow paparazzi, of course), opting to group together in million dollars’ yachts or luxurious villas, sneaking every so often into the pulsing heart of the city centre. Nightlife in Portofino is concentrated in and around Piazzetta (Oliveri Square) and Molo Umberto I, where exclusive bars and restaurants offer the charm and uniqueness of a city that has turned into a most-loved holiday resort. The inviolable ritual of the “aperitivo” (happy hour) starts at 5/6pm, when Piazzetta buzzes with life and the hearty Italians enjoy a glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz along with an assortment of nibbles that often accompanies the drinks. The party continues at Paraggi Beach during the witching hours, where Covo Nord-Est, an institution of the club scene, treats the party animals with an overload of fun.
Luxury boutiques line up neatly down Portofino´s cobbled crescents, lumping together in a dream destination that is elegantly tailored to fit fashion lovers and certainly big wallets. The popular jet-set resort doesn´t fail to treat the holiday-makers fairly, offering a plethora of exquisite boutiques and art galleries. The pulsing heart of fashion revolves around Martiri dell´Olivetta Square (the so called "Piazzetta"), seeing Calata Marconi, Via Roma and Molo Umberto I packed with luxury brand names and upscale restaurants.
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