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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Travel Tuesdays - Portofino, Italy

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When people ask "What's your favorite City?" it is usually difficult to pick just one.  I try to narrow it down to favorite of a trip, or a top five list.  Portofino, Italy was my favorite destination on our Honeymoon and is a place that I inspire to retire to (I hope to be on House Hunters International one day.)

View from Castello Brown, Portofino, Italy - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

Portofino is a small fishing village in the province of Genoa on the Northern Italian Riviera that many have not heard of in the States.  Many know of the Cinque Terra, which is 75kms to the south that gets a ton of attention after Rick Steves wrote about it.  Portofino is not a rustic village, it is quite posh and is a spot that celebrities from Sophia Loren to Beyonce visit.  This is a town to visit to relax, explore, and soak up the culture.

Portofino is reachable by car, train, bus and boat - we arrived from Milan via train to Santa Margherita Ligure Train Station and took a cab to our hotel -but vou can also catch a bus.   Once at your hotel there are foot paths that lead to the piazza where you can catch a ferry to neighboring villages or towns.  I can't remember the parking situation, but there is not a lot of space for parking lots in this coastal town.

best hotel in Portofino - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

There are not many choices where to stay in Portofino if you are looking to sleep with in the village.  We stayed at the Hotel Piccolo and absolutely loved it!  I was not sure if the photos of the hotel were real or Photoshopped....they were real alright....heaven!  Our room had a two sets of french doors that opened up onto the balcony that over looked the private cove and beach.  A standard European breakfast spread of meats, cheeses, fruit, yogurt, pastries, juice, and the best coffee was provided - what's not to love!

Amazing view from Hotel Piccolo, Portofino - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com
Amazing view from our room.  *Note the road in and out of town does run in front of the hotel.  During the day there is some noise but it did not disturb our sleep.  We found it entertaining to sit and watch the sunset and all the fancy cars coming in and out of town.

If you want to be up in the clouds Hotel Splendido might be the choice for you.  It was way out of our price range but we had a wonderful dinner there.  There is a shuttle that will pick you up in the piazza or right outside Hotel Piccolo that takes you up and down the hill.

Yacht in Portofino, Italy - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

We enjoyed taking the walk paths and marveling the view at every turn.  On our first full day we walked into town and then up to Castello Brown that overlooks the harbor.  Pictures do not do this view justice!  Portofino sits on a rocky hook that reaches out into the Tigullian Gulf so there is water on three sides of the castle.  I have a panoramic photo of this view in my office at work - it almost beats not having an actual window.  On the way down from the Castello we stopped for a glass of Sangria.

Enjoying a sangria in Portofino, Italy - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com
That night we ate at the Ristorante Delphino, in the piazza, while be serenaded  by a charming man with a guitar.

Portofino Harbor at night, magic - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

The next day we walked into town and caught a ferry going north to see a monastery that is only reachable by boat. 

a hidden gem on the Italian Riviera,  - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

San Fruttoso was established in the year 259 by monks that were exiled.  After touring the structures you can pay a guy to take you out in a row boat to catch a glimpse of the Cristo.  Think of the statue looking over Rio de Janeiro underwater.  You can also scuba dive for a closer look but we were fine looking through the scope. 

the trip to see the Cristo, Italy - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

We caught another ferry north to the next town of Camogli.  There is a boardwalk with shops, restaurants and places to rent lounge chairs on the beach.  After lunch we lounged on the beach before taking a bus back to Portofino.

a coastal town on the Italian Riviera - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

The next day, which was our last, we took the footpaths south to Paraggi, a little beach town before catching the train to Pisa.

lovely beach walking distance from Portofino, Italy - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

a view from Castello Brown of the harbor of Portofino - tipsyterrier.blogspot.com

I love Portfino because the pace is slower than the big three (Venice, Florence, and Rome), it does not have a crazy amount of steps like Positano, and it feels like time stays still there.  My heart longs to go back.  Maybe in a few years for our 10th anniversary.



Linking up with:

I have been inspired to work on my blog again and that is mainly do to Bonnie Rose's blog, The Compass Rose Travel Tuesday!


  1. We really enjoyed our stay in Cinque Terre, but never made it down to Portofino, but would like to visit some day. Looks like you had a very fun trip. I would really love to see the underwater statue and monastery.

    1. Hi Jessica, I will have to make it to a few of the stops on the Cinque Terre someday - it is quite a hike!

  2. My goodness, this place looks amazing! I love that you say it's at a slower pace than venice, because I wasn't really in love with venice. That guy rowed your boat with his shirt off like that? lol Wow you travel, have cute dogs, and are a paranormal investigator? I'm sold, followed you on Bloglovin. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my capri post. I wish I would have been able to see positano. Not enough time, is there ever? Take care!

    Brittany Ruth

  3. Hi Brittany, Thank you for your nice comments and for following. I am enjoying your blog too!

  4. Oh, gosh, Amy... these are beautiful! I was in Nice in September and the clifside town reminds me of it! I just loooove the colorful villas!

  5. Hey nice place you've visit, visit Siclly too, its awesome place.!!

  6. Heloo!! our honeymoon is in august and we are planning to visit the Amalfi Coast ( we will stay in positano and visit capri) 5 days are enough? we have 5 more days where can we go for a nice beach parties in Italy?

    1. We spent 3 days in Portofino and later on during our trip we spent 3 days in Positano. While we were in Positano we made a day trip to Pompeii, a day trip to Capri with and an afternoon in Sorrento. August tends to be a very busy month because most of Europe is on vacation that month - make your reservations early! Have fun.

  7. Nice blog i am enjoy the your blog. Beautiful mare detail visit italy honeymoon .

  8. Thanks for such a nice post... Italy is just gorgeous, I've been there many times already and am always ready to go back again and again... My best wishes for a happy life !