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Enormous yachts, tiny dinghies,

pizzarias, a hanging rhinoceros, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.....

Something for everyone!

For cruise passengers, Portofino is not to be missed. It is 30 km./20 miles south-east of Genoa or 4 km./2.5 miles south of Santa Margherita and 6 km./3.7 miles from Rapallo. From Genoa, an excursion is likely best, but from the closer towns there is a passenger ferry that is inexpensive and goes from the waterfronts. At certain times of the year weather can be a problem for the boats, and then bus excursions will be the best option.

Portofino is quite crowded with tourists in the summer months and is best seen in late spring/early autumn, but even when crowded does not seem to be spoiled. When it is cooler in northern Europe and North America, you may meet film stars and the fashionably rich wandering off the yachts, sitting in outdoor trattorias and shopping in chic shops.

©2018 Google     Image©2009 TerraMetrics

The tiny town is at the bottom of a narrow valley, and it has a protected bay. It is known for the curved line of tall coloured houses that outline the entrance to the square.

Walk on the right-hand side of the bay in front of these tall houses. There are stores and restaurants. You can only walk as far as the last house. In the small square in the center of town people sit outdoors and people-watch while enjoying a coffee or glass of wine.

Explore the tiny alleys behind the square, and visit the Church of San Martino (below).

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The street above the Church of San Martino goes along the hillside above town and behind the harbour houses. There are wonderful views as you walk past the houses and can see out to the water. The problem is that there are no sidewalks and the road is narrow, so it is not a comfortable place to walk very far.


It is pleasant to walk around the bay away from the town center, where the tourist boats come in and the yachts are docked. There are a few surprises in the garden just above the path - you can find a hanging rhinoceros. The sculpture is a copy by Stefano Bombardieri, in Potsdam, Germany - it wasn't a cheerful sculpture there, either. See if you can also find a bunch of pink meerkats standing on posts.


Back on the square you can walk up the 'main street' -  it only goes up the valley as far as the houses - a dead end.


Back at the square, go in between the buildings at the water end of the square (see picture below) and the path takes you up to the Church of San Georgio.

You can see the white line on the map at the top of the page.

San Georgio has lovely views of the bay, and an interesting square in front.


Continue on to Castello Brown - a castle from the middle ages that has been transformed into a residence. You can go in for a small fee. Again, there are good views of the area.

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©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG
©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG
©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG
©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG
©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG
©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG
©2018 Google   ©2009 GeoBasis-DE BKG

Portofino is a beautiful small town. Enjoy the quirks, the restaurants, the people watching and the Italian sunshine!

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