Since I was a little girl I have always dreamt of Portofino and imagine being one of the most beautiful places on earth and at the same time so exclusive.
But time passed and barriers disappeared and the world became a smaller place.
So, after 30 years, finally, I was visiting the famous Portofino.
Portofino is an Italian village in the north of the Italian Riviera. It used to be a quiet fishing village but because of its natural harbor supported a fleet of fishing boats, it became an important village and part of Republic of Genoa, Republic of Florence and Kingdome of Sardinia.
Later on, the small fishing village became the place to be for European aristocracy. With its colorfully painted buildings that follow the small golf line and its green pines became an important touristic and famous place.
We decided to visit the Italian Riviera for a few days in a very hot August month.
So, we flew to Milan and then took the train to Santa Margherita Ligure from where we took a bus to Portofino.
We took bus 82, a busy one. The streets were narrow and difficult to navigate with its tight curves above the Mediterranean sea. There were only 5 kilometers to Portofino but it took us 20 uncomfortable minutes to reach.
But in the end, we were in Portofino! The famous Portofino!
We planned to spend a day here, to enjoy the village and the atmosphere.
So we started to explore the narrow streets of the small village and it was so charming with its colored small houses, laundry hanged outside the windows.
On the ground floor, there were art galleries and boutiques, perfectly arranged.
All the lanes took us to the small square by the harbor, where there were a lot of coffee places and nice restaurants.
It was the perfect place to have a drink or a bite with a blissful view over the small harbor.
I finally understood why all the rich and famous flock in Portofino for that slice of la dolce vita.
Portofino is all about lifestyle. After all, it was the playground for the rich and famous.
From the harbor we hiked up on a narrow path through the Mediterranean gardens, winding its way up to the Brown Castle, which had the best view over the bay.
The castle was built in the 15th century and used to be part of the military defense in the beginning and later on, was transformed in a residence. It used to be the villa of an English Consul, who arranged his wedding here.
The castle today belong to Portofino and it is a museum that can be visited.
We paid the entrance fee (5 euros) and entered to this beautiful place.
The castle was surrounded by a stunning terraced rose garden and pergolas.
The building itself didn’t impress with its size or opulence, except the main terrace that offered the best view of the village.
It had the best view in Portofino!
From the castle, the path continued till a lighthouse that offered an interesting view over the sea. But after the castle’s view, this was not impressive at all.
So, we went back down the path to the small blue golf and walk a little more around the village.
Portofino was charming!
From the romance of its winding pebbled streets to the candy-colored fishermen’s homes turned into boutiques, this village had an old-world Italian glamour.
Portofino is the place to enjoy “la bella vita” from a stylish restaurant with a perfect view.
A true bucket-list experience!
How to get
Airport- Milan Centrale Train Station
There are frequent buses, that can take you to Milan central train station
Companies like Terravista, Autostradale, Orioshuttle.
Milan Centrale Train Station – Santa Margherita Ligure
There are frequent trains with different prices. You should check Trenitalia website.
Distance: 126 km
Duration: 2.38 h
Prices starting with 11.80 euros
Santa Margherita Ligure- Portofino
Duration: 20 minutes
Price:5 euros/two ways
Portofino is not a budget destination, so you will probably find very expensive accommodation.
We rented an apartment in La Spezia, from where we had the chance to visit all the Italian Riviera like Portofino, Cinque Terre, Portovenere, and Lerici.
But if you plan to spend more time around the area of Portofino, then accommodation in Santa Margherita will be more appropriate. Santa Margherita itself is an amazing destination.