Portofino, the Mediterranean pearl, is a small coastal village with colorful houses, picturesque landscape, crystal clear waters, cultural heritage and also its exclusive geographical landscape that makes it a tourist destination known worldwide. Known for its “Dolce Vita” atmosphere, it has also been frequented by many celebrities. This village of no more than 500 inhabitants is located near Genoa in Liguria and overlooks the Tigullio Gulf. Although compact in nature, it is quite expensive and a day trip or a weekend maximum is recommended. So if you’re on a tight budget of time and money, these are the must-visit places and activities in Portofino.
Iconic places in Portofino to visit in just two days
Visit the famous square of Portofino
La Piazzetta is Portofino’s iconic square overlooking the harbor and boats galore moored in the harbour. It’s a place to bask in traditional specialties, explore numerous boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, or just admire the pastel-colored houses on the strip of land between the hill and the sea. Basically, an idyllic coastal town with private yachts and sailing boats makes up the scenic picture. It’s also a central meeting place to experience the true essence of arcades, pastel houses, vintage cafes, designer boutiques and serenity.
Visit Brown Castle
This historic 15th-century house-museum sits high above Portofino’s port, which has been used for military defense since Roman times. The purpose of protecting the Tigullio Gulf from pirates and saving the village from the Venetian fleet in 1435, this place is currently available for private events, congresses, meetings, weddings, parties and celebrations, as well as exhibitions and performances of art and culture Disposal. It offers an incredible view of the entire Gulf, highlighted by its panoramic terraces, the ambience in its rooms and its ancient majolica tiles.
A visit to the Church of San Martino
This ancient church of Portofino, built around 1100 AD, has Roman-Lombard style architecture. The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes, huge chandeliers, arched openings and monumental columns. Some paintings like “Madonna del Rosario”, “Annunciation” from the 18th century and another painting depicting Saints Rocco, Sebastiano and Pantaleo are from 16th century Ligurian artists.
The Portofino Marina
Portofino Bay is often known as the most famous port in the world and is home to Portofino Marina, a famous harbor for pleasure boats and superyachts. One can watch the yachts lying at anchor and also enjoy the view of the Marina Club overlooking the water and the deep green forests. If you want to immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere of Italy, there can be nothing more relaxing.
Visit the open-air museum
The Park Museum is an open-air museum located near the local marina. Known as the Museo Del Parco, it has a beautiful terraced garden interspersed with contemporary artworks as well as a vintage collection. Truly an art lover’s paradise, there are many eccentric and interesting things to see. A giant rhino hanging in front of a sloping park is the center of attraction here. Admission to the museum costs around 5 euros per person.
Hiking in Portofino that can be done in two days
Among all the trails, Portofino to Camogli is one of the most popular trails for hiking. With a medium level of difficulty and a duration of 3 hours, it is a path with a view of the panoramic view. The hike from Camogli to Punta Chiappa starts at the Camogli train station and the main car park. After 40 minutes you can see the colorful houses of San Rocco and at the end a great view of the coast.
Portofino exudes luxury in every sense. Famous for the luxury brands like Armani, Vuitton, Hermes etc, it is a shopping mall. There are also many artifacts, souvenirs and a variety of jewelry and shoes. Positano style Antica Sartoria, Brunetto Tiziano, Emilio Pucci, Missoni and Salvatore Ferragamo are some Italian brands worth checking out.
The recommended places to shop are:
- Pier Umberto I
- Calata Marconi
- via Roma and Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta
- Nives Portofino (known for its wonderful embroidery)
- Mingo Portofino (a must-see shoe shop)
Do you have more than two days? Add these to the list
Diving as a surreal experience
Diving the Italian Riviera to see the Christ of the Abyss is another surreal experience in Portofino, Italy. An underwater statue of the Christ of the Abyss was found in the water between the Ligurian towns of Camogli and Portofino. To represent Christ in the new world, it is a memorial to divers who lost their lives diving. The first bronze statue to be submerged was the work of artist Guido Galleti in memory of Italy’s first diver, Dario Gonzetti, who died there in 1950. Boats are available for diving adventures and non-divers can see a copy of the statue at the nearby San Fruttuoso Abbey.
Abbey of San Fruttuoso
The Abbey of San Fruttuoso with its turbulent history is secluded in a small bay. Difficult to access, it has retained its aura for centuries. With lush green forests, it can only be reached by boat or a hiking trail through Portofino National Park. Also, it is a point for diving to Christ of Abyss and a beach is in front of the abbey. In the past this place was ideal for the monks to build a monastery.
Well, these are the main Portofino destinations that can be covered in a day or a weekend. Since Portofino is quite expensive by nature, one can also stay in nearby towns like Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Recco, Chiavari, Genoa, if not in Portofino.