Portofino is one of the most popular places on the Riviera di Levante, in Liguria.
Located at the western end of the Gulf of Tigullio, it mixes beautiful landscapes, culture and, of course, excellent local cuisine. This is because the name Portofino does not refer only to the splendid Borgo, but to an entire promontory and also a national park.
So, let’s discover this wonderful area!
The tall colorful buildings of the Borgo of Portofino surround the Piazzetta, a small square overlooking the sea where the fishing boats languidly swing on the calm water.
Behind the buildings are the hills covered of olive trees.
You should definitely sit on a café, sip some wine and enjoy the picturesque view.
Not far from the Borgo, right on the extreme tip of the promontory, is the Portofino lighthouse. Built in 1910 and still functioning today, the lighthouse is positioned on a cliff 40 meters above the sea, surrounded by woods. It is a solitary but spectacular place, perfect especially for those who love the sea – from here it is possible to spot dolphins and sometimes even whales.
Also the Church of St. George is located in a splendid position overlooking the Borgo of Portofino and the sea.
The Church has an unusual oval shape and dates back to 1154. However, excavations have brought to light an even more ancient square chapel.
During the Second World War, the Church was completely destroyed by a British bomb and then rebuilt exactly as it was before. Inside are some relics of St. George, patron saint of Portofino, brought by local sailors returning from the Crusades.
Close to the Church of St. George is Castello Brown, also known as the Castle of St. George.
Built as a defensive building, it later became a noble residence.
Imposing, with its interiors rich in history and an enchanting garden, the Castle is today a popular location for weddings and other events. And it is open to visitors.
Liguria has 350 km of coastline and near Portofino is one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the region. It’s the Bay of Paraggi.
The Bay of Paraggi has two different beaches:
– Paraggi, almost entirely occupied by beach clubs, therefore perfect for those looking for more comfort and style,
– Niasca, a public pristine beach.
Both are small and protected beaches, with crystal clear water and green hills in the background.
One good thing is that the whole bay is off-limits to navigation.
Not far from the Bay of Paraggi is another wonderful small free beach that is worth seeing. It is the Cannone Bay, a pebble beach, easily recognizable thanks to a huge rock with a maritime pine on its top.
Well, this is not a place to visit but it is certainly an experience to do during a trip to Portofino.
Portofino overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea, an area called the Pelagos Sanctuary or the Cetacean Sanctuary.
The stretch of sea between Sardinia, Tuscany, Liguria, the Principality of Monaco and France is one of the richest areas of life in the Mediterranean, that’s why it is now a protected area.
A boat ride not only allows you to see the village of Portofino from a point of view that enhances its beauty, but it is a good opportunity to spot dolphins, turtles and even whales.