The seaside village of Portofino is a little slice of paradise. Located along the Ligurian coastline in Northern Italy, it’s only about a 40 minute drive from the major sea port of Genoa. Genoa happened to be the first stop on my cruise around the Med., and since I had already explored the city four years ago, I thought I’d take the chance to explore less-traveled parts around the region. So, off on a cab I went.
The drive from Genoa to Portofino is quite picturesque. Half of it consists of driving through a network of tunnels that have been carved into the mountains, with houses looming above you.
During the other half of the drive, you drive through beach-side Italian resort towns, and around seaside cliffs.
Finally, I arrived in town.
My cab driver dropped me off in a parking lot about 200 meters from the town square. I arranged to meet him back at the same spot some time later, and went off to explore.
Portofino is a quiet, quaint little town. The cobblestone streets are lined with outdoor cafes and fashion boutiques, ranging from small local shops to luxurious brands like Gucci, Zegna, and Ferragamo. Fun fact: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, founders of their eponymous fashion house, actually own a seaside residence here.
Portofino’s central square is also a harbor. My cab driver claimed to have met Sean Connery here.
See that yellow church? I started walking down this pier to search for a way up there.
After a few minute’s climb up some steep concrete stairs, I reached the church.
The church is nestled in a narrow strip of land on Portofino’s southern edge. On one side, is Portofino Harbor. On the other, is the Mediterranean.
I followed a peculiar-looking path on the side of the church.
Into a graveyard.
Spending eternity by the sea must be pretty nice.
I love how colorful Portofino’s buildings are. It gives each place some individuality and character. I snapped some shots of the town (the hilltop at the church is great for photos), before I hiked back down to explore the northern part of the harbor. There’s actually a small road that leads straight from the church back down into town. No stairs needed.
There wasn’t a whole lot, aside from restaurants and a wine bar or two. But it was a picturesque stroll.
The weather was partly cloudy. But aside from some intermittent drizzles, it was a beautiful day for exploring.
I would love to spend more time here. Unlike big cities such as Milan and Rome, life seems to move at a slower pace here. Instead of dodging Vespas and Peugeots on a city street, you can have a quiet stroll along a seaside path as the sun rises, before grabbing breakfast at one of the town’s small bakeries.
Unfortunately, I had a boat to catch. I wasn’t about to just skip Genoa altogether either…so I’ll be covering my time there in my next post. As I rendezvoused with my cab driver for the return to Genoa, the sky started pissing down with rain.
I hoped to God I wouldn’t be dropped off in the middle of a torrential downpour.