Exploring the Celebrities Haven: Portofino
Renowned as the haven of celebrities, Portofino, surrounded by crystalline green water is considered by many as one of the world’s eight wonder. The fishing town of Portofino is perched on a peninsula on the coast of Liguria in the Tigullio Golf east of Genoa, Italy’s smallest region which stretches from the French border to La Spezia.
If we turn the pages of history, one will find that the Romans were the first to discover Portofino. They decided to name this quaint harbour town Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf.
The harbour town of Portofino came into limelight with the song “Love In Portofino” in the 1950s. Further, with the frequent visits of rich and famous characters of the “Dolce Vita”, there was a further surge in the popularity of Portofino in the 1960s. It is from this point that Portofino got lodged in the popular imagination as an eponym for the ultimately stylish resort. On this date, popular celebrities such as Armani, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have holiday homes here in Portofino.
To reach Portofino, visitors should note that the closest major airport is the Christopher Columbus airport in Genoa. There is also the option of accessing Portofino from Nice in France and from Milan in Italy. However, the distance will naturally become larger from this point. The nearest railway station from Portofino is the S. Margherita Ligure-Portofino, about 5 km away in Santa Margherita Ligure. There are also numerous buses and boats to Portofino from Santa Margherita Ligure. Alternately,opting for a train from Genoa which takes around 45 minutes and costs around 3 euros is also a good option. Taking yachts and ferry rides is also an excellent option, provided there is good weather. Tourists to Portofino also ought to note that this harbour town is car-free. Consequently, in summer, it tends to get crowded, and driving and parking can be difficult.
Travel enthusiasts recommend visiting Portofino during Easter times. That is the town of Portofino is best visited between the months of April and September. Also, mostly during the months between October to February, a lot of shops and accommodation are closed. So, visitors should take note of this and plan their trip to this marvellous town of Portofino accordingly.
Portofino, being a seaside retreat spot, the restaurants which dot this extremely picturesque town particularly specialize in seafood. Specialities such as the green minestrone, mixed seafood antipasto should be must haves on your list on a trip to Portofino. The Pizzeria El Portico is an eatery in the Piazzeta which is a must visit. For tourists with a sweet tooth, do not miss the gelati (ice cream) particularly the “nocciola”, a hazelnut and chocolate flavour.
Two hotspots tourist should NOT miss when in Portfino are:
• Castello Brown: Accessed by a path near the Botanic Garden, Castello Brown sits on a hill above Portfino. A 16th century construction, Castello Brown offers breathtakingly splendid views of Portofino and the sea.In 1870, it functioned as the residence of Yeats Brown, British consul to Genoa. Visitrors should note that the castle is open from 10AM until 7PM in summer and until 5PM in winter.
• Statue of Christ of the Abyss: A small bay at a depth of 17 metres, this is a statue of Christ, looking up towards the sky with open arms. Sculpted by Guido Galletti, the statue was built in the memory of Duilio Marcante with the additional purpose of protecting fishermen and scuba divers on August 29, 1954.
So, for an ultimate relaxed holiday, Portfino is the place to be!