Located in Liguria, in the province of Genoa, there is a municipality that has only 380 inhabitants but which is known all over the world, we are talking about Portofino. In the western part of the Gulf of Tigullio, its territory is characterized by an almost uncontaminated nature, if at all. Its beaches, especially those concentrated along the eastern side of the promontory, are part of a protected marine area. Furthermore, together with the municipalities of Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli, it forms the Portofino Regional Natural Park, a protected natural area where you can go hiking.
Now considered the chosen destination for exclusive holidays by VIPs between yachts and luxury hotels, it is always a picturesque fishing village that retains its typical air of a small Italian town.
If you are planning a weekend or day trip to this beautiful Ligurian town, here are some practical tips!
- 10 things to see in Portofino in a weekend
- What to see in Portofino in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Portofino: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Portofino
- Plan your stay in Portofino: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Portofino in a weekend
1 - Castello Brown
It is a unique location in the world, it is positioned in the center of the bay of Portofino, a panoramic point from which you can enjoy an incomparable view of the Gulf of Tigullio.
The terrace of the castle protrudes vertically above the village as if to fly over it, making it the place ideal for many events, art exhibitions, meetings, parties and even dream weddings.
It is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden full of flowers, rose gardens and pergolas.
Its evolution dates back to 1557, when it was used to guarantee greater military defense given the frequent Saracen attacks in Liguria. Inside you can see some original furniture, a wall with gothic windows, numerous bas-reliefs and architectural furnishings in marble or slate.
- walk from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta is about 10 minutes along the climb to the Church of San Giorgio in the direction of the Lighthouse - Get directions
- March 15 to March 31 10: 00-17: 00; April, May, September and October 10: 00-18: 00; from June to August 10: 00-19: 00; from November to March 15 Sat-Sun 10: 00-17: 00
- € 5,00
2 - Church of San Giorgio
This church is an important place of Catholic worship, within it are the remains of San Giorgio are kept, patron saint of Portofino. It is characterized by a Baroque style structure and from a road (the San Giorgio climb) which allows you to reach the church from the main square of the seaside village.
From the area in front of it there are perfect views to enjoy Portofino from above and its fabulous gulf, the view on the other side of the promontory is spectacular.
Inside the church you can see a plaque from which it is deduced that the building dates back to 1154, erected in the Romanesque style, although some excavations, carried out after the Second World War, have brought to the surface an ancient chapel probably dating back to the era of the Lombards in Liguria.
- from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta on foot in 5 minutes along the San Giorgio slope - Get directions
- 10:00AM - 19:00PM
3 - Museum of the Park
The museum stands on the grounds of a magnificent garden on different terraces overlooking the sea, houses sculptures belonging to some of the major internationally known artists, including Pomodoro, Messina, Marrai, Costa, and every year is enriched with new acquisitions making it a cultural space in constant evolution and among the favorite places for nature and art lovers. To date, there are 130 sculptures. It is worth a visit as, in addition to being able to admire the statues and various works, here you can visit a wonderful and lush garden overlooking the Portofino pier.
- from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta in less than 5 minutes on foot - Get directions
- Jun-Sep every day except Tuesday 10: 00-13: 00 and 15: 00-19: 00; only on request possible guided tours outside the opening period
4 - Church of the Divo Martino
The parish church dedicated to San Martino is a Catholic place of worship located in the oldest part of the village, inside there are some pictorial and sculptural works such as the Annunciation of the eighteenth century, the canvas of the Madonna del Rosario, and a painting depicting the saints Rocco, Sebastiano and Pantaleo by a Ligurian painter of the sixteenth century. Externally the facade is quite simple and with horizontal stripes of gray and yellowish color, inside it is full of frescoes and paintings.
- from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta on foot in less than 5 minutes - Get directions
- lun-ven 9:00-19:00 sab-dom 8:00-21:00
5 - Cannon Bay
The beach is ideal for couples, it is small and romantic. It is an incredible place with its turquoise waters and its breathtaking scenery. It is located in a semi-hidden position and during the hot summer days it is perfect because it is shady, the entrance is the same that leads to a private area of a hotel but the access to the beach is obviously public as it is a free beach. We remind you that the beaches mainly concentrated along the eastern side of the Portofino promontory, including Baia Cannone, are part of the marine area declared a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Interest.
- from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta is only 400 meters, 6 minutes on foot - Get directions
- always accessible
6 - Bay of Niasca
It is the right beach for those who love to do outdoor activities, is a free beach located on the border with the nearby town of Paraggi, surrounded by Mediterranean and sandy scrub. It is a place where you can swim and take a bath in total safety as it is forbidden to navigation, and you can also snorkel.
Even in this beach the shade takes over from the early afternoon, and it is also possible to find some salt water collections which periodically remain isolated from marine waters and inside them contain many different animal and plant species such as algae, molluscs and small fish.
- with the ATP bus that from the Chiesa del Divo Martino arrives in Niasca in 4 minutes; from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta is 1,3 km, 17 minutes on foot - Get directions
- always accessible
7 - Bay of Paraggi
It is the most suitable beach for those who love to have all comforts, services and elegance, it is almost totally occupied by bathing establishments apart from a small free beach area always very busy in the summer. Since the early afternoon the position of the sun means that it is in the shade.
It is considered by many one of the most suggestive beaches of Liguria, if not the whole Mediterranean, with its emerald-colored water and its peaceful atmosphere, it is a real corner of paradise. Scattered with rocks that form a real cliff, it hosts plants such as sea fennel and Tyrrhenian cornflower. For the more trained in diving, here you will not be disappointed, even a few meters deep you may come across small yellow gorgonians, sponges and rare crustaceans.
- by car via the SP 227 in 3 minutes, or by the ATP bus that from the Chiesa del Divo Martino arrives in Paraggi in 5 minutes - Get directions
- always accessible
8 - Portofino Regional Natural Park
The park is a protected natural area consisting mainly of the territories of Camogli, Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure. The park authority keeps indicated and safely over 80 km of routes, some of these accessible only if accompanied by guides. Within this areathe vegetation is typically Mediterranean, composed of chestnut, hazelnut, pine and olive trees. Her fauna is particularly rich, it is easy to meet and observe robins, finches, blackbirds, the jay and many others, and birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon.
Starting from Portofino Mare you can choose which itinerary to take, you are spoiled for choice and you can consult them all on the park's official website, based on duration, difficulty, length and route.
- the starting point of the excursions depends on the individual routes that you can consult on the official website
- always accessible
9 - Portofino Art Gallery
Walking through the streets of Portofino's city center it is impossible not to come across Via Roma, the main street which connects Piazza della Libertà directly to the port, is the area with the most shops of all kinds, in addition to luxury boutiques you can also find typical shops and craft stalls. And a few steps away, in Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta, is the art gallery that offers works by contemporary painters and sculptors among the best known in Italy, also paying particular attention to young emerging talents.
- it is located exactly in Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta, in the center of Portofino - Get directions
- from March to November 10 am-00pm, in winter by appointment only
10 - Bay View Yacht Portofino
The pier of Portofino, called Bay View Yacht, is the place where the tourist boats and the elegant yachts that can be seen on the typical postcards and on the It is a part of Portofino where you can stop even just for a moment of relaxation, is the setting for a unique, sweet life atmosphere, and it deserves to be enjoyed properly. From here it is possible to admire the small port that was once the refuge of fishermen while now it is one of the most chic places on our wonderful peninsula. In general, the whole of via Molo Umberto I deserves its moment.
- from Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta on foot in 2 minutes - Get directions
- always accessible
What to see in Portofino in one day: recommended itinerary
Have a good breakfast at Bar Morena located in the central square, Piazza Martire dell'Olivetta. Then you can continue taking Molo Umberto I and visit the Park Museum. Crossing the San Giorgio slope you can then reach the Church of San Giorgio up to Brown Castle (June-Aug 10:00 to 19:00). Inside you can see some original furniture and architectural furnishings in marble or slate, it is also surrounded by a garden full of flowers and rose gardens from which you can admire the view of the Gulf of Tigullio.
Once back in the central square, stop for lunch at Trattoria Tripoli. We recommend that you spend your afternoon visiting the beaches and taking a few refreshing baths. Dwell on Cannon Bay and Bay of Niasca, you will be more facilitated if you have the car with you. We remind you that these beaches are already shaded in the afternoon.
In the evening reach one of the most beautiful viewpoints, the pier of Portofino, called Bay View Yacht. In the moment of the day when the sun sets it is the most suggestive moment. For dinner, stop by Ristorante Lo Stella, with the terrace overlooking the harbor.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Bar Morena (Get directions)
- Park Museum (Jun-Sep, except Tuesdays 10: 00-13: 00)
- Church of San Giorgio (10: 00-19: 00)
- Castello Brown (Jun-Aug 10: 00-19: 00, € 5,00)
- Lunch at Trattoria Tripoli (Get directions)
- Cannon Bay
- Bay of Niasca
- Bay View Yacht Portofino
- Dinner at Lo Stella Restaurant (Get directions)
Where to eat in Portofino: the best restaurants
- Taverna del Marinaio restaurant: fish dishes in a small room decorated with paintings of ships, soft lighting and terrace overlooking the marina. Average price per person: € 45,00 Address and contacts: Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta, 36 (Get directions) / tel: 0185 269103
- Lo Stella Restaurant: historic restaurant from 1850 on the sea with retro furnishings, with a menu of pizzas, Ligurian and Italian dishes. Average price per person: € 30,00 Address and contacts: Molo Umberto I, 3 (Get directions) / tel: 0185 269007
- The Pitosforo: rich Ligurian menu in an elegant restaurant with wooden chairs, lampshades and a veranda overlooking the marina. Average price per person: € 35,00 Address and contacts: Molo Umberto I, 9 (Get directions) / tel: 0185 269020
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Portofino
Portofino's nightlife is very quiet, plus it is chic and elegant and precisely this makes it a favorite destination for VIPs and wealthy tourists. The most popular places are located in the port area and along the coast and are more than anything else bars and pubs that organize evenings with live music and piano bar, to find a disco you have to move to the nearby town of Paraggi.
The aperitif is one of the favorite moments of the day in Portofino, and for many who pass by here even just for a day it is something that cannot be given up. We recommend two of the most characteristic and suggestive places where you can spend the evening.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Portofinese: lounge-bar with a wonderful view located on the terrace of the Portofino lighthouse, excellent for an aperitif or sipping excellent cocktails. Among the specialties there is craft beer and honey / Address: Via della Penisola, 18 (Get directions)
- The Carillon: located in Paraggi is a restaurant that at sunset turns into a real disco club / Address: Via Paraggi a mare, 10 (Get directions)
Plan your stay in Portofino: info and useful tips
- from Genoa it can be reached by car in 45 minutes. Or by train to Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino station (50 min, € 3,60 each way), from here you can then reach Portofino with bus 82 (20 min, € 1,80 each way)
- Getting around: within Portofino it is possible to move on foot, the town is in fact a pedestrian area
- Where to park: we do not recommend reaching the center of Portofino by car, the road is narrow, full of curves and very crowded in the summer months. There is a free parking area located along the road between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino in front of the Covo Nord Est nightclub, from here you can reach the village on foot with a 2 km panoramic walk or by bus (€ 5,00 , per person a / r)
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 150,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Camogli (14 km), Santa Margherita Ligure (5 km), Rapallo (8 km)
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