Welcome to Portofino. Overview
Portofino became famous in the 60s, when the rich and famous characters of the “Dolce Vita“, actors, actresses, pop stars, and rich aristocrats frequently started visiting it for its twilights, exclusive parties, and breathtaking views.
At the time, the high society moved from Via Veneto and Piazza di Spagna in Rome during weekends to Portofino, Capri, Saint Tropez and Montecarlo, Cortina and Saint Moritz. These were the compulsory spots, in addition to Porto Cervo, once known as the Costa Smeralda, during summers. Through time, Portofino has seen a high standard of living thanks to its exclusive guests, huge yachts, famous boat races such as the Zegna Trophy and for its incredible and natural beauty.
Today one goes to Portofino to feel good, because it is a fantastic place, full of magic, where to meditate and make peace with oneself. We suggest visiting Portofino during Easter times, that is when Easter falls in the month of April, until the end of September.If the weather allows it, you can take a small Ferryboat from the Molo Umberto I (the one on the right) to San Fruttoso or to Camogli, two beautiful viallages right on the opposite side of the Portofino mount.
In front of Camogli you can stay at Punta Chiappa, where you will find rocks for sun baths. There, you can eat at Trattoria da Spadin, a cozy place on the sea.
Portofino is a very wonderful place, with beautiful villas, but during the high season, too much touristic.
What to Know about Portofino
There isn’t much to do in Portofino, only rest and relax. It is the best place for this goal. The Piazzetta is always full of people, and you feel as if you’re in your living room. There are many Restaurants, serving especially fish, we suggest for example DaU Batti at Vico Nuovo 17 (behind the Piazzetta) where you must try their secret-recipe-cooked scampi, the famous single-brand boutiques such as Ermenegildo Zegna in the Piazzetta, managed by Serena Belli, and others.
In Via Roma you’ll be able to find on the right a small shop of cute local pot pieces. We also suggest an “aperitivo” at Winterose at the end of the Calata Marconi (the left one). It is a type of boutique of good wine with renowned brands.You’ll be able to enjoy a glass of wine a meter away from the sea.
For anything else, if you’re thinking of staying a night or two, we advise you stay at the Splendido Mare, a 5 star luxury hotel on the Piazzetta, or the Nazionale, a retro-styled 4 star hotel near it. If you also want to swim in the sea, you could stay at the Piccolo Hotel, a very nice 4 star hotel, at 5 minutes walking distance from Portofino. It has a splendid private beach.
In Around Portofino
At about 10 km from Portofino, more precisely in a town called Rapallo, you’ll be able to play Golf surrounded by green colours, on a field of 5.629 metres, with a total Par of 70. It is a very hard field, full of natural obstacles, such as the three streams which run across it, which makes a lot of the holes hard to play. Built in 1931, it is surrounded by green fields enriched with various types of plants. It is the closest to Portofino.Even a boat trip is a fantastic idea to pass the time in Portofino.
We suggest visiting San Fruttuoso, with its Christ of the Abyss and theAbbey, thevery romantic Camogli, Paraggi which has crystal-clear water and Santa Margherita Ligure. There are taxi boats in the Piazzetta on the right or, on the same side but up ahead, the public boats.There are no nightclubs or discos in Portofino. The closest is the Carillon in Paraggi – 30 minutes walking distance. We suggest visiting it from June to September only on Friday and Saturday nights, whereas for the remaining periods, only on Saturdays.
If you make clubbing one of your habits we only suggest you visit only on Saturdays during the months of July and August. The people there are quite young, between 20 and 40 years of age. The dress code is fashionable, not too elegant. They play mainstream, house and 70s. For women wearing high heels and who don’t want to walk, we suggest taking one of our cars.
If you want, you’ll be able to have all the fun you can get by using our car plus driver service, up to 8 people – for trendy and freedom-full nights in Versilia at the Twiga, at Montecarlo’s Jimmy’s or at Le Vip Room in Saint Tropez.
Round trip on the same night with no driving stress or alcohol limits. We remind you that in Italy the alcohol consumption limit when driving is 0.50 g/l. During Friday and Saturday nights there are a lot of police controls. Visit our Limo Service to organize your sparkling night.In Portofino you can wake up late in the morning, have breakfast in the Piazzetta, take a boat trip or swim in the Paraggi beach, enjoy an Aperitivo from 18 until 20:30, and have dinner around 21:30. During weekends and in the summer season, women usually go to dinner dressed quite elegantly. You’ll have the chance of buying a nice dress in many of the famous boutiques present in Portofino. We always suggest wearing a tiny sweater on the shoulders from 18 onwards. The Piazzetta is made up of hand shaped sandstone, so be careful when wearing high heels, try walking in the appropriate corridors. In town you will find a pharmacy, a hairdresser, food shops, newspapers and places where to get cigarettes.
We suggest to visit Portofino’s Lighthouse.It is takes about 30 minutes walking which starts from the Piazzetta on the right. There are plants, fields, and you will feel calm. Take water with you and wear heelless shoes for this walk. We also suggest you visit the Castle Brown, on the same road, there is a fantastic view where you’ll be able to take pictures or film the surroundings.
Falò di San Giorgio
They start a huge fire with lods of wood in front of the sea, serving grilled fish, playing music, dim lights, lots of people which all make for a very romantic atmosphere. Hears the famous song of Fred Buscaglione “I Love Portofino”.We do not suggest spending more than one day in Portofino in the period from October to April.
Keep in mind that if you choose an Hotel in Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure, reaching Portofino could be a nightmare. Endless queue of cars barely moving. So if you need to spend most of the time in portofino trade confort for closeness.
The most important Hotel in Portofino is the Splendido Hotel, one of the top 20 in Europe, you choose between two units: the “Splendido Main Unit” overlooks the spectacular bay and tiny harbor of Portofino on the Italian Riviera and the second one “Splendido Mare” located on the world famous Piazzetta. You can book both units here just choose Mare or Main or room list.
Don’t worry about the service. The property offer a free shuttle every 30 minute to/from Main/Mare. So you can enjoy the Spa, and any other service of the Main one. In this Hotel we offer Airport Transfers and Luxury Car Rental: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin, Mercedes and many others.The Splendido Mare Unit is perfect for a very romantic atmosphere!
What to do in Portofino
An enjoyable part of the day. Walk towards the sunset and rediscover yourself. Unforgettable views and charm.
From Santa Margherita Ligure, just past the Hotel Miramare, we recommend walking towards Paraggi on the sidewalk which runs along the coast up to Capo Nord and then, poised on the sea, continue on the new wooden structure with old hand rail. You can enjoy the sunset. Take a drink along March – October.
Aperitifs at Winterose
A superb wine shop in Portofino. One meter from the sea, it’s one of a kind. Open during Easter.
For complete relaxation, nothing beats an aperitif at Winterose in Portofino. At the bottom of the Calata Marconi, on the left, you’ll find Emanuela ready to advise on the ideal mood-enhancing wine. Delicious mustards. It lies one meter from the sea on the bay of Portofino.
Calata Marconi 42 – Portofino – Phonel.39.0185.269.500
April – October
Bagni Fiore An exclusive establishment in the beautiful bay of Paraggi. Clear emerald green water. The best in the Portofino area. Very expansive. Perched on the bay’s first coast, they are frequented by actors, celebrities and the fashion world. Ask in reception for Elisabetta to recommend the best places to sunbathe. You can also hire beach huts and loungers for a day or weekend. It’s the first beach available in the Portofino area.
Paraggi – Ask to Elisabeth – Phone 39.0185.284.831
June – September
Dance at the Carillon Paraggi Very impressive is the Bay of Paraggi. Parking available.
The Carillon is a local historical Paraggi sea. Always active, has become famous at the time of the sweet life. Friday evenings and Saturday. Music mixed trading. Evocative lighting of the sea. Public medium-couple fashion. Customers very Milanese. Possible admission fee.
Paraggi – Telephone 39.0185.286.721
Friday and Saturday
Diving to Portofino Spectacular sea coasts where they live different kinds of fish and marine ecosystem in the area.
Diving to make Portofino is an unmissable opportunity to hear a deep sea of the most beautiful in the world. There are several points and wreckage from Santa Margherita Ligure to San Fruttuoso Camogli for both beginners and experts for scuba divers. Always use caution and go out in pairs.
Marine Protected Area – Phone 39.0185.289649
March – October
Enjoy the Portofino horizon If you want to stay in peace, enjoy the horizon and sit for the spectacle of a day that is born or dies is a good place. Portofino shortly before the curve before the access road to the Hotel Splendido, there is a small balcony, overlooking the sea, where you can sit back, admire the breathtaking view, whispering words to keep those who love, or simply stay in peace with yourself.
Via Duca degli Abruzzi – 16034 Portofino
March – October
Genoa Acquarium A priceless journey to discover the sea and its beauty into the largest in Europe. Bolla botany and bigo panoramico on old Genoa. panoramico sulla Genova antica. A unique experience, to discover a world full of life, forms of strange and curious creatures. Of the various types of events: exhibitions, events for children, video, competitions and fun carnival of Aquarius. Not recommend to eat on the internal self-service.
Old Port Area – Phone 39.010.234.5678
All year round.
Happy Hour at Miami Cafè Relax with an aperitif in the hustle and bustle of Santa or even on a boat during the hot summer days.
The Miami Cafè is a landmark on the wonderful small piazza of Santa Margherita Ligure for aperitif drinkers. We recommend weekends only during winter. Cocktails with buffet included. Heated outdoor tables, big screen TV for matches. Try Mojito, Rossini and off course Martini.
Lungomare Rossetti – Call Loris 335.838.0308
Happy Hour at the Bar Mariuccia You are in the Piazzetta, on the left. It ‘a historic bar, which has always been to Portofino. He alone in the afternoon. It provides cafeteria, cocktails and aperitifs with a few appetizer. Spartan furnishings, is often chosen by VIP visits the city. You can “be a party to showcase the center of a paciugo or enjoying a drink. It offers ice cream, toast and sandwiches. Small wine list. Casual clothing, suitable for short stops afternoon. High prices.
Piazzetta of Portofino – Telephone 39.0185.269.080
April – October
Play Golf Nearly 10 km from Portofino you can play golf in the green surroundings of a 5,629 meter course with a total Par of 70.
It’s a very challenging course, full of natural obstacles like the three streams which cross it, making many holes difficult to play. Play with care! Founded in 1931 and surrounded by the greenery lush with an abundance of different plants. It’s the closest course to Portofino.
Via Mameli 337 – Rapallo – Phone 39.0185-261777
Shopping tour in Milan A lively daytrip dedicated to the frenzy “Milano da bere” milieu of the 80′s, best known as the fashion capital of the world. “. There’s also a visit to the Duomo Piazza.Make time to go shopping in the very chic Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga where you’ll be able to buy Valentino, Armani, Cavalli, D&G and many other designer clothes. The tour leaves mid-morning and will allow you to spend the day living like a futuristic “Pretty Woman”.
Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga
Full Year – Reserve Limousine here
Strada Nuova dei Palazzi Rolli The superb Via Garibaldi in Genoa, a UNESCO heritage site with palaces dating back to 1550. We recommend it.
Beautiful and elegant street which gave prestige to the most affluent families of the Genoese ruling classes. Many of the palaces are open to the public. The great Genoese families (amongst whom the Spinola, Lomellini, Grimaldi) made this street their neighborhood.
Via Garibaldi – Musei di Strada Nuova – Phone: 39.010.27.59.185
Tour of Genoa Daytrip dedicated to discovering the “Superb” Genoa, old commercial and traditional port town.
Text Visit the superb Via Garibaldi with the Rolli Palaces, UNESCO heritage site, Europe’s biggest aquarium, the historic town center and old port. The tour leaves mid-morning. Experience an exciting and magical day. Upon return you’ll be able to admire the sunset over the gulf. Cultural daytrip.
Genoa – Old Port – Acquarium – Via Garibaldi
April – September – Reserve Limousine here
Tour of the Cinque Terre - Five Lands An entire day to experience and admire one of Italy’s most celebrated coasts. Named as “Humanity’s World Heritage” by UNESCO, we recommend the romantic Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza and Portovenere. Exciting and romantic daytrip. The tour leaves mid-morning and you’ll spend the whole day discovering step by step these quaint and thrilling towns. A Mercedes Class S and E and minivan with room for 8 people per group are available with driver. Recommended tour. Reserve Limousine here
Best Restaurants in Portofino
Osteria da U Batti
It’s a typical inn inside the alley behind the piazzetta in Portofino. Highly striking and romantic, it is placed exactly between the typical coloured houses. The fish cuisine there is wholly fantastic. The pesto is especially exquisite. We definitely suggest the house specialty, the “Scampi alla Batti”. Some say there lies an old recipe behind it.
Vico Nuovo 17
Dinner is served by candle light. Reservation is suggested.
Located in Portofino just behind the world famous “Piazzetta” square.
Calata Marconi 34 (left pier)
U Magazine is very small inside, not more of four tables. So, if you wont to try it during the low season, we suggest to book in advance.
Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta 5
We suggest to go for “fritto” deep fried fish and forghet the rest!
Reservation essential – No credit card accepted
Ristorante Lo Stella
Molo Umberto 1 (pier on the right)
We suggest to reserve always the outside tables. Very romantic place.
Superb service: expert, friendly, accommodating with a unmistakable desire to please.
Ristorante La Stalla
Via G.Pino, 27
Santa Margherita Ligure – Reserve Limousine
Delicious appetizers with bread and homemade desserts.
It is a romantic place to promises love.
The only place in Portofino, where we strongly suggest to have an aperitif, is the Winterose at the end of left pier. Avoid Jolly, (former Scafandro) and La Gritta. They are useful only to “be in Portofino”. Their cocktail is very poor, expensive and served with some peanuts and fried patatite only.
The Hotel Splendido on the Main Unit, it has been involved on the last two years (2011-2010) on two incredible thefts on guest room. So, we suggest to deliver to the concierge all your valuables.