A trip to Portofino from the Cinque Terre is not only very feasible, but we recommend it!
If you follow us on social media, you will know that we often repeat to visit calmly and dedicate the right time to villages, trails, and experiences, perhaps extending the stay a little to experience something that goes beyond the glossy postcards of the Cinque Terre.
In reality, however, a very valid reason to extend your holiday in the Cinque Terre is that from here you can easily visit our wonderful surroundings: from the Gulf of Poets to Tigullio, from the hinterland with historic villages and food and wine products to unique cities such as Genoa and Pisa and then Lucca and Pietrasanta with sculptors and marble quarries to discover. In short, there is something for all tastes.
A trip to Portofino
Portofino, included within the Regional Natural Park of Portofino, is a typical Ligurian coastal village, once inhabited mainly by fishermen, whose boats were protected by the shape of the small bay – within the Gulf of Tigullio – surrounded by colorful tower houses arranged in a semicircle around the famous Piazzetta.
To reach it from the Cinque Terre, you have several options:
- by car, a means of transport we also advise against to reach our own villages, you can reach Portofino in about an hour and a half from Riomaggiore, via La Spezia (A12 Genoa – La Spezia motorway, Rapallo exit). On arrival, however, you will have the problem of parking, between scarcity and high costs;
- by train, in about an hour and twenty, with change in Sestri Levante and arrival in Santa Margherita Ligure, from where, perhaps after visiting the village, you can take a bus (line 882) or take a one-hour panoramic walk;
- by boat, from La Spezia or Levanto in July and August, or getting by train to Rapallo or Santa Margherita and treating yourself to a twenty minutes boat trip, discovering stunning Portofino from the sea;
- with one of the several boat tours offered in our area. The most expensive option, but undoubtedly the one that offers the most beautiful, complete, and certainly unforgettable experience!
As you already know, Portofino is today a favorite destination of the international jet set, chosen by many VIPs for their summer stays, in the splendid villas that dot the bay or aboard the sumptuous boats that have now almost completely supplanted local fishing boats.
Over a stroll between the Piazzetta and the pier, a glass of wine by the water, and maybe some crazy shopping in the famous fashion boutiques, we recommend a walk to the lighthouse and then to the Second World War bunker, and then a visit to the following monuments downtown:
- Divo Martino Church: in Romanesque-Lombard style, it is dedicated to San Martino of Tour and was donated to the monks of the abbey of San Fruttuoso by Queen Adelaide, widow of Ottone I. Note the bronze portal signed by Costanzo Mongini, depicting the eighteenth-century miracle of San Giorgio which unleashed a violent storm to save Portofino from a pirate assault;
- Church of San Giorgio: a small and suggestive oval temple on the cliff, reachable along a narrow creuza. The present building, however, is the result of an almost complete reconstruction following a bombing during the Second World War;
- Brown Castle, formerly San Giorgio: it is a military fortress whose remains of the watchtower date back to Roman times. The current building dates back to the 16th century, with extensions wanted by the Genoese Republic and then developed by Napoleon, who strengthened its defensive system. In 1870 the castle was sold to Sir Montague Yeats Brown, English consul in Rome; since 1961, it has been owned by the municipality which uses it for cultural events.
From here, if you plan well, you can also visit the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, hiking along a splendid and ancient path, or by boat. However, we will talk about San Fruttuoso in another post because it really deserves a trip to itself and another day, perhaps even including a visit to lovely Camogli.