As the Italian Riviera continues to attract the world’s jet-set, the tiny elegant Portofino provides the perfect array of indulgences and experiences to keep seasoned sailors returning each season. Lying east of Genoa, the charming Portofino is undeniably the Italian Riviera’s elite yachting capital.
Carved out of the steep rock face, the seaside town is almost completely secluded from the mainland, creating the ideal hideaway for rest and relaxation. Sitting on its own little peninsula, this picturesque fishing village hides a deeply luxurious heart beneath the quaintness of its small harbour and mellowing houses. The beauty of Portofino is only amplified when arriving by the sea, allowing an enviable view of the brightly coloured houses huddled around the harbour.
Acting as a haven for inspired writers, the exclusive seaside town has attracted the likes of Guy de Maupassant and Truman Capote over its attractive history. Portofino has embraced the modern-day exclusivities of designer boutiques and gourmet cafes without sacrificing any of its 1950s charm that made it so popular with the rich and famous of the past. Gently washed by the waters of the harbour, Portofino’s small centre revolves around an uncomplicated piazza, boasting designer names like Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana, Pucci, Gucci and Missoni.
Reinforcing its reputation as an opulent hideaway, Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, the chairman of Pirelli tyres and the owner of the Genoa football club keep villas in Portofino. Peace and relaxation are the desires of visitors here, where no loud noise is allowed after 10pm and bomb-proof security is well in force. The most adventure you will encounter in Portofino is that you can find on any one of the coast’s exhilarating walks.
A hikers dream, Portofino offers an endless array of scenic walking paths, allowing those lucky enough to cross them to explore hidden hilltop villages and catch an unforgettable view of the coast’s sandy-white cliffs. Perhaps the most scenic and rewarding is hiking amongst the cliffs of the UNESCO-protected Cinque Terre villages. A delightfully quaint maze of tiny gardens, windswept views and shady seaside resting spots.
Portofino is a tender port, and tenders arrive at the yacht moorage in the centre of town. For those with yachts bordering on the larger scale however, anchoring off the coast of Santa Margherita is required, just over two miles south. This is no great shame however, as Santa Margherita itself is a beauty to explore, with terraced gardens and castles by the sea ensuring the trip is not a wasted one.