Tucked away in the west part of Italy is one delightful coastal village of Portofino. It has come a long way from fishing village to the jetsetter’s pick for summer holiday.
The coastline of Italy has its own magnet with beautiful beaches and picturesque views. Charming fishing villages on the Riviera have become points of interest for travel destinations for decades, bringing economic growth to what was once underprivileged part of the country. Among those small ports, Portofino certainly stood out with its alluring persona, combining nautical experiences with touch of luxury. Some say, it is the Italian’s answer to Saint-Tropez, where the crème de la crème society travels to get their tan.
The nearest airport is located an hour away in Genoa and the village is also reachable within couple of hours by car from Monaco as well as Milan. From the neighboring town of Rapallo, narrow road leads to the tip of Gulf of Paraggi, offering magnificent view of green hills and ocean facing towards each other. It was easy to understand why Portofino has been the buzzing summer haven for celebrities such as Cher, Rihanna and Steven Spielberg. The town center instantly gives an intimate feel, with rustic restaurants and small yet curated designers’ boutiques, including Gucci, Dior and Pucci. At the center square, or locally known as la piazzetta, is where most of the magic happens. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the magnificent coastal view and at the same time spotting famous people around the area. Yachts and sailboats lined up as they parked along the shore, waiting for the owners to cruise around the gulf. While sunbathing is a must, renting a boat or kayaking can be the right options to spend your day here. There might not be many places to go for sightseeing, but the 16th century castle, Castello Brown, is a must visit.
Portofino’s manicured architecture comes as the main highlight with Mediterranean-styled colorful buildings. The hills host beautiful villas overlooking the ocean; several are rumouredly own by the rich and famous, among them are designers Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. It is also up in the hills where the iconic Belmond Hotel Splendido located. Once a monastery, the hotel first opened its doors in 1902. With impeccable service and breathtaking view, no wonder why the hotel has been chosen by big names among them are Sir Winston Churchill and Elisabeth Taylor. The adorable town is very busy during the summer. It is a place where jetsetters spend their holidays, so yes, expect the extravagant experience with extravagant spending to come with it.