When it comes to choosing European travel destinations, Italy is always at the top of my list. Every year I find myself coming back for the delicious food, beautiful views, gorgeous turquoise water beaches and vibe of the locals! Although there are so many cities and small towns to consider, Portofino recently caught my eye as my next summer travel destination. So I decided to share with our readers the best recommendations I could possibly find online before my trip (and hopefully inspire yours in the near future too!) Let’s get started, shall we?
Visiting Italy for longer? How about a trip to Lake Como – here are the top places to visit!
What to do in Portofino, Italy
The Piazzetta of Portofino
La Piazzetta is Portofino’s iconic main square which is a peaceful spot where you can enjoy traditional specialties, some tasty gelato or just sit and experience the stunning Ligurian Sea. Around the area, there are many boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, making the bustling centre an ideal gathering point.
The Brown Castle
If you’re the adventurous type then take a hike to the stunning Castello Brown and take a tour of medieval relics, neo-gothic architecture, a gorgeous garden, and 360° views of the sea, national park, and town. The Genovese-built castle stood strong against the Venetians, Savoyards, Sardinians and Austrians, and later fell to Napoleon. It was bought by a British diplomat in 1867 and transformed into a private mansion. The price is €3 for the entrance.
Abbazia San Fruttuoso
Accessible only by boat or by a two-hour hike down a mountain, this beautiful beach is definitely worth a visit. One of the most gorgeous beaches in the area, it is surrounded by crystal clear water and stunning views of the hills. If you visit during the day, you can stop for lunch at Da Giovanni restaurant, which specializes in fresh grilled seafood and pesto pasta.
Between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, you can find Paraggi beach. This is the only sand beach in the area and the perfect location to enjoy a relaxing sunny day. Paraggi has soft sand, sparkling emerald water, and beautiful views of the coastline. Make sure you are mentally prepared to splurge during your visit at this beach, since a pair of chairs and umbrella can cost you up to 100$ per day (yes, you read that right!) during the high season.
Al Faro di Portofino
Al Faro di Portofino is located on the terrace of Portofino’s 100-year-old lighthouse, and it has some of the most beautiful views in the area. When you arrive at the lighthouse, there is a bar, where you can reward yourself with spritzes, wine, local beer, and of course snacks. The terrace can also be rented out for private dinners, where guests can enjoy gourmet meals while enjoying the sunset.
Where to eat in Portofino
After doing some extensive research, I narrowed down a list of all the restaurants that were most recommended around the area. From fresh pasta, seafood and mouth-watering tiramisu, there’s a lots to choose from! Here are our top picks:
- Da Gemelli
- Ristorante Puny
- Trattoria Tripoli
- La Cucina di Nonna Nina
- Trattoria Concordia
- Ristorante-Pizzeria da Emilio
- Taverna del Marinaio
Where to stay in Portofino
We are going to be honest with you, if you wanted a budget type of trip, then you should not stay directly in Portofino. The prices to stay there are insane but if you feel like splurging then we would recommend the Belmond Splendido Resort or Eight Hotel Paraggi for the best location and views! If not, then we suggest you look for accommodations near Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure. Our last but not least recommendation would be to look for airbnbs if you want to feel like a local and enjoy a bigger space with your own kitchen or if you’re traveling in group.
We hope you send us a postcard from Portofino!
There is no doubt this Italian town is beyond gorgeous, if we managed to convince you to start packing for your next trip… we’d love to see your travel pictures! We are sure that Portofino, Italy will be a great summer destination for you! Don’t forget to send a postcard to your friends and family or if you share them on social media, please tag us using #MyPostcardMoment! We will be more than happy to see you enjoying the Italian sun.
If you’re interested in Portofino, make sure to check out Lake Como too!