Things to do and see in Portofino Italy

Portofino Italy is one of the best places to visit during summer

September 1st, 2015, Posted by travelwith2ofus

Like so many beautiful villages and towns in Italy, Portofino is not to be outdone. This Italian fishing village and tourist resort is noted for its breathtaking harbor, scenery, beaches and cuisine.

Located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera, Portofino has been associated with many celebrities and noted members from the artistic community.


Walking around is not a bad option because Portofino, by no means is a large town, and most hotels and beaches are within walking distance. Other activities in Portofino include kayaking, snorkeling and sailing. You can also explore the village, especially places like the northern shore, where you will find the Abbey of San Fruttuoso.

Some of the nearby beaches include Camogli, Chiavari, Lavagna, Paraggi and Sestri Levante. Best activities in Portofino, beside relaxing on the beaches and taking in the harbor scenery is sampling the cuisine. There are many restaurants and each serve their own unique versions of local and regional specialties.


Portofino is a fishing town and vacation resort in Genoa province on the Italian Riviera. It is famous for its striking harbor and past association with celebrity and artistic guests. The town is around the small port and has colorful buildings along the shore. It is one of the most ideal and photogenic fishing ports in the Mediterranean. Portofino possesses an exceptional natural heritage that comprises of rural and maritime civilizations and religious architecture. It also has clusters of rural houses with tiny orchards and portions of land with grapevines and olive trees.

Book Your Portofino Hotel Here

Italy is beautiful, but why should I visit Portofino?
As the place where art, glam and nature congregate, there is no doubt that Portofino is one of the optimum places to visit during summer, or just for a weekend. Even the trees in this beautiful village are worth seeing. There are numerous places one can visit and diverse activities you can engage in to ensure that you spend their vacation in style.

Portofino looking towards the seaI'm on vacation, what do I do in Portofino?
On vacation, shopping therapy is an activity one can engage in. Portofino has some glamorous charm with Via Roma as a famous fashion street. A stroll along Via Roma allows you to admire its dreamy windows. The street also houses the boutiques of some of the well-known fashion houses and brands so you can buy whatever meets your eye. Additionally, you can stock up on leather items, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.


Once in Portofino you can also take advantage of a boat tour on the coast and discover the town. In case you happen to visit Portofino during summer, you can go sunbathing at Paraggi beach. It is a small bay enclosed by mountains. Swimming in the crystalline water with a view of the green mountains can make a visitor love Portofino even more.


Those interested in the local traditions can walk through the streets of Portofino’s Borgo and visit the artisan workshops where the women gracefully work stylish patterns of bobbin lace.

Last time I checked my bank account I wasn't rich. What are the costs of things in Portofino?
Most popular restaurants in Portofino have a table service charge of approximately three Euros so when choosing a place to eat; you ought to take that into consideration. Beers cost 10 Euros and above so when you want to indulge you should be ready to spend money. The meals in Portofino are tasty, but pricey.

The taxis in Portofino charge 35 Euros for a short trip, so you should carry enough cash to move around. The schedules of the buses are regular and cost around one Euro from Santa Margherita Ligure train station to Portofino. You can also choose to get a rental car that is available at affordable prices, and which will allow you to move around more comfortably. 


With many attractions and economical accommodations, there are exclusive Portofino hotel deals and great offers available. The prices of hotel rooms in Portofino range from $79 to $302.

There has to be some place you must visit while in Portofino. Give me the 411!
During a vacation to Portofino you have to dive into the past and visit the Brown Castle. Being Portofino's pride and joy, the fifteenth-century castle is on the town's harbor. It was originally built to act as the port defense, but later it developed into a magnificent villa. Nowadays, the timeless castle is a house museum that the public can access.


As a tourist, set some time aside to admire Saint George church. It houses the remains of Saint George, the city's patron that the local sailors brought home from Crusades. If you still feel energetic enough, you can hike out to the lighthouse to enjoy Portofino from high above. The path to the lighthouse has flourishing vegetation and offers a panoramic peek of the sea and coast all round. Another must visit place is the breathtaking and pristine Regional Park of Portofino to enjoy nature.

The Statue of Christ of the Abyss that is underwater is another spectacular place one must visit while in Portofino. The statue protected fishermen and scuba drivers, and it represents a benedictory Christ facing up to the sky with open arms. So when in Portofino book a diving experience to have a look at this unique statue.


An individual can also go for an outdoor trip at Cinque Terre since the beautiful Portofino is close to other wonderful places. One can spend a day exploring places such as Monterosso Mare, Manarol and Santa Margerita Ligure.

What's the food scene like there? What should I eat in Portofino?
Once in Portofino, a person should ensure that they enjoy a cup of high-quality Italian coffee at Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta. The famed restaurant was once a place where celebrities and artists came to relax and chat during a coffee break while filming.

FocacciaWhile there is a great deal of foods to sample in Portofino, you shouldn't leave without tasting these local delicacies:


The Ligurian Coast is considered the birthplace of Pesto, you will notice this sauce served with almost all meals in Portofino. This sauce has been perfected over time and a must for every tourist. 

Trofie pasta

Not just any pasta, Trofie pasta is as unique as its name. The twisted pasta is served with pesto sauce. Can be served fresh or dried. Either way expect a pleasant treat.


Focaccia is a local cheesy flatbread that is eaten all day every day. This delicious doughy bread is so addictive it is served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 


Many delicacies in Portofino incorporate seafood due to its location. The local fish is known as Besugo and features heavily in the menu. The fish is commonly prepared in a unique way of baking under a mound of sea salt. Expect to sample lots of juicy seafoods cooked in very simple ways yet very exquisite. 

It is essential to note that most of the restaurants in Portofino close once a week, so when you choose a place to eat you should remember this. For instance, Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta closes on Thursday while La Locanda di Colombo in Santa Margherita is open only in the evenings and does not operate on Sundays. 


The eating places in Portofino offer different cuisines. Some provide Italian food while a few specialize in Spanish food. Therefore, depending on your preference for the day, you can effortlessly find what you want to eat. One thing is sure, you will not be disappointed with the food here.

Do they speak English in Portofino?
Most of the Portofino residents converse in Italian, not English, which makes it a challenge for an individual who, is not articulate in the language. If you are lucky enough, you may find another person in the area who understands English and can, therefore, help them translate. Additionally, the employees in most accommodation spots are well versed in different languages, English being one of them. A person visiting Portofino is hence able to stay in a hotel where there are people who can understand them.


So! If you are planning to visit Portofino, it is advisable that you do so during the high season so that you can have a memorable experience. During the end of the season, you may save money in terms of hotels and other bills, but miss out on the fun-filled activities.


For more information about Portofino and other places in Italy, visit is the official website for tourism in Italy.

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