Today we’re back in Liguria; following our previous stop in Genoa a few weeks ago I’m taking you to the most fascinating town in the Gulf of Tigullio. WOW, we’re in Portofino!
It’s a small fishing village (can you see the little boats shaped like nutshells?) surrounded by greenery, with a small harbor and a famous little square where you’re very likely to bump into members of the international jet-set, perhaps seated at the café tables, or just landed from a yacht docked offshore... We’re on the Riviera diLevante, the stretch of Liguria than runs between Genoa and Cinque Terre and then on to the border with Tuscany. Portofino is built on the hill of the same name, a promontory that has been a protected nature reserve since 1935.
The historic charm of Portofino seems to have changed little since the early nineteenth century, when it became a destination for aristocrats and intellectuals. It still has the same super chic atmosphere, with lush green foliage, the briny scent of the sea, and colorful facades that welcome people arriving from the sea like a stage.
Strolling along its cobbled alleys is a treat as the town is pedestrianized and wonderfully quiet. I love visiting seaside villages for some light relief from all the figures. What better place than this? As I’m strolling along, I climb up the path to Castello Brown to enjoy the extraordinary view! I love gazing at the horizon, where the sea meets the sky and infinity seems almost within reach -yes, I’m feeling quite philosophical today, almost mystical ;)
And speaking of things mystical, it’s worth extending the trip to San Fruttuoso Abbey, another unmissable destination on Mount Portofino. This 9th century Benedictine monastery overlooks the bay of the same name –like an oasis nestled between rock, woods and turquoise water. Truly mystical!
But that’s enough philosophy for now: it’s time for a snack! I suggest you some delicious Ligurian street food: fried anchovies. Cut open and breaded, you can enjoy them either plain or stuffed (with chopped parsley, pine nuts and marjoram), both are just as good, it just depend swhich one whets your appetite.
See you at the next stop!