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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Portofino, a town barely two kilometres wide, is well known for the jet-set that inhabits its lovely streets. It has been nicknamed the most beautiful Piazzetta – or square – in the world because of its small size. The entire town sizzles with excitement and magic. You never know who you will bump into when you leave your accommodation and it is one of the few places in the world where the piers with their luxury yachts in the marina are a mere stone’s throw from the centre. At the marina you can also see local fishermen mending nets and soak up the lovely atmosphere of the town. Other relaxing pastimes could include shopping, or simply strolling among the colourful homes.

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Why visit Portofino ?

Portofino location iamge - CruiseDirection

The most beautiful Piazzetta in the world

The entire town sizzles with excitement and magic

In the 1960s and 1970s, Portofino was regularly mentioned by the society pages for the romantic encounters it witnessed between celebrities such as Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. While many of these names are no longer with us, you will still see famous names walking the small village in the hope of having a little private time.  

Portofino is also the home to many famous international fashion designers, such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci, Armani and more. All of their shops are located on the main street in the town and are open to the general public during certain hours. Imagine being able to purchase one of these creations for the fraction of the price elsewhere. There are local boutiques to browse in and many of them carry handmade items such as lingerie, bikinis, sandals and local artwork depicting the sights of the town and its maritime heritage.  

Of course, dining in Portofino is a must and as with most cities in the Mediterranean, the local specialty is fresh fish, scampi, prawns, and lobster. Served with pesto sauce from the region and a selection of red and white wines, you can enjoy an afternoon or evening meal within a few metres of the sea. Relaxing during your meal, you can consider which route you would like to follow when finished so that you can see more of this small and unique town. One trail leads to the 1870s Castle Brown with it panoramic view of the town and the Gulf of Tigullio. The Church of St George is located nearby and the view from there is towards Genova and the Gulf of Paradise. From the Lighthouse of Portofino, you could very easily spot dolphins, sperm whales, and other species that are protected in this area.  

If you enjoy diving then why not take the trails that lead towards Genova? Here in the bay of San Fruttuoso you can dive beneath the crystal waters and see the statue of Christ called the Christ of the Abyss which is 18 metres beneath the surface. If you walk the other way from Portofino towards Santa Margherita Ligure, you can enjoy the bay of Paraggi and its beautiful blue-green waters. In the evenings Portofino comes alive with bonfires, music and celebrations and if you are there during April, you can partake in the celebrations for the local saint, Saint George.

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