For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Lines from the poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud” most popularly known as The Daffodils by Wordsworth. Just like those captivating Daffodils, the sounds and sights Portofino fill my heart.
Throwback to some years ago when I lived in Italy and often on an impulse, I would embark on a little exploration. Let’s time travel back to when I took a train to Santa Margherita Ligure and then a short boat or bus ride to Portofino.
Where is Portofino?
Portofino is a tiny fishing village in Italy that is famous for its scenic harbor and glamourous visitors. Situated just an hour’s drive from Genoa in the Italian Reviera.
What I did:
Before heading to Portofino, I visited the Abbey of San Fruttoso where there is a Christ of the Abyss, a bronze statue of Christ that is submerged 50 feet under the sea. A unique statue of Christ with his hands raised up in a prayer for peace.
Then, I headed to Portofino with wind in my hair, a smile on my lips, and the sun shining down. I was greeted by sparkling blue waters, quaint winding streets, chic street side cafes and people who looked like they had stepped out of the Vogue magazine. Later, I learned that Portofino is the favored destination of the rich and the famous, a piece of paradise where they unwind in style. I smiled as I passed upscale restaurants displaying sparkling wine and delectable food as I wandered the streets soaking in the sights.
Portofino does not boast of a lengthy list of sights to see or things to do. With a local population of just around 500 residents, this little harbor thrives on tourism and the fine art of Dolce Fa Niente. The sweet art of doing nothing. As a visitor, you can sip wine and fine dine at the various restaurants or you shop at the exclusive boutiques and shops. You can hike up to see Castello Brown and the Church of San Girogio. I was enthralled by the pastel colored houses, the blue seas and picturesque streets.
Portofino has also been featured in several films and Ferrari even has a car named Portofino! The perfume house Dior has an exclusive perfume after Portofino.
As I wandered around, I found signposts and a little flight of stairs leading up to a Castle. Not one to resist an adventure, I followed the signs which lead to a short hike up the hill. Castello Brown is a 16th Century castle was used for the area’s defense but is now a museum and offers an outstanding view of the harbor and the sea.
What I loved most about Portofino
From the moment you enter Portofino, there is a surreal feeling of being in a magical land. Everything sparkles, from the blue waters to the fine wine and the Gucci sunglasses.
Idyllic surroundings, luxurious yachts, uber chic people and above all the breathtaking natural panoramic view that engulfs you. Portofino is a delightful break from the mundane and the monotony. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated by the sounds and sights of this scenic beauty.
So, if you ever are in the neighborhood or are planning to visit the area, do visit Portofino. You will not regret it. Don’t take my word for it…. ask Andrea Bocelli.
Sahitya is a wanderer and wordsmith. She loves to explore the roads not taken and local delights in her daily life and her travels. Photography and writing make a interesting cocktail with her travels.