The town’s popularity grew during the late 19th century when it became a favourite destination for European aristocrats. Hollywood film stars of the 50’s and 60’s began to holiday there and in the 1960’s it became an essential part of ‘La Dolce Vita‘ and Italian High Society. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor became engaged on the balcony of the Hotel Splendido in Portofino.
The sea surrounding the promontory is a marine protected area, established to protect the rarities and riches of the seabed, populated by sea fans, sponges, corals, seagrass meadows, and the precious red coral.
The best things to do in Portofino
The best walk is up the steps that lead from the port to the church of San Giorgio. From San Giorgio you will get a beautiful view of the harbor and bay. If you are up to it, you can continue up the path to the Portofino Lighthouse where you will get an even better view.
The beauty of Portofino is not diminished by the seasons. It is just as pretty in the fall, spring and even winter so plan your trip keeping the crowds in mind.
The restaurant serves an excellent selection of local wine and offers regional specialities including home-made short pasta served with traditional Genovese pesto sauce.
Located above Portofino’s harbour, the Church of San Martino (12) at Vico Nuovo 42 is in typical Lombard Romanesque style and houses an 18th-century wooden statue of the Virgin of Sorrows as well as a five-figure depiction of the Deposition of Christ. Views of the harbour through the bougainvillea are particularly beautiful from the church’s front steps.