The ultimate of the many and varied Italian tourist destinations and a resort favored by international jet-setters, Portofino is a charming town. It nestles in a small inlet that extends almost to the tip of the headland that separates the Golfo del Tigullio from Golfo Paradiso. Favored by yachters, the resort occupies an idyllic position on a quiet harbor and is one of the most highly soughtafter and exclusive resorts in Liguria – already a favorite with Hollywood celebrities in the 1950s – and one of the best-known places in the world. Located just under two hours from Milan, it is a legend of Italian high life.
Portofino and the areas surrounding it are a treasure trove of history and among the most beautiful spots in the Mediterranean sea. During Roman times, the town was called Portus Delphini (Port of the Dolphin) and remained under the control of the nearby monastery of San Fruttuoso until the 12th century when it became a part of the Republic of Genoa. The village, with its pastelwashed houses, is completely surrounded by the vegetation of the headland that extends for kilometers to form the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino, a jewel of Mediterranean undergrowth and a perfect place for trekking (info and itineraries Olive groves, pine forests and chestnut trees are reflected in the crystalline waters of the Marine Reserve, which protects 13 km of coastline and seabeds where enthusiasts can discover a variety of marine life and coral reefs. Scuba diving is permitted in some areas of the reserve with authorized diving centers (for info regarding permission, visit After enjoying all the beauty of its breathtaking nature, take time to go shopping: Portofino’s downtown area hosts a number of exclusive boutiques (including Armani, Hermès and Vuitton) and shops selling local specialities. Cross the famous Piazzetta and enjoy an aperitivo while taking in the view over the fabulous gulf dotted with luxury yachts from all over the world. Also worth a try is the town’s typical Paciugo ice-cream, a cream dream drowned in sour cherry syrup.