24 February 2011
Portofino: More Than Meets The Eye
A host of activities, starting at Hotel Splendido and exploring further afield.
Relax and revive...
with a Hotel Splendido de-stress muscle release massage. Choose to enjoy your treatment either in the new indoor Wellness Centre or out in the gardens, among the flowers. Or enjoy a glass of Prosecco spumante in the San Giorgio Bar on the piazzetta down by the harbour.
Explore by boat
Take to the water from Portofino harbour for a full day's excursion: visit the shops and cafes of fashionable Santa Margherita Ligure and continue towards Rapallo before doubling back towards San Fruttuoso and on to Camogli for a delicious Paciugo ice cream. Alternatively, cruise along the wild coastline to the Cinque Terre, a two-hour voyage that won't seem long enough. Once you've stepped ashore, you could spend a full day walking or just sitting in the sun with a plate of anchovies. Return by boat or by train.
Visit Portofino in late April and May and enjoy the spring regattas, held most weekends. A great sailing scene.
The feast day of St George...
...is marked with enthusiastic celebrations every 23 April. A bonfire is set alight in the main piazzetta and grilled fish and wine are handed around at midnight.
...should be sure to experience the course at Rapallo, a spectacular cluster of greens in a hilly setting, surrounded by cypresses and pines. 20 minutes from Portofino.
The ancient seafaring city of Genoa...
...around 45 minutes by car from Portofino, makes a great day out. Get your bearings from the panoramic Castelletto terrace, then head back down to the medieval gate, Porta Soprana. Places to visit include the cultural centre of Palazzo Ducale, the church of Sant' Andrea with its two Rubens paintings, the magnificent gothic cathedral of San Lorenzo and the ancient port area which includes the dramatic aquarium and a lively pedestrian area with restaurants and shops.
Check out the world's most beautiful yachts at the 50th Genoa Boat Show, held around the beginning of October every year.
Fashionistas will be wowed by the factory outlet in Serravalle, packed with labels such as Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Versace and many more (just north of Genoa, around one hour's drive away).
What are your Portofino hot tips?