3 days in Portofino
Wednesday & Thursday, October 18-19, 2017
It’s been almost 7 weeks since we’ve driven a car. We did ask for advice on the best way to get around Italy. (“Don’t drive in Positano. Take a train from Naples to Florence. Drive from Florence to Portofino, and ditch the car before you get to Venice.”) Renting the car and driving to Rapallo: painless. Making it up to the Belmond Hotel Splendido was another story. We were about one mile from the hotel, according to Google Maps. Half an hour later, after making a few U-Turns and driving around in circles, we made it to what has to be one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. Not kidding.
After enjoying a light lunch and some Champagne, I took a nap and Mike went for a walk down to the small town of Portofino. He mapped out a walk for us to take on Thursday, checked out the shops, and asked for advice on restaurants from the concierge. We stayed at the hotel for dinner since it was our first night here, and we enjoyed a lovely dinner and the twinkling lights below us.
We woke up to the most beautiful sunrise! I opened the outer doors and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Having an early breakfast on the terrace downstairs was a special treat, followed by a hike (walk, really) down to the town, and up to the Castle and Lighthouse directly across from our hotel. As we have found in most places in Italy, nothing opens until at least 10:00, so we were able to enjoy the tranquility and beauty on our own.
Built in the 15th Century, Castello Brown was a fortress that was purchased by Montague Yeats Brown in 1867. He transformed it into a stunning villa. Subsequent owners sold the villa back to the city of Portofino in 1961. The top floor of the villa has a film set to music, the first time I’ve heard the song “I Found My Love in Portofino”. Mike and I loved the song; I hope you do, too!
The lighthouse (Il Faro) is a short walk from Castello Brown: more beautiful views of the turquoise water below. We saw some S.C.U.B.A. divers ready for a dive just below the lighthouse as we were leaving.
This is a place to totally relax, maybe do a little shopping. Not a lot going on, unless you want to go to Genova or Cinque Terra for a day trip. It sure is beautiful here on the Italian Riviera!