Climbing up at least to San Giorgio is a must.
The church itself is great although it is not as richly decorated as many other , less famous churches in Liguria.
And just in front of the church you will have this terrace for a first great view of the whole Portofino-bay, just in case that you will not have enough time to walk up to the castle.
The sanctuary of San Giorgio, who is one of the two patron saints, dominates the village of Portofino, offerind splendid birds eye view from its square. The church dates back to the 1154 when was built in the Romanesque style. It was rebuilt at the end of the 17th century and then enlarged to the present size in 1760. During World War II the church was heavilly damaged in bombings but then rebuilt and restored in 1950'. In its interior the church preserving relics of San Giorgio brought by seamen who returned from the Crusades.
Saint George Church is a lovely yellow Church on top of Portofino’s promontory and and dates back to the 12th century. It was built in romanic style but it was alterd two times, the first time in 1691 and the second in 1760. During WWII the Church was completely destroyed by a bomb so in 1950 it was built again. This time no alterations were made and the present building looks like the church did in 1960.
From the Church you can have compelling views of Portofino – so it’s worth walking up there for some good aerial photos. It takes only a few minutes from the square in the centre of town.
With the sea at your back.
Strategically overlooking the Mediterranean and the town of Portofino is la Chiesa di San Giorgio. It occupies a site thought to have been used for worship possibly since pre-Christian and Roman times, when the town was known as Portus Delphini. In the early Christian period, a small chapel was built on the site, but in 1154 AD it was replaced by a church dedicated to patron saint of the town, Saint George, whose relics are said to be contained within, brought back by the Crusaders from the Holy Land. At first, the church was a typical Lombard Romanesque structure, similar to la Chiesa di San Martino, but renovations in 1691 and again in 1760 completely transformed the interior and exterior into a Baroque church. Unfortunately, la Chiesa di San Giorgio was completely destroyed in the bombardments of WWII, but the exact replica we see today was rebuilt in 1950.
The church of St. Lawrence (Lorenzo in Italian) is actually in Porto Venere. It contains the wonderful triptych (three panelled altarpiece) believed to be the work of Gerard David.
This church was consecrated in 1130. The original Romanesque church of 1116 burned in 1340, was rebuilt in Gothic style (bell tower added). It was severely damaged by the Aragonese in 1494, restored again in Baroque style, and finally restored in 1934 to something approximating its original style.
Above the entrance is a carving of the martyrdom of St. Lorenzo. The interior is quite beautiful, with wooden ceilings, a remarkable font, four ivory casks from about 1100, and some 17th century satin hangings. The sacristy has wonderful Arab-Phoenician and Byzantine ivory cases.
The church is reportedly known for a sacred piece of timber. Apparently various rich religious relics floated miraculously to the town, are now embedded in this beam.
At the time of the post-war reconstruction, the excavations brought to light a square-planned chapel, which is believed to be the little church around which the Longobardic Arimannia was gathered.
A memorial stone placed inside the church commemorates the first reconstruction in Romanesque style of 1154. In 1691 the church was completely rebuilt and, on that occasion, also the road coming up from the village was widened. After being modified and enlarged again in 1760, this road was eventually struck right in the centre by a bomb in 1944. In 1950 the church had already been rebuilt after its former structure, some altars were restored and new furnishings replaced the old ones which had been destroyed.
The relics of Portofino’s patron Saint are kept in the church, brought here by the seamen returning from the Crusades.
Visit Church San Giorgio on the way to Castel Brown... which was rebuilt after the WWII.. don't miss the side path.. there you get a nice view of the sea..