The church of San Martino is the 12th century construction which dominates the whole central part of Portofino. It has both religious and archaeological importance in the history of the place. The hanging arches and its beautiful rose window stand testimony of its Middle Ages past. Interior of the church is in particularly attractive and richly adorned with marbles, sculptures and valuable paintings. The triptych of saints Rocco, Sebastiano and Fabiano belonging to the Genovese School, dating back to the 16th century. The stripes on its front facade are very characteristic for the Lombard Romanesque style which could be seen on most church of Liguria.
The 14th century oratory of the confraternity of Our Lady of the Assumption has big importance in religious - architectural past of Portofino. The most noteworth features of the oratory are two huge crucifixes, one is white while the other is black. Local people carrying them in the processions to mark the feast of San Giorgio, however, carrying these two crucifixes isn't easy task since each of them weighing over 100kgs.
Situated in the heart of Portofino, la Chiesa di San Martino is one of two churches in town. It was built in the 12th century in an unmistakable Lombard Romanesque (romanico lombardo) style. The stripes of alternating colours on its façade, typical of the region, is an architectural design imported by the Crusaders from the Middle East. The interior, however, is Baroque with rich decorations and paintings added during an 18th century renovation. The church's doors are an interesting modern addition (see attached photos).
Oratorio di Nostra Signora Assunta is a tiny chapel dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. The simple chapel, with a hint of Gothic architecture, was built in the 14th century. It is located in the heart of town, a short distance from the harbour.
Portofino's typical architectural style adds to the beauty of the town. Most of the buildings are painted in bright colours, including red ochre, green and yellow, and accentuated with decorative frescoes. Attached are a few examples.
The narrow harbour of Portofino is the reason the town exists in the first place. Named Portus Delphini, i.e. the Port of the Dolphins, by the Romans, this harbour gave the town its name. Although it may have hosted naval and commercial ships during its history, the harbour nowadays is used exclusively by fishermen, ferries and expensive yachts. The harbour is the most picturesque part of Portofino where many of the town's outstanding restaurants are located.
There are a number of good hiking trails both along the coast and on inland routes, many offering spectacular views. The northern part of the park is wooded with a variety of trees while in the southern part you will find more wildflowers, bushes, and grasslands. Olive trees are cultivated in many places and close to the villages you may see orchards and gardens. ---http://goitaly.about.com/od/portofino/p/portofino.htm
There was an admission fee to enter the nice villa on the hill.. It was closed when we were there.. we followed the path, appreciated a little of the lush backyard...
A lot of visitors arrive in Portofino by cruise ship. Since the port is too small to have larger ships dock here the tender service will bring guests ashore, arriving in the port right in the heard of Portofino. From here boat excursions also start to explore the coastline and the other jewels of the Italian Riviera. The Piazzetta is right next to the port.
Portofino is a small town, and an advantage that no cars are allowed into the centre. From the Piazetta one can move up the hill towards the post office and car park. Shops, restaurants and boutiques line the street in typical Italian fashion.
The famous “Piazzetta”, surrounded by small Italian style houses, right next to the harbour of Portofino. To this day, sailors still pull their boats out of the water and repair those next to the square.
The square is nice to relax, and the typical small town Italian way of life passes by. Arched porticos, shops, boutiques and bars, as well as restaurants can be found here.
Went here for a short day-trip in off-season -- many shops were shut down (but thats a fair trade-off for not being crowded-in by too many tourist). Glad we went out of our way to drive here -- there are also a couple of beautiful little villages directly to the south of here that you pass-thru on your way here. The people of Portofino obviously take great pride and care of their little corner of the world.
Dear friends, I've been to Portofino for Christmas and I rented a beautiful converted farmhouse directly from the owner.
I found it on the internet and I couldn't belive how beautiful it was.
A peaceful small and cozy little property, the olive trees, eating outside, bbq, fresh eggs every day... a dream.
Then I spent a lot of time diving - the sea in Portofino is beautiful, and hiking in the park.
Dining and shopping was also great - the lasagne with pesto of Batti restaurant, just great.
If you want to bokk this house go to www.myhomeinportofino.it
Unless you like to shop , sit at a cafe people watchings,or take a boat ride, hickings is the best way to explore this town.
From the harbor, it is a good climb to the Castello di San Giorgio, it is a medieval building , but was restored in the 16th century..The view is superbe.
Not too far is the small church of San Giorgio, the relics of the saint was brought back from the Holy Land by the crusaders.
The town celebrates San Giorgio Day , in April.
The best tip I can give for Portofino is "use your legs". Just walk around and enjoy the beautiful sights. Don't be lazy, there is more than the hrabour. Go to the castle overlooking the town for great views and if you have time, explore the hills between Portofino and Santa Margherita. I walked the entire way, but you walk a little and take a bus the the rest of the way.
This popular seaside resort with palm trees and cafés is situated on the Gulf of Tigullio. The resort contains many old buildings including the Villa Durazzo, a 16th-century building with an elegant garden and a large park featuring exotic plants, statues, and fountains.