Portofino was a last minute wild card. Well you can’t really call it a wild card, it’s not exactly a hidden gem that we took a chance on… it is however a gem and when the weatherman promised sunshine here over anywhere else, we decided to follow. And let’s just say, there’s a reason Liz Taylor spent four honeymoons in this tiny corner of the world…
Scroll down for my guide on how to travel, what to do, eat and wear…
tee – Asos | autumn skirt – Reiss
blake crossbody bag – Henri Bendel | sandal – Mango
tallo leopard scarf – reiss | aviators – Iolla
raw mesh watch – Christian Paul
‘love’ necklace – Astley Clarke | pyramide spike chain – Bauble Bar
We drove from Sestri Levante to Santa Margherita in search of a boat (there’s an ample metered car park if you take a right up the hill shortly after arriving into the village) after being turned away from the road by police informing us the parking in Portofino was full. Honestly they did us a favour. The boats run every hour and arriving to Portofino on the water really is the best way. Sit outside up front if you get the chance to do some dream home shopping along the way before seeing an impossibly small cove appear amongst the tree covered cliffs and realising as you draw nearer that this, in fact, is Portofino.
You won’t be short of choice in Portofino if you’re looking for food and we were starving when we arrived so immediately nabbed the first table in the sun we saw outside Da I Gemelli by the harbour. We ordered shrimp taglierini which was incredible and drank the reasonably priced local wine by the carafe (wine by the bottle, by the way, ranged from about 60€ up to €600…).
We later took gelato from one of the many tiny gelaterias and curved right round the harbour to enjoy it away from the tourist crowds with our legs dangling over the water. Bliss.
I should note that if you have the time, take a wander to discover the cutest little bistro bars further round (the entire walk wouldn’t take more than ten minutes – this place is teeny tiny), some have benches almost in the water and are one hundred percent adorable.
The number one thing to do in my opinion is soak up the atmosphere harbour-side and channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor. If you’re feeling a little more energetic (thirty second bowl of pasta to work off…) then follow the winding alleys up the hill to the view point for what is surely the most beautiful vista – this is your classic Instagram moment (sorry Kodak, times are a-changing).
I rather fancied a visit to the famous Hotel Splendido too but I believe I’d need another mortgage for lunch and sadly you can’t visit the pool or bistro unless you’re a guest… maybe next time.
Comfortable shoes for the cobbles and the winding alleys are a must and obviously, again, this is the time to channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor. Literally in love with this leopard tasseled neck scarf from Reiss for movie star vibes… On a more serious note, Portofino, being a tiny, naturally sheltered cove, is a sun trap so it gets warm and if you come on the boat expect a strong breeze en route so layers would be the smart choice.
It’s unlikely you’ll swim (unless you’re going to hike to find a spot) so the bikini in my handbag went unworn but that day spent soaking up the riviera and the colours of Portofino was simply the best wild card day trip we could have hoped for…
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