Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Portofino

"Portofino" means "fine port." And boy, it sure was!

How We Got There: The summer boat schedule had not yet kicked in, so from our stay in Cinque Terre, we caught the train from Monterosso bound for Portofino. In Santa Margherita, we caught a brief but pricey (30 Euro) taxi ride for Portofino.

Suggested Stay: 2 full days.

Must-dos in Portofino:

#1 Castello Brown - This is a famous house turned museum that sits majestically above Portofino. From it you can see S. Margarita, and awesome bird's-eye views of Portofino. There are several vintage photos of worldwide celebrities (mostly Hollywood and Italian) sporting the walls. Don't miss Castello Brown when in Portofino!

Haven't been to Portofino? In the meantime, watch Castello Brown's web cam view of Portofino here.

#2 San Giorgio - This is a wonderful mustard-colored church with great views from atop Portofino.

Talk about timing! We saw a mound of trash being stacked on one end of the port and thought "how trashy." Especially as it grew in size over two days. Doors. Shutters. Brush. The Italians were throwing everything out but the kitchen sink on this mound of rubble (shown at right)! But as we later learned, we had landed smack in the middle of the community's tribute to their Saint "San Giorgio."

I'm a Texas Aggie by choice and therefore accustomed to bonfires. We were later treated to a restaurant's sideline view of the mound of trash turned bonfire. The experience was made complete with a band marching tableside playing "Roll Out The Barrel". Go figure.

Only in Italy!

#3 Try a day trip from Portofino via boat to historic San Frutuosso. You can purchase tickets on the Portofino dock. Once aboard, you'll pass a cool view of a lighthouse sitting outside the port and in about 20 minutes you'll arrive at the pretty view. Visit the abbey, but sadly, no picture taking.

Our Hotel?: We stayed in the hotel Domina Piccola. This hotel has incredible views of the entrance to the fine port. And it honors you with access to a private beach.

Domina Piccola was in need of some updating, but the views shadowed the 80s decor. There was an amazing view from our terrace ~ the best in four trips to Italy so far! We quickly drug our cafe chairs outside and spent many a moment enjoying the view of boats entering the harbor and the cars winding the road directly in front of the hotel's entrance.

I joke that the world's best view from from "the throne" that I've ever had was from this hotel. And I'm serious! You're looking at it right now (picture sported at right).

Sorry. I couldn't resist!
for the love of : italy

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