Trip to Italy – Portofino
If you are staying in Santa Margherita Ligure, you can take a public transit bus that will take you to Portofino in about 20 minutes through a scenic road bordering the Mediterranean.
You can also do the course walking, which takes around 40 minutes according to the hotel staff.
As it was raining on the day of my visit, I took the bus.
And shortly I was there, in the town around which my trip itinerary was created.
I discovered Portofino randomly by searching for interesting walking tours on YouTube. The video, recorded in a warmer season, showed a cute town, bursting with people, a nice piazza and several restaurant patios.
My visit, however, did not even come close to that vibe.
First, as I mentioned, it was raining. Also, it seems some businesses in the region close for vacations at that time of the year.
So the town seemed pretty lifeless the day I was there. Only about three or four restaurants were open, and I couldn’t find many shops that attracted my attention. Some of the stores there are meant for customers of a league to which I do not belong. Restaurant prices are also above the average in all towns I visited during this trip.
Disappointed? Yes, a bit. Partially, it was my fault to choose this time of the year for a visit. But I also believe that, even on the best of days, there would not be much there to justify more than 3 or 4 hours spent in the place.
Any silver linings?
I sat at a restaurant where I had one of the best meals of the entire trip: the Ravioli Portofino. I ordered it not only because of the name but also because the sauce was made with curry, which is not a staple of Italian cuisine. It got me curious and my curiosity paid off. The sauce was delicious and eating at a table at the seaside in Portofino is a pleasant experience, even on a rainy day.
The other upside: I walked up to the church, and from there I took a few more climbs, which led me to a five-minute uphill hike that ended in a private property sign. That does not sound like a win, I know. But, after that, I came back and took another set of stairs, which led me to this very physically demanding uphill climb that felt interesting. The trail continued on and on, and so did I. I must have followed that trail up for almost one hour, and when I reached the Mulino del Gassetta, I decided it was time to stop. It was a difficult but rewarding walk, through a paved trail between natural vegetation and a few houses here and there. On my way back, I filmed a walking tour of my own.
Summing it up
You should visit Portofino if you find yourself in the region. It is easily accessible from Santa Margherita Ligure and definitely worth a morning or afternoon of your time. Due to the weather, I ended up skipping the walk to the high point from which you can have a nice scenic view of the main town, but I believe that, on a nice day, it would have added quality to the experience.