Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pretty Portofino

I was able to spend an afternoon on the Italian Riviera in a town called Portofino. It's a small village on the water near the famous Cinque Terre in the Genoa region of Italy. It was first documented as early as the year 986. It's best accessed by water so we boarded a small boat at the port of Santa Margarita Ligura. Here you can see a statue of Christopher Columbus pointing the way to America in Santa Margherita Ligure. This is the second statue of its kind I have seen on my travels. The other was in Barcelona Spain, only on a much grander scale.
We "had" to wait here for the boat.
I was stunned pulling away and into the harbor at the number of four story yachts.
The views are, of course, spectacular and when you arrive in Portofino row homes of all the colors of the rainbow draw you in and make art of the coast line. Many of the homes are painted to look like they have elaborate wood work on the outside but in a up close view I was surprised to find they were flat stucco buildings. Not only did the number of big and small boats amaze me but the port is also lined with floating restaurants so you can enjoy a glass of wine and float along with the sailors pulling in.
There are just a handful of must see landmarks here including two churches, a castle and lighthouse. All easily accessible by foot. We spent four hours touring the village and having a leisurely lunch. This was ample time spent here and I really can't imagine spending any more time there unless you just want to RELAX. I'm not that kind of traveler these days so a four hour tour was just right for me. The view from the castle was spectacular. A perfect day!
The garden outside "Castle Brown".
From inside the castle
There was a VERY interesting art garden of which I would have loved to seen. A hanging rhino welcomes you. If that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will.
Walking the winding streets
Standing by the harbor

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