"And there, all of a sudden, shows up a hidden cove of olive and chestnut trees. A little village, Portofino spreads out like a moon arch around these still waters. We slowly cross the narrow passage that links the sea to this wonderful natural harbor and venture into the amphitheater of the houses surrounded by a powerfully fresh and green wood, and everything is reflected in the mirror of these calm waters, where fishing boats sleep". More than a century has passed since the French writer Guy de Maupassant wrote this about Portofino. He was without a doubt one of the first VIP’s to “discover” this town. Since that time, Portofino has attracted writers, movie stars, and international celebrities from all over the world. The village, the square, the villas hidden amongst the olive groves, Portofino is worldly and private, a perfect combination; simple as a fishing village but dramatic and elegant at the same time. Portofino is a mixture of landscapes made up of tall, delicately colored buildings and a deep green sea backed by Monte Portofino.
According to Plinio the Elder, the town of Portofino was founded by the Roman Empire with the name Portus Delphini, perhaps for the presence of many dolphins in the Tigullio Golf. The village was already mentioned in a document from 986 by Adelaide of the Holy Roman Empire, wife of Lotario II of, in which the donation of Portofino to the nearby Benedictine Abbey of San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte is made official.
Your driver will take you to the “Piazzetta”, the center stage of life in Portofino. This is where everyone meets for an aperitivo, where everyone wants to see and be seen. You will enjoy the site of the yachts and other luxury boats bobbing in the harbor once used for fishing boats and now for one of the most famous and exclusive resorts in the world.
Besides the Piazzetta you won’t want to miss a visit to the Brown Castle and a walk to the church of St. George and to the lighthouse. A five minute walk will bring you from the harbor to the Church of San Giorgio that houses relics of the dragon-slayer St. George. From here you will stop at the Brown Castle. Also called the Giorgio Fortress, this castle was built in 1554 in a dominant position. To get to the lighthouse you will continue walking along the same path to the very top of the promontory until you reach the “Punto del Capo” and the lighthouse. There are some magnificent views here and you will love taking photos.
Another wonderful shopping opportunity awaits you in Portofino. This small town has many elegant boutiques with all kinds of wares, clothing, and jewelry. If you don’t like shopping, enjoy a short break in one of the cafés and do some people-watching.
After Portofino, your driver will make a stop at Santa Margherita Ligure. This is another ancient fishing village that has become an exclusive vacation spot. Built on the Gulf of Tigullio, in a beautiful setting between Rapallo and Portofino, Santa Margherita may have Roman origins. The discovery of a cinerary urn from the 3rd century gives credence to these origins. In Medieval times, the town was divided into two sections - one for each bay. Today the town spreads across from bay to bay in all its splendor with its characteristic liberty style and fishermen’s houses. Here you will have a chance to admire the Ligurian coast - the emerald green water and picturesque landscapes and the immense 16th century castle. At the end of your day, your driver will bring you back to Florence. less >>
The proposed itineraries are only examples of possible tours. For different pick up / drop off locations or customized itineraries we invite our clients to contact one of our tour coordinators to help them design their own tour.