Miss You, My Portofino
Well the prettiest port I ever did see, even prettier then Cinque Terre has to be Portofino. I love you Portofino!! Last week we stayed in Santa Margherita for 10 days and spent several of those days in Portofino, which is a very scenic 15 minutes away by car and 20 minutes by boat. The boat ride gives you views of the mansions owned by Berlusconi and Dolce & Gabanna, as well as Mousolini’s old mansion. Portofino is located on the Portofino Peninsula, which starts north of Santa Margherita, includes Parraggi, Portofino, San Fruttuoso, and ends at the south in beautiful Camogli. So, I’ll write about each of these places but let’s start with Portofino.
Portofino is just perfect, which is perhaps why it’s so popular with celebrities. On our little vacation we met two very famous celebrities there. Then on the flight home I read an article about all the stars who have visited this little port this summer. Quite impressive!The shopping in Portofino is wonderful for wealthy people, since the shops carry beautiful one-off designs from the top designers in the world. The only people I saw making purchases were Russians who’d stepped off a yacht. For the rest of us it’s all window shopping, but if you enjoy seeing remarkable and rare designs and prints you’ll love the browsing. I did. On our last night we decided to take a taxi to Hotel Splendido for drinks at midnight. We arrived to find a party of 50+ year old Italians dancing away to old swing standards. My husband was unimpressed but I was all excited and said we’re definitely coming back when we’re older, because everyone was clearly having the time of their lives. Let me warn you – a taxi to Hotel Splendido is expensive. We came from the club Cavo di NordiEst 5 minutes away, and it was still 25 euros for our cab ride. We took lots of photos and talked about how it was the best date of our lives (actually we were making fun of a Swedish couple who gushed to us that their night in Portofino was the nicest date they ever had, which made us think “Well we’ll also have the best date we’ve ever had. So there.” ). Then we took an equally scenic cab home from Simone, a very nice cab driver, and it was 45 euros to get back to Santa Margherita!! We passed a wedding celebration in Paraggi and they’d filled the small harbor with hundreds or maybe thousands of floating candles. It was one of the most beautiful scenes I’d ever witnessed so perhaps when Eugene and I are older we’ll renew our vows in Paraggi and have a floating candle backdrop to serenade our love and all our friends. Now below, here are the new friends that Jack made: Portofino:
Lunch: La Gritta, an atmospheric floating lunch at the harbor. The best.
Dinner: Ristorante Puny.
Drinks & Dancing: Cavo di Nord-Est, opens at midnight. Hotel Splendido, at the top of the hill. Just climb the hill to the top or take a taxicab, but be prepared to spend a pretty penny.
Shopping: L’Ancora has one-of-a-kind tunics made of Indian silk in some of the most beautiful prints you’ve ever seen.