Saturday, April 20, 2019

25th Anniversary Cruise, Part 4: Portofino

In this series of posts I'm describing the Mediterranean Cruise my wife Becky and I took in 2018 for our 25th anniversay, Here in Part 4 I'm covering our fourth stop, Genoa--where we took an excusion to Portofino.

The excusion we really wanted to take is to the Cinque Terre (or "5 lands"), a picturesque collection of towns on the coastline of the Italian Riviera. But that excursion was a long 10 hours, and it would be back-to-back with long hot days ahead in Florence, Rome, and Pompeii. We weren't sure we'd hold up, so we opted for a short half-day excursion to Portofino instead. I'd been to Italy before, but only en-route to somewhere else. This was my first opportunity to really see Italy.

Portofino (★★★)

Portofino is a small fishing village on the Italian Riviera south of Genoa. I already used the word picturesque, but there's no better word. Portfofino is just a marvelously scenic place. It's not very big, and there's really nothing to do there except walk around and eat at a cafe--but we're really glad we went. Just being in such a beautiful place makes you feel good

To get there we took a tour bus to Santa Margharita, itself a lovely place.

Becky was feeling the heat and bought a hat from a local young man who I'm sure charged us 4 times what they were worth. From here we boarded a ferry which took to us to Portofino. Portofino means "Port of the Dolphin", but we didn't see any dolphins.

Riviera on the way to Portofino

As we entered Portofino harbor, the picuresqueness of the place is apparent to all.

Portofino Harbor

And then there are the yachts. Portofino is a playground for the rich and famous, so you'll see big yachts. Next to even bigger yachts. Next to even bigger yachts. But also many small boats.


Small Wooden Boats

Once in Portofino, you can wander around. There are places that sell souvenirs. There are art galleries, but too expensive for our tasts. And there are restaurants. It's hot. I too buy an overpriced hat.

There are some paths that take you higher up for a nice view of the harbor.

Views from Higher Up

It would be unthinkable to visit Italy and not have something Italian to eat. We had pizza at one of the cafes.

We ordered a pizza from the menu that said it came with ham, mushrooms olives, and artichokes. Unlike an America pizza, each ingredient lives in its own section of the pie; I've since learned that Italians value individual ingredients and look down on mixing many different toppings together. Interesting, we had to remove pits from the olives--something we found consistently throughout Europe. Anyway, the pizza was very good.

We very much liked Portofino and give it a rating of 3 stars. Do understand that it is pricey, but it's supposed to be. We would very much like to see the Cinque Terra some day, but really anywhere you go on the Amalfi Coast is a winner.

Prev: Part 3: Marseilles 

Next: Part 5: Florence

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