Portofino, Italian Riviera Posh


Portifino….the prettiest and priciest village on the Italian Riviera. Small in size, it draws huge crowds, among them some of the rich and wealthy.  Visitors stroll the waterfront, watching the huge yachts come and go, hoping to catch of glimpse of a celebrity. The small village charm and ritzy class is the substance of dreams for most….if only for a day!

I spent one day here while exploring the beautiful Italian Riviera just a few weeks ago. The narrow two-lane road leading into Portofino offered no place to park. Motorcycles were lined up against the tall rock walls in single file, barely clearing the flow of traffic. I pulled into the only parking garage I saw. It worked and I found a space. But I knew I was in posh-land when I saw that my parking would cost me 5.50 euros per hour.

Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna own holiday homes in Portofino and are occasionally spotted around town. Steven Spielberg and Kylie Minogue are also known to hobnob around the area. In fact, not long ago Monica Belushi shot a commercial in Portofino for Dolce and Gabanna, introducing their limited-addition Light Blue fragrance, Dreaming in Portofino. There is no doubt that Portofino is a popular destination in Italy for the jet set and the affluent, the film stars and fashion moguls.



From the harbor, there is a steep set of stairs that lead up to Brown Castle. This photo was taken partway up to the top, giving a different view of the harbor and a tall sailboat in the background. Sadly, the Castle will have to wait for next time to be explored as time was running short.

Yachts over one hundred feet long lounge on the bay waters that sparkle like diamonds when the sun catches it just right. Polished to perfection, they appeared to be the ultimate in glamour. As I stood on the boardwalk gazing over a couple of them, I wondered who they belonged to. It takes a staff of able-bodied crew to manage and care for these yachts on a daily basis.


Smaller boats weave and bob about the harbor like a broken string of pearls, scattered in different directions. Most of them are fishing boats, but some are rubber dingys that motor about the waters. A few sailboats stood off in the distance, tall and stately.

Mr. Rhino suspended from straps
Mr. Rhino suspended from straps

This rhino was hanging on the waterfront by the boats. Not sure of the significance, but it did catch my eye. I was holding my breath as I passed under him, hoping he wouldn’t fall on me.


More than one box-like window in front of a jewelry shop on the boardwalk had exhibits like this one. I must have stared for hours. They shimmer and shine so exquisitely. I looked for prices, of course, but saw none attached to them. No bargain prices here….


This waterfront restaurant had one of these delicately painted ceramic eggs on each table as a decoration piece. Many shops on the Riviera have hand-painted plates and bowls like these, but this was the first time I saw one shaped like an egg.

Hillside Heaven- Villas set like jewels around Portofino

Gorgeous day on the Portofino waterfront. The crowds had thinned out so it was a perfect time to take a picture. I loved the tall pastel houses hugging the base of the hill by the water and those clinging toward the top.


This ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ stood high above everyone, barking his heart out. We all just kept smiling up at him and taking pictures. No one took him seriously, poor guy. But I was glad to see him behind a fence. Not the kind of fella you want to run into in a dark alley….


This is a towering villa that caught my eye. The driveway leading up to it is lined with a few interesting statues. I would love to have walked it, but would have felt like an intruder. The view from this villa must be stunning.

My time was short in Portofino, but the small quaint village presence left me feeling enriched. My senses had feasted on beauty and luxury, and though I can’t be there I can take and cherish the memories and visual eloquence with me for a lifetime.

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