1. Panagiotis Argyropoulos
    August 28, 2012 @ 8:14 am


    I visited Portofino this summer and I was very very lucky because there was Andrea Bocelli performing. I could not afford having a reservation to hear him during the night, but I had the chance to hear his magic voice during the rehearsals. I found my love in Portofino…

    There is no need to stay in Portofino itself, actually there are very few hotels there, you can stay in Santa Margherita as well, it is just 10 mins by bus.


    • Andrew
      August 30, 2012 @ 8:40 am

      Yeah, Portofino isn’t really worth staying in, unless you have your own yacht to bunk up on.

      That is pretty awesome about hearing rehearsals. Those can actually be more fun and feel more intimate.

  2. Christy
    April 22, 2012 @ 3:21 am

    Cool! I was searching for distances from Cinque Terre to Portofino and your site came up on Google. πŸ™‚ Good to hear you think this place is worth a visit. We are looking for day drips from Cinque Terre. I’m going to have to check out the other posts in your series. Great idea!

  3. S Lloyd
    April 1, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

    Couple of questions, please:
    (1)Once I arrive at the Santa Margherita train station, is it easy to spot the the crowded public bus down to Portofino? Do you remember the bus # or is it clearly indicated Portovino on the bus front? Can I just pay the driver once I get onto the bud or should I buy the ticket in advance? How much was the bus ticket?
    (2)Most comments on the wen seem to prefer Portovono over Cinque Terre? How would u compare both? Am I wrong in thinking that Cinque Terre offer more pitturesque views?

    • Andrew
      April 3, 2012 @ 8:29 am

      I you arrive at SML by train, you are at the top of the hill. I don’t think there is much of a real bus station, but the main circle near the beach was where a lot of the buses stopped. I think there were buses to other places. It is a normal public transport system, nothing specific to Portofino. As for the exact details, I really don’t remember anymore. It was not expensive and I think you buy tickets at a little kiosk nearby.

  4. A Quick Guide to Near but not In Cinque Terre » Grounded Traveler - Expat Adventures in Germany
    November 15, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    […] Portofino […]

  5. Boris
    March 18, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    I’m really enjoying your series on towns near CT that aren’t CT – great pictures too, they really give a feel for each place. I’m going to be spending 6 days in the region in May, and am trying to pick home bases . My favourite things are hiking and eating – luckily the former helps minimize the effects of the latter! πŸ˜‰

    I was wondering about your take on Camogli? Not as big as SML and not as many things to do in the town proper, but from what I understand outstanding hiking opportunities, with beauty to rival CT itself. I have also read that Chiavari is outstanding for restaurants, so traveling there for a lunch or two would be pretty appealing, though I don’t know if I want to stay there.

    Levanto may also potentially be of interest – I have heard that the hike form Levanto to Monterosso is just as nice as some of the CT hikes but much less crowded. Plus Levanto is said to have a nice beach and a cool, laid back atmosphere.

    As it stands now, I am leaning towards 3 days in Camogli and 3 days in Levanto, with some daytripping from each of these home bases. I’d appreciate any thoughts or advice people might have πŸ™‚

    • Andrew
      March 19, 2011 @ 11:25 am

      Thanks for the comment. I am glad you are enjoying this series. I think I have one more.

      We didn’t go to Camogli, so I don’t really know anything about it. Check out the episode for Santa Margherita Ligure and near the bottom is a link to Guilia’s site. She is a local and might be able to give you more info. That area though is cool. I saw a map with a number of hiking trails around the peninsula that Portofino is on. I didn’t go to Chiavari or Levanto either. Though if it were me I would pick Levanto at least for a few days. It has a decent train stop that gets even some of the bigger trains. I also remember many years ago drawing their church steeple in a notebook in the few minutes that the train stopped. I still see the picture every so often, but have yet to see town. So if you want to daytrip on the train, think about Levanto or at least check station schedules in Camogli. 3 and 3 does sound like a good idea. May should be nice weather and maybe before the mass hordes of tourists. Drop me a line when you get back, I am interested to see how to trip went.

  6. Santa Margherita Ligure – Near not in Cinque Terre » Grounded Traveler
    March 12, 2011 @ 12:29 am

    […] Cinque Terre from Genoa you will have likely stopped here too. It is also the jumping off place to Portofino. The town is well worth a visit on its own though. Santa Margherita From Train Station Looking Down […]

  7. Esme
    March 10, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s treasures. That hike is one that I will always remember.

  8. Marion
    March 3, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    Cool blog post and pictures! Can’t wait to visit Portofino this summer!

    • Andrew
      March 8, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

      Thanks. Enjoy your summer visit. Definitely get out into other parts of the region too.

      • Marion
        March 10, 2011 @ 11:56 am

        I’d like to visit the Aquarium of Genova too. πŸ™‚

  9. Laura
    March 3, 2011 @ 4:47 am

    Looks really gorgeous. I LOVED Cinque Terre so I’m pretty sure I would love any place with a similar look πŸ™‚ Though, like you, I probably wouldn’t want to stay there.

    • Andrew
      March 3, 2011 @ 8:25 am

      There are a lot of neat little places in this area. I am not suggesting that Cinque Terre are skipped, just that there are plenty of other reasons to hang around this area.

  10. Giulia
    March 2, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

    Ohhh. You know what? I was born and raised in Santa Margherita Ligure! And I have been working in a hotel in Portofino for 3 years! So yes, I drove on that road every day πŸ™‚ But we’re used to it. The roads of Liguria are among the most dangerous and hard to drive on in Italy I guess. But the landscape is beautiful πŸ™‚
    I would advise the same as you – stay/eat in Santa Margherita Ligure (pricey, but not as much as Portofino!) then go to Portofino for a visit. You can see it all in one day… I have this feeling that who stays there just wants to show off!
    Plus, it’s super duper expensive (parking lot: when I left in 2007 it was 5€/hour, so I can’t imagine how expensive it is now)-
    Last but not least: sorry to disappoint you but there’s nothing special in Portofino’s ice cream… must be just the name of that gelato place in Germany! But afaik Portofino is not well known for the gelato.
    Anyway, it definitely is a beautiful place. I love the colors and everything, but I don’t like the *posh* side. Cinque Terre are much more *no frills* which I like more πŸ™‚
    Interesting to see the opinion of a foreigner about my hometown and my area! πŸ™‚
    Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Andrew
      March 3, 2011 @ 8:39 am

      I remember you mentioning that you grew up in this area. I have pictures for Santa Margherita to put up as well. That will be some point soon.

      That road was insane but pretty. I can’t imagine driving on it every day, but I guess you would get used to it. I know there is nothing special about the gelato there. The ice dealers here just are often named for Italian cities and the one I go to a lot if Portofino. So I thought it would be cool to try it, but I am fully ok with missing out. πŸ™‚

  11. Debbie Beardsley
    February 26, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    Your pictures of Portofino look amazing. At least the views are free! I’m curious why you chose the bus and not the boat. It was be a lot of fun to travel that coastline via the boats they have.

    Someday I’ll visit Portofino but I’m with you – – for me there would be better places to spend the night.

    • Andrew
      March 3, 2011 @ 8:27 am

      We did the bus first for a cost thing. The bus was less than 2 euros per person and the boat was many times that. We had done the bus to Portovenere just a few days before (see that post for more) and enjoyed it. There is something neat about taking public transport. I would like to take the boat out to the little monastery, so maybe one day.

  12. Andrea
    February 26, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Gorgeous photos! I’ve always pictured Portofino as a very rich place and it certainly looks it.

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

      Yup, rich is the word for it. Like I mention it feels like a resort. Maybe it is partly that I expect “authentic” to be shabby somehow, so when it is all in good repair it feels artificial. Yet when I see buildings that in other villages are homes built out as high end clothing shops importing stuff from Paris and Milan, it certainly doesn’t mesh with village sentiments to me. Oh well, it is a beautiful town anyway.

  13. Jeremy B
    February 26, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    Andy, Portofino is really beautiful. I am actually sorry that the town itself doesn’t live up to is beauty. I’ve been to the Cinque Terre and it really is a great place to visit. Unfortunately, it’s become too touristy. It almost sounds like this is the case with Portofino – just more ritzy. And that’s unfortunate because from the photos, I think it looks better than the Cinque Terre.

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

      What is “live up to its beauty”? It looks attractive and it is. It lives up to that aspect of things. Yeah it isn’t so touristy in Portofino in comparison to Cinque Terre in that, at least the day we were there, there are not hordes of people in matching sweaters taking pictures. It did feel upscale and not poor. It looks better because there is more money poured into it. That has the effect of better repair, but also other side effects. Oh well.

      • Jeremy B
        February 28, 2011 @ 1:56 am

        Sorry by “live up to its beauty” I meant that it is more touristy, upscale, and doesn’t retain the quaintness of the fishing village it once was. I guess that is more a sign of the times and more of a reflection of how I would like places like this to be. I guess I am a bit turned off by the upscale, expensive side but maybe that is why it is so beautiful.

        • Andrew
          March 3, 2011 @ 8:29 am

          It is definitely in better repair due to the money flowing around. That is certainly nice, but to be so upscale as to feel like Manhattan is a bit weird. If nothing else it is nicely secluded and keeps the rich isolated away from the rest of us for a while. Safer for all that way.

  14. Sabina
    February 26, 2011 @ 6:42 am

    I really just love the look of this town. Europe has got such a unique and ancient feel. I’m so glad it’ the first continent I traveled to. I remember in so many different places I went, I would walk down certain old streets and just feel the most intense sense of awe. We just dont’ have the same feel in the U.S. at all.

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

      No, the feel is completely different in the US. Somehow the idea that there are buildings with dates on them here that predate the knowledge of the American continent is awe inspiring. My common joke is that there are buildings here that have plumbing older than the country that I come from.

  15. janice robinson
    February 26, 2011 @ 4:01 am

    agree wholeheartedly…visit…and keep driving-hopefully you wont have to park in that parking lot…

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

      It is certainly a neat place to see. I would never even attempt to drive there. The roads with the rich italians and their fancy cars whip around the bends as do the lumbering public buses. It was scary enough having someone else drive that did it every day. I would by n means attempt to get down there with me behind the wheel. As for parking? If gelato was that expensive, I can well imagine parking would require the servitude of children.

  16. Italy Travel News 02/26/2011 | Italy Travel Guide
    February 26, 2011 @ 1:01 am

    […] Portofino – Near but not in Cinque Terre […]

  17. Liv
    February 25, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    Nice piece on Portofino Andrew – I’ve got one on Cinque Terre in the pipeline!

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

      Thanks. Look forward to seeing your take on Cinque Terre.