Almost everyone has heard of Portofino. This picturesque coastal fishing village is famous for its colorful buildings, yachts and boats that continuously bob into harbour and the many many celebrities that flock here for its beautiful scenery and views.
When I arrivedI was shocked at just how small the town really is. And the fact that there were so many tourists made it even smaller. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it and think it’s beautiful but I would have enjoyed it more without all those groups of selfie stick-shoving-in-your-face people around. There is no beach in Portofino so if you are looking for a swim its best to go to neighbouring Santa Margherita. But if you are looking for a nice stroll then its the perfect place!
After strolling around in the little streets of Portofino you might want to grab a bite somewhere. Although there are a number of nice restaurants most are quite expensive and you need a reservation. If you are willing to pay 15 euros for an Aperol Spritz(!) then you probably won’t mind the 100 euro menus. Alternatively there is a less crowded and more reasonably priced restaurant at Chiesa San Georgio for the best views of Portofino to enjoy your lunch .
Portofino has the reputation of ” Rich and Famous Lifestyle” destination so it’s no surprise that most shops there are high-end: think Louis Vuitton, Dior, Missoni etc. I didn’t shop anything and honestly I wouldn’t even if I wanted to splurge. When traveling I always shop things I know I can’t get elsewhere, locally made or unique. I didn’t find anything like that here like I did in Cinque Terre ( where I bought locally produced expensive wines ).
So is Portofino worth visiting? Yes and no. Yes if you are just going to spend a day or afternoon there. No if you are planning to spend a night or more. As a first time visit I’m glad I went. I love going to places I have never been to before that were on my bucket list. However I don’t think I’ll be going again ( at least not anytime soon ). For me it didn’t have that “wow” factor and was seriously underwhelming. Again, it is beautiful, instagram perfect (if that’s what you are looking for )but that’s it. When I was planning my trip to Italy , I initially wanted to spend 2 nights in Portofino. Two nights! I’m so glad I didn’t. I would have regretted it. IMO there are far better places worth spending nights at than Portofino. Positano which is quite similar ( coastal, expensive, for the famous ) is a much better choice.