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Port of Call – Portofino

by Lori Eastes


Plan your escape to Portofino, a beautiful Italian coastal town with top-tier dining, family vineyards, and a tranquil crescent harbor.

Though a small fishing village, Portofino is perhaps one of the most iconic ports located along the Italian Riviera coastline. Known for its picturesque harbor and the beautiful colorfully painted houses that line the rocky shore, this classic European destination is one for your bucket list, especially when visited from aboard your own chartered yacht.

The town itself sits in a half-moon shape surrounding the beautiful and calm harbor. In the summer months, glimmering yachts fill the harbor and create a buzz of excitement as visitors hop ashore to visit the many luxury stores including Gucci, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton or to dine at one of the many delicious seafood restaurants. Be sure to indulge in a delectable dinner at Ristorante Puny, a family-run restaurant that offers breathtaking views of the harbor, amazing service, and incredible fare freshly caught from the sea. After dinner, you can go right down the street to Gepi Portofino for what the locals claim to be the best gelato in town.

Next up, take a trip to the Buranco Winery and Vineyard for a relaxing day sipping wine in the serene sunshine. This hidden gem is worth the trip as you walk up a narrow side street to the family-run vineyard. Once you arrive, you can enjoy carefully curated tastings with a gorgeous view of the vineyard and the charming village below. The staff is knowledgeable and very welcoming. Enjoy the peace and quiet before heading back to the city lights.

After a relaxing day of wine tasting, make your way back to Portofino and get ready for another day full of adventures. As cuisine is very important in Italy, arrange for a local cooking class with wine pairings to learn more about the local culture. A cooking class that utilizes the local bounty of Portofino and the surrounding region offers the ultimate hands-on instruction in classical Italian cooking.

All of Europe is known for its magnificent history, and Portofino is no exception. If you are interested in history, there are a few must-see spots such as the Chiesa di San Martino, a church that was built in the 11th century in Lombard Romanesque style. The Brown Castle, also known as the Fortress of Manarola, was built in the 12th century to defend the village from the raids of Saracen pirates and is not to be missed. Last, but certainly not least, is the Faro di Punta del Capo, which is a building resting on a rocky cliff with a view that will leave you speechless.

Back on board, the crystal clear waters of Portofino are perfect for swimming, diving, and of course, cruising. Spend an afternoon lounging at Camogli Beach, enjoying the unique architecture of the pastel-hued buildings in the background. Even relaxing on deck with a glass of wine while watching the massive yachts pull in and out of the harbor is a little piece of heaven. But no matter what activity you’re interested in, you’re sure to have an incredible time in perfetto Portofino.

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