Portofino is a very lovely village and harbor on the coast near Rapallo and to the northwest of the Cinque Terre coastal region of picturesque villages. The town is set in an attractive natural inlet and surrounded by steep valley sides covered with olive trees.

The village itself is a traditional Italian fishing village, centered around its harbor and the streets behind, where you will find a lot of buildings of character, many painted in the colors popular in the Liguria region, and numerous picturesque views across the yacht-filled harbor.

Broadly speaking, in Portofino there is a traditional harbor area with small boats and lovely pastel-colored houses; a designated area for larger luxury yachts to moor next to the small harbor; and a main street called Via Roma that goes up the hill from behind the harbor that interconnects with various small alleyways. So the village is small and easy to explore.

Although there are few historic monuments in the village you can see the 12th-century Church of Saint Martin in the center of Portofino as well as an Oratory on Via Roma and the Church of San Georgio.

The charm of these places, the fine cuisine of the Ligurian Region, and the innumerable cultural and nature itineraries make this corner of the Gulf of Tigullio an ideal destination any time of year. Nonetheless, tourists most appreciate Portofino during the summer months, when the flora is at its most lush, and the warm seawater transports visitors beyond paradise.

Of course, being very scenic has a downside. Portofino has attracted the great and the good – and above all the wealthy – since the middle of the 20th century. It is sophisticated and elegant, busy and expensive, and a part of every ‘guided tour’ that passes along the coast of northwest Italy.

Behind the harbor posh shops and upmarket restaurants battle for your attention, but if you have limited funds be cautious about casually sitting down on the terrace of a restaurant for a couple of glasses of wine without checking the price first. Some of the restaurants are less expensive than others but none are very cheap.

According to italythisway