Love in Portofino (Part 1)
It’s almost spring! And when I think about spring, I think about city breaks!!! This is for sure the perfect season to visit any beautiful city or small region in Europe at a good price, warm temperatures and not surrounded by so many tourists.
My new travel post will describe the trip we took last year in April and will explain how you can easily reach 19 wonderful places in just 6 days without being tired, but instead full of energy!
I will split the story in a few parts because I have a lot to say and so many pictures to share with you. The first three days of our journey took place in Liguria and the next three days in Tuscany. Our partner in crime was once again a cute Fiat 500 brand new!
So let’s talk about Italy (again)! For a great experience you should listen (but also watch this short video from the artist’s concert in Portofino, by night) the song “Love in Portofino” by Andrea Bocelli while reading my post.
We arrived in Bologna in the evening (after a day at the office) and went straight to a hotel near the airport to eat something and get some sleep because we had big plans for the next day. We got up early in the morning, had our delicious Italian breakfast and one cup of black espresso (two cups for me) and in 3 hours we arrived in Rapallo which is in northwest Italy’s Liguria region, located in the Tigullio Gulf between Genoa and the famous Cinque Terre. Rapallo is also the largest Italian Riviera seaside resort town. There’s a picturesque castle in the sea, a small harbour and seaside promenade, pedestrian shopping streets in the historical center and good seafood restaurants. Rapallo also makes a good base for visiting nearby Italian Riviera places such as Santa Margherita Ligure and amazing Portofino.
We wanted to take the boat to reach these two beautiful locations, but not until we got a glimpse of Rapallo too. The cruise was indeed the best choice: nice weather, smooth sea and incredible landscapes. In just one hour we were in Portofino – a village founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini or The Port of Dolphins, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf (we got to see some dolphins too while on cruise as you will see in the photos I will post below).
Portofino is a small Italian fishing village clustered around its small harbour and is known for the colorfully painted buildings. I can say that I left my heart in Portofino. It is definitely the most beautiful Italian town I have seen so far: it’s like Heaven or Earth or even better! That kind of tranquility, handsome trees, perfumed wisterias hanging down the walls and the people. Everybody is super nice and relaxed! We loved strolling down the narrow streets and admiring the villas in this coastal village, taking a lot of photos, eating seafood everything and having a gelato for dessert. Before leaving this amazing place, we continued along the wharf of the marina and got on a pathway through the Mediterranean gardens winding its way up towards Castello Brown (Brown Castle). It is a lovely way to approach the Castle which is located on top of the hill because it gives you the chance to enjoy a walk among a lush vegetation while the stunning views over Portofino reveal themselves from time to time as you reach the castle.
Getting down the hill to take the boat for our next destination was pretty sad. Portofino stole our hearts for good and we swore we would come back to spend at least a long weekend there to explore all its secrets and enjoy its charm.
But until then, let me tell you a few things about Santa Margherita Ligure – our next stop. We reached this sunny town by a short boat ride from Portofino on our way to Rapallo. SML is a wonderful old-fashioned kind of Riviera resort where palms wave along the esplanade and visitors enjoy the balmy climate, attractive views and comfortable hotels. It reminded us of Nice. The architecture of the buildings painted in pastel colors make a spectacular landscape, together with the deep blue sea, that calms the spirit, clears the mind and helps you in having a perfect relaxing trip.
We finally managed to take the last boat to Rapallo to take our sweet Fiat 500 from the parking lot and go straight to La Spezia to visit Cinque Terre. But this is another story…
And just to sum up: in only 1 day we visited 4 beautiful towns – Rapallo, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and La Spezia by night (I will tell you more about this harbour city in the next post).
Money related I can say that for the entire trip we spent for the car (Fiat 500) 180EUR for 7 days rented from Europcar, without insurance, plane tickets and a large baggage from WizzAir aprox price 150-180 EUR for 2, hotels aprox 100 EUR per night with breakfast included (very good conditions and location). For a trip to Italy you must remember that you have to pay in order to drive on their highways and it’s not that cheap, although cheaper than France, parking your car is also not free and a boat ticket (2 ways) is almost 20 Euros/person. For more details, you can contact me and I will be more than delighted to share them with you. Of course, based on your budget I can assure you that you’ll find nice hotels or B&B for every pocket or, if you love staying at 5 star hotels, Liguria is the perfect place to book some tickets at a hotel with stunning view over the sea.
Have a wonderful Sunday, lovelies and don’t forget to book your spring trips!
Let’s share some cool travel tips! Keep me posted about your favorite city break destinations and some inside details in having a great vacay in a beautiful place!