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Stay, Play and Enjoy Portofino, Italy, with the Family

by Holly Riddle

Feb 10, 2020

Photo: Luca Lorenzelli | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

Portofino is a picturesque Italian Riviera fishing village offering a nice blend of luxury, nature and rustic Italian charm.



If you travel to Portofino this summer, book a stay at Belmond Splendido Mare, reopening in June following a full refurbishment. Located on Portofino Harbor, the new design reflects the destination’s nautical heritage across 14 guestrooms, all outfitted with Italian-produced furnishings and artwork. Guests staying at the property enjoy access to all the amenities at sister property Belmond Hotel Splendido, such as the seawater infinity pool, terraced gardens and spa.


If you’re visiting before June, consider a stay at the Belmond Hotel Splendido.



One of the can’t-miss items to add to your family’s Portofino itinerary is a visit to Castello Brown, or Brown Castle. The 15th-century military fortress protected Tigullio Gulf through the generations and now stands as a historic sentinel. From the top of the castle, you’ll enjoy views of the water and surrounding hillsides.


Other nearby spots for great views are the Church of San Giorgio and the Portofino Lighthouse.


Path towards the Portofino Lighthouse. Photo: Photofires | Dreamstime.com


San Martino Church is another historic spot to check out. Built around the 12th century, it’s the village’s main church and quite beautiful. Don’t just admire the exterior. Go inside to see some impressive artwork as well.


Of course, you can’t visit the Mediterranean and not take a dip in the water. Paraggi Beach is Portofino’s most popular, due to its unique, green hue and great scuba diving opportunities.


Along those lines, if your family is keen on diving, you’ll not want to miss a dive to see the Christ of the Abysses, or the bronze statue, a landmark for divers, erected off San Fruttuoso Beach in honor of a deceased diver.


For a day of hiking, visit Parco Naturale Regionale Portofino for 60 kilometers (37 miles) of narrow trails. Some of the trails are on the challenging side, so you’ll want to check with the local tourist office to see which might be best for you. They’ll also be able to provide you with a map of the park.


Another hike will take you to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. The bayside abbey can only be reached on foot or by boat and the interior features a small museum.


Regardless of where you’re walking, if you’re spending time in Portofino, you’ll come across the many local shops and restaurants serving up the village’s specialties. Make sure to try the local pastas, seafood and bread. Popular souvenir purchases include lace, leatherwork and jewelry.


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