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Portofino VSCO15.jpg

Portofino: Page 1


Portofino: Page 1

As our long but picturesque drive through the centre of Northern Italy drew to a close, the roads became increasingly narrow, hugging the breathtaking coastline and winding around quaint villages and pastel coloured buildings. Vintage scooters whizzed past us as we negotiated tight corners and skimmed past large buses, trying to steal a glance at every opportunity.

Situated just 5km south of Santa Margherita, we had arrived in one of the world’s most alluring and iconic destinations, Portofino. There’s no denying the appeal of Portofino, the beautiful scenery and pastel hued harbour have turned this elegant port into a haven for jet-setters, high-flyers and celebrities, as evidenced by the flotillas of giant yachts usually anchored just outside. Tucked away in a protected alcove, the port is surrounded by lush olive-clad slopes and turquoise water reaching out to where the sea meets the sky.


If you’re going to Portofino, you’re most probably staying at the Belmond Hotel Splendido.

The best place to stay in Portofino, Splendido is a timeless gem set on the side of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean and the marina below.The property is idyllic and steeped in glamour from a bygone era, from the pristine gardens to the royal blue infinity pool that clings to the hillside and the rustic pastel pink walls. Ageless, elegant and luxurious, you can see why Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton returned time and time again to this Italian paradise.

Lunch at the Splendido is something everyone should experience at least once. Fresh mozzarella and heritage tomatoes are doused in local olive oil, spaghetti alle vongole is made with clams fresh from the sea that day and served up with a crisp glass of white wine views to die for. The suites are luxurious and inviting, classic design is combined with modern comforts and faultless service.

A short walk through the immaculate grounds leads you to a red carpet lined pathway to Portofino town. Passing tourists stop to capture the familiar sights to no doubt share with the outside world, a million miles away from reality. Portofino is a charming little fishing village made up of boutiques, art galleries, cafes and restaurants and iconic pastel houses that line the harbour; it is everything one could hope for from the Italian Riviera.

Portofino Automatic Moonphase 37 Watch by IWC Schaffhausen

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Big Pilot's Watch by IWC Schaffhausen

The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by with an Aperol Spritz in hand, by night the very same place becomes one of the most romantic spots we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The prettiest of all Portofino’s restaurants, we spent an incredible evening at Chuflay, Splendido’s seafront eatery. As lights twinkled across the gentle waves, we dined on excellent cuisine and the freshest seafood we have ever eaten. A delicious lobster salad followed by a mixed seafood risotto: langoustines, mussels, prawns, clams and calamari. Our third course was a mouthwatering seafood broth with a side of garlic-crusted bread, complimented with a delicious bottle of wine, recommended to us by the wonderful general manager Santo; a kindhearted gentleman with a warm smile, charming demeanour and fantastic recommendations. We finished the meal with our sixth tiramisu of the trip and a nightcap, as Chuflay’s resident pianist of twenty years closed the evening perfectly.

Other eateries we would recommend for both lunch and dinner are Da Puny and Ristorante Stella; both serve delicious Italian cuisine with fantastic service.