Portofino is picture perfect. Who knows how many times you’ve heard this sentence uttered about this place on the Ligurian coast, where the land touches the sea in a vortex of colors. With its pastel-colored facades, little restaurants and shops. Whoever says these words is telling the truth, of course, but to be honest there is still something else you need to get a real feel for this place. Just as in a postcard, a photo taken to record a memory will never successfully contain all the details of a day in the most famous gulf of the Riviera di Levante. In the particular case of Portofino, a fundamental element is missing: perfume. We made it the main theme of our journey and we want to tell you the fundamental addresses in which to enjoy yourself in 24 hours dedicated to beauty in Portofino (to see and feel it on your own skin). Bon voyage!
As soon as you arrive, dive into adventure and discover the village. Portofino is where everything is a view that you can take a picture of, a little road you can walk through, beautiful scenery to take in. Looking at the sea, to the right, a path goes up to the church of St Giorgio, the perfect spot to observe the landscape (and take a picture for Instagram that will gain a lot of likes). Going back to the town stop and look at the shop windows and why not do some shopping. What’s the must-visit address for a really unique souvenir? Aqua Finae (Calata Marconi, 45), They just opened the doors to this olfactory observatory, a jewellery box of luxury perfumery. It’s not just a boutique, we literally tried to go beyond appearances to choose a fragrance “in the dark”, without knowing the shapes and colors of the bottle. Surrendering to sensations, to make the Portofino postcard complete of the details that only that perfume is able to recall.
A date at Da O Batti (Vico Nuovo, 17), just behind the historic piazzetta. This restaurant is a not-so-hidden gem, it’s a must for those who love local food, and we couldn’t not go there. After a series of finger-licking antipastis, the pièce de résistance arrived: prawns. But not just any prawns, no no ladies and gentlemen. An experience that will give your taste buds transcendental pleasure (we asked the owner to reveal the recipe – with no luck), accompanied by the scent of lemon, that is in both the remaining sauce – which we greedily wiped up with our focaccia, as you do – and the warm water bowls you use to rinse your hands before getting back to the day’s activities.
The time has come to give yourself some healthy relaxation time, Hotel Splendido (Salita Baratta, 16), has the perfect surroundings with its SPA that offers a range of treatments that appeal to all tastes. To continue the journey accompanied by perfume, we suggest the Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience. If you prefer a simple massage instead then you can be caressed by the aroma of flowers, choosing to have the treatment in the hotel’s garden. Enjoy a moment of relax in these wonderful surroundings, it certainly doesn’t happen every day!
They say this place is a little magical and that on the night of the 25th June (St John’s day) on the mount of Portofino, where the four paths cross, you meet the spirits of all the lovers that destiny didn’t manage to unite. However, in 1959 Fred Buscaglione sang “I found my love in Portofino…”, so don’t be shy. Choose a bar in the piazzetta and while sipping a glass of deliciously scented wine let yourself be taken by the romantic mood of the Ligurian evening (whether you’re single or in a couple). It is highly probable that, like us, you will be enchanted by the place, which like a distant lover will tempt you to run back into their arms.