Pastel-hued houses, ancient fortresses and fresh seafood
Known to pleasure-seekers as the Italian Riviera, this region is home to northern Italy's most attractive stretch of coastline. A favoured destination is the perfectly located coastal village of Portofino. Holiday here and you can explore cobbled squares and cliff-top fortresses to a backdrop of the bright blues of the Mediterranean sea.
A crescent of pastel-hued houses clings precariously to the cliffside here in the tight curve of a sheltered cove. At the waterfront, there’s an attractive square and marina where the rich and famous moor their yachts. We recommend lunch or dinner in one of the fish restaurants that dot the waterside. They’re perfect for an afternoon or evening of people-watching, sampling the freshest seafood.
There’s culture to explore as well. A winding path leads from the village square up to Castello Brown, an ornate 16th-century fortress. The museum here often hosts local art exhibitions and the hanging garden is filled with flowers and romantic statues. Walk a little further and the views get even better at the lighthouse. It’s situated on Punta del Capo overlooking the entire bay.
Our tailor-made Portofino holidays can take you further too. Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, the villages of the Cinque Terre, are connected by a network of scenic hiking paths. A cruise along the Riviera offers a more relaxing holiday. The Piedmont wine region is an easy day trip too. Sampling the local Barolo wines comes highly recommended.