What’s this? Clouds? Wind? I did not sign up for this. It even had the temerity to rain as I boarded the boat to Portofino. After a brief stop in Santa Margherita we pulled into the harbour at Portofino and fortunately the weather began to improve.
Portofino is a beautiful little fishing village, with pastel coloured buildings surrounding the little harbour. It’s affluent too, judging by some of the larger yachts that were moored. A lot of its money comes from tourism, it’s now a must-see place especially for cruises. I heard more American and German accents than Italian.
However the lovely lady who served me champagne and nibbles at a wine bar overlooking the harbour did have an Italian accent, and it was an especially pleasant place to have lunch.
The harbour is surrounded by restaurants and wine bars, while the streets of the village are populated by chic boutiques or souvenir shops. I climbed up the steps to the Catholic Church which gives great views of the harbour. Behind the church is a wonderful cemetery – not so wonderful for it’s residents I admit, but it does look very pretty.
I came back down the hill, had a paddle in the water and then caught the 3pm boat back to Rapallo, via another stop in the harbour at Santa Margherita. Back in Rapallo I headed to the cable car terminus, which takes you around 600 metres up the hill to the Sanctuary of Montallegro at the top.
The views back down to the gulf are obviously spectacular, and I especially enjoyed them from my seat in the restaurant just underneath the church while sipping an Aperol Spritz (my new favourite drink). The church itself is a few steps up from the pathway that leads up from the cable car terminus and the restaurant, and looks pretty imposing. Inside a piped sermon from an unseen priest was taking place to a pretty limited congregation.
I caught the cable car back down the hill, headed back to my hotel for a brief siesta and then made my way into town for some aperitivo.
I could really get used to the aperitivo lifestyle. As a solo traveller I sometimes find myself a bit self conscious in a restaurant on my own surrounded by couples and families. But this way I can sit outside a bar having a drink and munching on bruschetta and other tasty treats. I may never eat dinner again.
A pleasant few hours getting my aperitivo on and then it was back to the hotel for a final beer on my balcony. Tomorrow morning I’m headed to Florence by way of Pisa.