“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life,” wrote the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. An ardent lover of Italy (and a muse of the painter Modigliani herself), she perfectly captures the mesmerising, sensual experience of this most celebrated country. To experience the full effect of Italy’s magic, discover Portofino.
THE JEWEL of the Italian Riviera, Portofino’s charm is in its intimacy. Its roots stretch back to the time of Pliny the Elder, who recorded that it was named Portus Delphini for the many dolphins which could be found there. Originally a fishing village, Portofino first attracted aristocratic patronage in the 19th century but has maintained its intimate, rustic feel to this day. One never forgets the sight of Portofino’s beautiful pastel-toned houses bordering the turquoise waters of the bay.
Above all, there’s a sense of privacy here; Portofino feels like a secret retreat. This, along with its incredible beauty, accounts for Portofino’s appeal to artists and actors across the eras. The sense of old-school glamour that pervades the town, though, has its roots in Fellini’s stylish 1960 masterpiece La Dolce Vita.
Pleasing one’s senses is easy in this part of the world. Naturally, seafood is buonissimo here. But it tastes even better when discovered in a tiny cavern restaurant, such as Batti in Santa Margherita Ligure. Or, take a speedboat to the hidden cove of San Fruttuoso to enjoy fritto misto from Da Laura trattoria. Dine at wooden tables on the beach and gaze out at the cool ocean.
Activities to suit any appetites can be found in Portofino. Stroll among the lush green gardens that surround Belmond Hotel Splendido and you’ll be rewarded with the warm afternoon scent of lavender, olive trees and bougainvillea. Those seeking more energetic pursuits can scuba dive and kayak around the coast. Visitors wishing to simply bask in Portofino’s beauty can opt for a sunset cruise around the cove.
There is a wonderful Italian phrase to bear in mind when making plans in Portofino—Il dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing. There is nowhere on earth more exquisitely well suited to this fine art than Portofino.Explore Portofino with Belmond
Belmond Hotel Splendido
Salita Baratta 16
Reservations: +39 0185 267 800
The Hotel: +39 0185 267 801
Fax: +39 0185 267 806
How to get here
Genoa International Airport (GOA) is 37km (45 minutes) from Belmond Hotel Splendido and provides a wide range of international connections.
We are pleased to arrange private jet charters within Europe.
Motorway A12, exit Rapallo, then take the road to Santa Margherita and Portofino, a 20-minute drive.
Private parking and a garage are available to hotel guests. Advance reservation of a parking space is requested. Parking is also available in the main piazza.
From Milan, Florence and Rome, you can arrive at Rapallo (8km away) or Santa Margherita (5km away) railway stations and take a taxi to the hotel.
The hotel can arrange a private car and English-speaking driver to meet you at or return you to either the airport or railway station.
COURTESY SHUTTLE BUS
A regular, scheduled shuttle service is available between Belmond Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare (or take a leisurely, 10-minute walk). Comfortably seating seven, it operates as follows:
From 9pm to 1pm and 4pm to midnight, every 15 minutes (at 00, 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour). From 1pm to 4pm, every 20 minutes (at 00, 20 and 40 minutes past the hour).
Please note that a more limited service operates in early spring and late autumn.