Italy is dotted with wonderful places to visit. Swide spotted the right getaways where to rest your body and soul while enjoying beautiful landscapes. Spoil yourself with avant-garde Spa treatments and delicious food in one-stop luxury destinations.
Where: Portofino is one of the most beautiful – and smallest - seaside villages in the world. Set in the province of Genova, in the coastal region of Liguria – in the North-western part of Italy - Portofino is situated in the Western part of the Tigullio Gulf, sheltered in a bay that lays at the feet of its homonymous promontory. It borders with Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli (and of course with the Mar Ligure, the Liguria Sea). Lush in vegetation despite its small size, Portofino is also part of the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino (Regional Park of Portofino).
What: There are many ‘must-sees’ in Portofino, as the density of beauty is very high. Don’t miss the Oratorio di N.S. Assunta, which dates back to 1300. It's right at the end of Via Roma towards the Piazzetta on the right. Visit also the Brown Castle with a beautiful garden and a terrace with a beautiful view of Portofino. It was built around 1000 in a dominant position so to watch over the entrance of the bay. The Church of San Giorgio (San Giorgio Church) is dedicated to the dragon-slaying hero of legend: find it walking up from the Piazzetta, the most famous spot of Portofino where everyone gather during the evening. At walking distance from the Church of San Giorgio you will find Portofino lighthouse.
When: Portofino is mentioned by Pliny the Elder as being founded by Romans and manes Portus Delphini due to the vast number of dolphins that lived in the bay. Portofino became part of the Repubblica di Genova in the high Middle Ages, and then, in 1409 it was sold off to the Republic of Florence. In 1815 Portofino became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and then part of unified Italy in 1861. Portofino became a hotspot for rich and aristocratic tourism, with many regular visitors coming for Northern Europe and Britain. By the 1950s Portofino was established as a luxury solid resort.
Why: At the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, every detail is cared for and nothing is left to chance.
Enjoy the finest Italian cuisine at La Terrazza (The Terrace) thanks to the regional specialties cooked by Corrado Corti’s chef – his pasta al pesto is to die for - without missing a beat of the beautiful Portofino’s bay. Want to be in the middle of action? Then pick The Chuflay Restaurant, with a terrace that borders the Piazzetta. And if you are hot, from spring to autumn the Pool Restaurant serves buffet-style lunches.
Not only: keeping with the name, Splendid, the spa, too, is a real haven for relaxation. Overlooking the quaint town and beautiful sea views, the garden becomes the setting for massages or even Pilates and Yoga courses. Natural products from Aromatherapy Associates, Les Senses Marrakech and Sothys are used for the treatments by highly experienced staff. An exotic experience in a Mediterranean garden.
Written by: Elisa della Barba and Valentina Zannoni