Portofino Things to Do
monuments and museums
the castle brown
Surrounded by a Mediterranean garden of flowers, rose-gardens, and pergolas, Castle Brown was built in the 1500s as a defense against the Turks. Providing charming views of the town and harbor below, a walk beyond the castle takes you to the faro (lighthouse) through pine forests.
the st. george's church
Reconstructed in Romanesque style in 1154, the church was completely rebuilt in 1691 and then again in 1950 following the war-time destruction of altars and furnishings. At the time of the post-war reconstruction, the excavations brought to light a square-planned chapel. The church is said to contain relics of St. George brought back from the Holy Land and houses the relics of St. George, Portofino's patron Saint.
the old garrison
During the Roman Empire, when the Byzantine fleet was based in Genoa, the Sanctuary of San Giorgio had both the role of church and observation post. Many garrisons and observation posts were erected along the coastline, all strategically located for observation and defense. The surrounding small churches and chapels were dedicated to many saints who the people believed protected them from plagues and accidents.
the oratory of the n.s. assunta brotherhood
Constructed in the fourteenth century, the building is adorned with elegant gothic-style decorations. It was the home of the S. Assunta Brotherhood and includes a valuable slating portal and two wooden processional crucifixes. Long copes and pointed cowls allowed the brothers to remain anonymous as they administered to the sick and poor.
the old piazzetta
Little houses, boutiques, American bars and restaurants surround the famous "Piazzetta", or central town square. Sloping down to the water in the harbor, sailors still draw boats out of the water upon it as if upon the edge of a beach.
the sea route and the mountain tracks
Until last century, the sea represented the main route for Portofino and its promontory. In 1888 the road linking Santa Margherita and Portofino was opened and the square in front of the church became its terminus and station post. This is also the starting point for the path for Paraggi, Santa Margherita and the tracks for San Sebastiano, Olmi, and Pietre Strette and for turnoffs to San Fruttuoso, Ruta and Camogli.
the san giorgio's festival
Held for a few days at the end of April, the festival honoring the patron saint of Portofino includes huge fireplaces cooking barbecue in the Piazzetta, a holy procession and fireworks.
The most beautiful and expensive boats gather for the many sailing races along Portofino's coast during the nice season.
the portofino classica- international music festival
During several weekends in May, classic music concerts performed by renowned international musicians are held in the Teatrino of Portofino.
the jazz festival - july and august
July and August present a full calendar of lively jazz music performances.