La Perla del Tigullio has been said since the Phoenician times.
But few have captured its soul, fascinated by the color palette that the port of dolphins has offered since Roman times. The traveler is immediately bewitched by the pastel colors of the houses darting in the water, the small port crowded with boats that seem to greet him from the top of their masters with that perennial rocking that invites you to look higher, from where, almost hidden by the greenery del Parco, the Castello Brown acts as a majestic protector.
Yet the Albatros, that fishing boat docked at Molo Umberto 1 °, does not care about him or the tourist who insists on photographing him.
As impassive as the shrewd gaze of the boat charterer, on the opposite pier. Behind the panel of his tiny yet crisp office, the boatman, barefoot but with an elegant bearing, scrutinizes and does not allow himself to be scrutinized, hiding himself almost between the Anchor, which offers unexpected fashionable clothing, and restaurants such as the Gritta that extends a sea foot on a waving platform, tangible and contradictory, invitation to sail without leaving the shore.
But the incessant dance of boats, fishing boats and sails pushes you relentlessly to take off. And if the soul of Portofino was read in the eyes of its inhabitants and transpired from the words of those who need a paciugo, a delicacy, as told by Mariuccia, the bar that grows fearlessly on the square, a delicacy or better a pie born by chance, as by chance this more unusual than rare encounter between the sea and the mountain was born.
Then it is better to wander in the heart of the historic center and slip into the narrow shady alleys where Eden stands out, a truly heavenly hotel, enter Zeffiro, right in front of the Teatrino, in Vico dritto, the true cave of Ali ‘Babà within everyone’s reach and listen to Luciano’s wisdom about his Portofino.
And the memories of Luciano who rattles off the memory of the marina make you want to go back to the docks where maybe a surprise awaits you: that blue boat that drew you down there before the gate of the Harbor Master’s Office is called “Rimani“.
is an old military fortress built upon the remaining of a Roman Castrum, and placed in an elevated position at the entrance of the Portofino inlet.
The Castle was built around the 10th century and was sieged and attack various times from Saracen pirates, until the beginning of the 15th century.
The first accurate historical information dates back to 1425, during the dominion of the Viscounts of Milan until 1435, and to 1432 when the Castle saved Portofino from a Venetian attack. The Republic of Genoa, during the 16th century first, then in the 1624 and later from 1725 to 1728, enlarged the structure of the castle.
During the French occupation, by Napoleon in 1797, the castle was further reinforced.
After the Congress of Vienna Portofino became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, and Kingdom of Italy later, and the castle, lost its strategic value, was disarmed in 1867.
In the same year it was sold to English Consul Sir Montague Yeats Brown and then in 1949 to John Baber. In 1961 Baber sold the Castle back to Portofino’s Local Council which renovated it and devoted it to cultural and events centre.
The Castle with its garden full of rose bushes and a delightful view on the bay is open to.
After the Congress of Vienna, with the passage of Portofino to the Kingdom of Sardinia first and then to the Kingdom of Italy, the Castle lost its strategic importance and was therefore decommissioned and disarmed in 1867.
In the same year it was purchased by Sir Montague Yeats Brown, English consul in Genoa.
The Castle then passed into the hands of the Englishman John Baber to whom the historical information we have received is due. Since 1961 the Castle has been owned by the municipality of Portofino which has carried out a conservative restoration and its use as a venue for cultural events and events.
The Castle, with its garden full of pergolas, rose gardens and various flowers which allows an enchanting view of the bay, is open for tourist visits.